Habit forming

OK so we have all heard that it takes 90 days to create a new habit and that changing the way we eat will take time. When it comes to losing weight many of us view the notion of losing weigh as a special diet and do not realise that in order to not simply lose weight but maintain it, we really need to change how we view things.

Firstly, we need to reframe the notion that we are on a diet. This implies that the way in which we are eating is simply temporary – a short term view that does not actually involve us changing the way we eat. Most of us realise that the reason we are overweight is because we eat the wrong foods, usually in quantities are far greater than what we need.

For me, one of the biggest changes that being on the program has been a different view in regards to what I am actually eating. For the first time, I am adopting the mindset that this is how I will be eating moving forward, not simply whilst I am trying to lose weight. I have finally recognised that the way in which I was eating was not serving me – it lead to me being overweight, unhealthy and on an inevitable pathway to health problems.

The simple truth is, if I lose weight and return to my normal eating habits, I will quite quickly regain the weight and typically, add some more to my starting weight. It is critical that I change my attitude not only to the concept of being on a diet but also to how I want to eat, and therefore live, in the long term.

I have been on the program now for almost 4 months – I have probably stuck to the eating plan better than any other diet I have attempted. The food that we eat on the program is just regular food which makes it that much easier to adhere to. Over time you also start to be comfortable and aware of what make good food choices. I am surprised how much I now lean towards those instead of simply falling off the wagon and into really bad choices.

One small but really significant change I have made is to focus on the concept of ADD and not MINUS. This means I focus on what I can have rather than what I cannot. I have attempted to fill my day including food and habits that build on the program. In the past, I have always focused on concepts like “I can’t eat this or I can’t drink that”. If we constantly focus on what we can’t have, we will feel like we are missing out and are more likely to fall off the program.

A great tool that we can all use to support us is apps on our phone. There are so many great apps that assist in habit forming. The key is to choose just one or two things that you would like to focus on. In my first 30 days on the program, I was really determined to drink more water. There are so many benefits to drinking water and I felt like this would really help me. I downloaded an app that gave me reminders and also positive reinforcement when I met my daily target.

So my challenge for you is what habit would you like to embrace over the next 90 days. Download an app that takes your fancy to help you form that habit and go for it. Give yourself time to adjust and make sure you reward your progress and success.