There’s a famous book about the Power of Habits, which explains indirectly How To Change Your Eating Habits, by Charles Duhigg.
In this video I take his research and apply so you can learn how to change your eating habits.
Here’s the 10,000 foot big picture about How To Change Your Eating Habits:
You keep the ‘Cue’ and the ‘Reward’ the same but substitute the ‘Routine’
And then you practice (this is my step).
So the steps are:
- Identify routine
- Then identify rewards
- Identify cues
- Practice substituting routines
Let me know your thoughts or questions, or where you disagree.
How To Change Your Eating Habits Commentary:
Eating habits are notoriously difficult to change.
Just using willpower or trying to follow a plan will fail you.
How to change your eating habits then?
Well, first you must understand the basics of a habit.
A habit is an automatic pattern of behaviors that became conditioned.
You know this already.
And I’m sure you’ve also read about cues, routines and triggers.
If you haven’t, here’s the run down
- A cue is what triggers your habit – think of the alarm clock in the morning that wakes you up and starts a sequence of behavior where you brush your teeth.
- the routine – the routine is what you do after the cue. For me, a cue when I was smoking weed was seeing that I smoked when I felt lonely. So loneliness was the cue and smoking weed was the routine
- Reward- the reward is the emotional benefits you get from the routine. For the alarm clock, it’s not getting yelled at by your boss. For me with weed, it was feeling better and decreasing my loneliness
So the first part of this whole thing is approaching the problem with a growth mindset. This is critical if you want to learn How To Change Your Eating Habits!
A growth mindset is compassionate.
It’s different than a fixed mindset.
A fixed mindset is where you have to understand everything at once, and be perfect.
There’s no room for mistakes.
It’s all or nothing.
If you fail, it’s evidence that you personally are a failure, and not evidence that you’re a beginner.
So we need a growth mindset and proper expectations – this is How To Change Your Eating Habits
This is a messy process and your bat eating habits are not going to change overnight.
However, how to change your eating habits starts with this understanding.
Then you take it a notch further and really hunker down to identify the routines, the rewards and the cues.
This is just awareness!
And by awareness, I truly mean awareness.
Don’t reflexively stop eating sugar because you bring awareness to your habits.
When you start becoming aware of your habits, your knee reaction might to diet.
No, not go on an official diet, but to start using the dieting behaviors you have learned in past dieting.
For example, one guy I was working with, we started having him bring awareness to his eating habits.
He saw the he was eating a lot of sugar.
So for 2 weeks he just recorded and he lost some weight, just by recording.
Yet then he saw that he lost weight so he got excited.
He realized this was because his awareness made him naturally more aware of his sugar intake, and in turn, his sugar intake decreased.
So he realized decreasing sugar lead to weight loss.
This is where he then ‘screwed’ up.
He started cutting out sugar.
A few weeks go by and he is feeling weird he says. He’s starting to crave sugar, have all these weird thoughts about sugar, and his weight loss stopped.
Well, he went overboard.
He stopped using awareness. This is NOT How To Change Your Eating Habits
He started using dieting.
So as your bring awareness to your bad habits and cues and routines and all of this stuff, just awareness!!!!
For maybe 1 month or even 2 months …
Just study your behavior.
What happens beforehand?
You really want solid data on the patterns.
You want deep thorough understanding.
Don’t worry about changing the habits just yet. I know that sounds weird in a post about How To Change Your Eating Habits …
This is hard.
But it’s easy to slip into dieting behaviors, which are black and white.
When you slip into dieting behaviors, your learning stops.
Because you really have to identify the emotional rewards you’re getting out of the food.
Without this understanding you won’t be able to make long-term habits.
And then lastly, the last step is practicing.
After you have identified your eating habits and why you do them and exactly what your eating habits are, it’s time to switch these eating habits out!
You keep the cues and the rewards the same …
And then you practice different self-care strategies to replace the food.
You can get the same rewards from different activities other than food.
It takes time to put all the dots together, but it’s worth it.