Breaking Bad Habits

As you begin your weight loss journey, it is important to understand the role that habit plays in the process. Habits can either help you or hurt you when it comes to weight loss. If your health and fitness habits are poor, you can begin to break them and replace them with new, healthier habits. It will be a long process, but well worth it in the end, as you look at your healthy, fit body in the mirror.

Did you know it takes 21 days to form a habit? That means that if you are in the habit of coming home from work and plopping down in front of the TV with a bag of chips, you’ve done it at least 21 times, probably even more. Imagine the difference in your physical appearance if you replaced the chips and TV habit with a healthy one, such as a walk? You can, and it will only take 21 days to do so.

It is easiest to rid yourself of a bad habit by putting a new, positive habit in its place. Let’s use our chips and TV example. You probably are tired after a long day at work, and use this time to unwind and de-stress. You should replace this activity with an alternative activity that has the same benefits. Walking can be great for stress relief. To change your habit, each day insert your new activity in place of your old one. It will seem strange at first, but as you practice it will become easier and easier ” it will, in fact, become a habit.

Lasting weight loss is a gradual process, composed of many habits. If you need to lose weight, especially if you have a large amount of weight to lose, you need to assess your habits. Pinpoint the ones that are destroying your weight loss efforts. On paper, make a list of these habits, and also a list of alternative habits you can replace them with.

Each month, take away one negative habit and add one positive one in its place, as we did in the above example. Allow yourself the entire month to focus on that habit ” that’s 21 days plus a few extra for good measure. If you experience setbacks, simply pick up where you left off and begin again. Remember, you’re working towards gradual, long-lasting change. Your habits have taken a lifetime to create ” allow yourself the time necessary to break them, as well.

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