Busting Bad Habits: Your How-to Guide

Busting Bad Habits

Poor habits are one of the biggest reasons for why we find it so difficult to maintain our weight-loss and weight management goals. Our habits are our subconscious inclinations that keep us performing not-so-great behaviors and challenge our desire to change the way we live.

What Exactly IS a Habit?

According to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of a habit is as follows:

Habit – [N] A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance. 

For instance, many people report the habit of snacking and mindless eating when they watch television regularly at night. After repeating this behavior for so long, snacking during television shows may become a habit that can be extremely hard to break. Similarly, a vast number of people report the habit of smoking although they want to improve their heart and lung health. Therefore, you can see why old/bad habits are major hurdles to overcome if you’re navigating the journey with weight and health.

Effective Tips for Busting Habits in 2017


2017 is YOUR year! Don’t let unhelpful habits keep you from attaining your goals for weight and overall health. The below tips are meant to help you develop a strategic plan for busting unwanted behaviors and creating new, healthier ones to help you find success.

  • Understand Your Triggers – Triggers in our thoughts and in our environment are often responsible for our habits. When you catch yourself in an unwanted behavior, try to identify what it was that triggered it. For example, maybe a stressful thought propelled you into emotional eating, or a bad day made you skip your workout and watch television on the couch instead.
  • Make SMART Goals for Change – If you’re developing goals that will ultimately lead to behavior change, make them SMART goals. This means that they should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. SMART goals will set you up for success and ensure that you’re reaching your goals in a healthy way.
  • Make Small, Slow Changes – No one said you have to work on changing all of your bad habits at once! Pick one at a time and make small changes to achieve healthier ones. This way, you’re less likely to experience frustration and setbacks.
  • Find Some Stimulation – Changing your environment can have a big effect on your habits. For example, eating in different locations of your house and different restaurants can have an impact on your portion sizes and your nutrition. Similarly, changing the groups of people you hang out with as well as where you exercise can have the same effect.
  • Endure the Process – It is generally said that a habit takes about 30 days to break, give or take. While the process may be hard, try aiming for that 30-day mark and see how far you’ve come.
  • Assess Your Progress – Once you feel like you’ve broken a habit, go back and try to identify what worked and what didn’t. That way, you’ll have tools to help you break the next habit and so forth!

Remember, changing old habits takes time and the journey can often be difficult and overwhelming. No matter what your goals are, keep in mind that YOU are ultimately in control and can achieve what you set your mind to.

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