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Turn Bad Habits Into Healthy Habits


Humans are creatures of their habits, and when it comes to losing weight they can be more destructive than constructive. As it turns out, some of my most self-sabotaging moments are the thoughtless occurrences that happen randomly throughout the day.

Mindlessly reaching for a handful of chips at a party, snacking off my kids' plates, saying yes to that second beer, or dipping my veggies in a creamy dip are just some of the habits I've had to break over these last few months. But the good news is I have been able to turn those bad habits into positive habits that help me work toward my weight loss goal.

Here are a few changes I've made to break my habits. See if they can work for you!

1. Think before I eat. Instead of reaching for multiple handfuls of nuts or crackers, I take note before I put anything in my mouth—or hand. I've certainly stopped myself mid-chip bowl dive. Stopping myself may not actually help me lose weight, but it will help me avoid gaining weight.

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2. Recognize my hunger. Here's the scenario: Me. Standing in front of the fridge with the door wide open, my eyes searching the shelves for something, anything, to eat. Usually when this used to happen, I wasn't even hungry, but rather bored. Now, I ask myself an assortment of questions first: Am I really hungry? Thirsty? Bored?

3. Have a plan. Another bad habit I've faced is not having an eating plan. Often I wouldn't have anything in the house that was ideal for my healthy eating goals—think chocolate bars instead of a fresh berries and nuts or tortilla chips instead of veggies and hummus. Now it's simply a habit to keep the pantry, fridge, and fruit bowl stocked with delicious, good-for-me foods. No excuses.

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4. Stay on track. My dietitian Heather Wallace is always reminding me to jot down every bite I eat on because it gives me the big picture on where my calories are coming from (ice cream or yogurt?). The phone app offers a chart that calculates my protein, carbs, and fat stats for the week, and I can adjust accordingly as the week goes on. It's extremely helpful for staying on track.

Old habits may be hard to break, but when you do it's absolutely worth it.


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