Habits can be hard to change because well they are habits. Whether you are looking to change have a number of bad habits to change or only one or two, there are some basic principles when it comes to navigating your way through the behaviour change process. So, here are some tips for smoother sailing:
Susan Bowerman , Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife shares effective principles to follow when you’re trying to change your bad eating habits.
Set your behaviour goals and make them reasonable
Be specific. “I want to get physically fit” or “I will eat better” is too vague. Instead, set a goal of “I will walk 30 minutes a day” or “I will pack my own lunch twice a week.”
Start with the easiest changes first
Once you tackle those and feel successful, you’ll feel empowered to take on more challenges. As each small change becomes permanent, they’ll start to add up—which can add up to big health benefits, too.
Don’t think ‘forever
Try just getting through a weekend without overdoing it, or take things a day at a time – or even a meal at a time if you have to.
Keep track so you know how well you’re doing
If you’ve been trying to boost your physical activity, keep a log of your minutes or miles. If you’re trying to cut back on sweets, set a limit for the week and keep track. And for each small success, give yourself a pat on the back.
Try to anticipate what might derail you and plan accordingly
If parties are your undoing, plan to have a snack before you go, and decide ahead of time how many drinks you’ll have. If you know you’ll hit the snooze button instead of exercising in the morning, put the alarm clock across the room—right next to your workout clothes.
Practice the art of distraction
When you get the urge to eat something you shouldn’t, tell yourself that you’ll wait 15 minutes before you give in. Chances are, you’ll get busy doing something else and forget about it.
Notice what triggers your bad habits and break the chain
If the vending machine at work tempts you every time you walk by, find another route so you’ll avoid it, or don’t carry any money with you. To stop night time noshing, head into the bathroom to brush your teeth instead of into the kitchen to raid the refrigerator.