Sunday, September 24th, 2017

How to Break Bad Diet Habits Forever

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You can break bad dieting habits and get the body you want

Changing behaviour and ways of thinking is not easy, but it is not impossible either.

We have all heard the saying:

“If you keep on doing what you are doing, you will get more of what you’ve got”

Well, nothing could be truer than this sentence when it is applied to weight loss.

We all know what we need to do to get the body we want. We simply don’t lose weight if we don’t exercise our body or exercise self-discipline over our mad monkey minds and the bad eating habits that prevent us from losing weight.

Behaviors become habits when we do them over and over again. Similarly, thoughts become beliefs when we think them over and over again. Habits and beliefs become so well practiced that we relocate them to the automatic part of our minds and allow them to operate without thinking. Unfortunately, many of our habits and beliefs are what sabotage our weight loss attempts.

Think about it.

How many times have you popped some ‘deadly’, high calorie morsel of food into your mouth before you have even thought about it? And, how many times have you looked in the mirror and automatically said to yourself, “I’m too fat?”

It’s not rocket science; it is cold hard reality. What we think and what we do becomes our reality, especially when we do it over and over again. We become fat because we think we are fat. We then cement the belief in that we are fat by doing the things that make us fat, like eating too much and exercising too little.

There is no magic pill to dissolve fat, and bariatric surgery, while it ensures weight loss does not necessarily teach you to change your behaviour or your beliefs, but certainly reduces your ability to eat an optimal food intake for good nutrition (refer to the blog on pros and cons of bariatric surgery).

The good news is, that with a bit of grit and determination you can change your thoughts and behaviors.

Think of a thoughts or behaviours as setting up neural routes in your brain. If you think a thought once, or do a behaviour once, it is only a track and will grow over and be difficult to find if you don’t walk down this path again. However, if you keep thinking the thought (e.g., “I will never lose weight”) or doing the behaviour (e.g., eating a chocolate from the dispensing machine every afternoon at 3pm) then you start to build a road, making it easier to repeat the thought or behaviour because the pathway is easy to find and travel along.

By repeating these unhelpful thoughts or behaviours we build a superhighway of neurones that entrench us in habits and ways of thinking that stop us from getting what we want. Basically, as we think, and as we do, is what we become!

So, how do we undo these beliefs and habits that don’t help us? How do we pull down these superhighways of automatic thoughts and actions?

We STOP travelling these pathways! What we don’t use falls away, it loses power. All bad habits need attention to be maintained.

So, practise resisting the urge to go to the snack bar and buy a chocolate at 3pm. Either learn to get by with a hot beverage or glass of water or bring a healthy alternative such as a piece of fruit.

Change the pattern! You weaken habits when you do something completely different.

Stop, and think before you act. Automatic thoughts and behaviours are just that; they are knee jerk reactions that usually don’t serve you. Make considered choices. We all have options. For example, we have an option to binge or an option to jump on our exercise bikes and watch half an hour of a favourite show. We all know which option our body would prefer.

The longer you practice NOT DOING the habits that don’t assist you in getting the body you want, the less power those habits will have over you.

And just like you repeatedly trod a path of thoughts and behaviours that turned into negative belief systems and bad habits that didn’t serve you, by treading paths of more positive thoughts and behaviours you will be more likely to get you what you want.

Practice makes permanent so make sure it is positive thoughts and behaviours you are practicing.

To get you started on changing the unhelpful beliefs and habits you have that stop you from getting the body and life you want, identify what needs starving, and what thoughts and habits need feeding. It will be different for each one of you.

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