How To Break Bad Habits
Understanding The Difference
Between Learned And Unlearned Behaviors
Some of the reasons behind weight gain aren’t only a love of food. Many have to do with learned behaviors (bad habits):
Eating from stress or boredom. Stress can push you toward unhealthy behaviors, like eating for comfort and skipping exercise. But you can turn this around: Nutritious food and regular activity may help you ease the stress in your life.
How To Unlearn
Instead of reaching for a cookie when stress strikes, try these steps:
- The good news is that the internet is a great place to record your ups and downs, and a place that will give you support for your dieting effort.
- Get enough quality sleep, usually between 7 and 8 hours per night.
- Practice deep breathing, while relaxing your muscles one at a time. You might want to try a relaxation program
- Add a few breaks to your day and go for short walks.
- Try a new hobby or any activity that sparks your interest and keeps your hands busy and your mind off food.
- Surround yourself with people you like, but plan activities that don’t revolve around food.
The National Institutes of Health recommend being very specific with your goals—the difference between saying “I’m going to eat less” and “I’m going to cut my dinner portion of chicken from 8 ounces down to 3 ounces.”