Enjoying that muffin on the way to work may be as regular a routine to you by now as brushing your teeth in the morning. However, unconscious habits like these are difficult to break and can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts, especially if you’ve been doing it forever!
Actions really do lead to results, so if we take a positive action it would invariably lead to a positive result. In simple terms a habit is just an action done over and over again until it becomes automatic. While these ‘learned habits’ can be difficult to break, it is possible to break them with the right methods.
The idea of this method is to prevent the problem before it arises or as the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure!” The acronym ABC, A stands for Antecedent (the cause), B stands for Behaviour and C stands for Consequence.
Most consequences in weight loss as in the rest of life have a cause which therefore creates a certain kind of behaviour. So by simply removing the root cause of a problem, you also remove the consequence
Keeping a bag of crisps in kitchen (the Antecedent) will lead you to eating that bag of crisps (the Behaviour) and therefore will, overtime lead to a gain in unwanted weight (the consequence)
This method involves moving you attention onto something else, as soon as your cravings start, and reminding yourself that the cravings will only last for up 15 minutes. When the cravings start, try doing something else such as calling a friend or listening to some music. If you really want to speed up your weight loss efforts then try some physical activity instead such as going for a walk around the block!
This method requires you to upfront with your negative behaviours. If you feel that you are craving that bag of crisps, just think of how unnecessary the extra calories will be. Also, you can think about the end result of eating that bag of crisps, and how it will negatively impact on your weight loss efforts!
The reality is that sometimes it can be a huge task to try cut all of the unhealthy food out of one’s life in one shot, so instead try taking it step by step. For example, if you usually have four takeout meals a week, try cutting that number by one every single week until you aren’t having any take outs at all! As you succeed with this approach you will slowly gain more confidence in yourself until you are able really make a big impact in your weight loss routine.
Destroying old habits can be difficult at first especially if they have been embedded in for a while, but keep at it! Eventually your new habits will form and will become second nature to you if you don’t give up. Just remember to celebrate all your small victories because they will keep you going when times get tough!
Till next time!