Hi Coach Jeri here!
We are creatures of Habits.
The habits and routines of life give us the calm feeling that keeps us composed and stress free. 90% of our day is following a routine or habit. Brush your teeth, go to work , eat breakfast. Many of us will admit that along with the good habits, bad ones also sneak into our routines. These bad habits can be hard to break.
The goal has to be lifestyle change not just a weight change .
If we think of a diet as deprivation and constraints, instead of learning to experience new food choices, we limit our lifestyle and begin to feel sorry for ourselves. Habits can be tied to patterns, so when we see a pattern that leads us down the wrong path, that is where change needs to be focused. Once you are aware of your behavior you will be able to modify it one step at a time. To live a healthy lifestyle, healthy habits need to be incorporated so it becomes as easy as brushing your teeth.
A perfect example of a habit that many members deal with is night eating. Habits such as night eating become such a part of a daily routine, we might not even realize we are doing it.
There are two kinds of night eating. After dinner snacking, or waking up in the night and heading into the kitchen. For years I had the second issue. Like clockwork, around 1am I would go downstairs and head to the kitchen.
I knew that I wanted to break this habit, but it took some time and a strong commitment to finally free myself of it. First I needed to break the habit of going downstairs. I started leaving a glass of water and a piece of cheese by the bed. This took away the need for me to head to the kitchen. After a few weeks I eliminated the cheese and just left the glass of water.
As a Healthi Coach, we often hear, “I was good all day until after dinner”. Most habits have a pattern to them, like being in the kitchen after dinner. If after dinner is the problem, then the routine has to change. Let someone else clear the dishes, refocus yourself during this time by answering your email, or going for a walk.
If you make a plan, and convince yourself you can do it , you can do it. Some people can trace an eating pattern back to when they were young. Like having milk and cookies after school, or evening snack. Once you tell yourself that you no longer have to continue to do what you always did, you can start to create new habits. There is no reason why your cant have a snack. Just plan it out, and track it. Make sure it is portioned out and set a regular time to have it. Be patient with yourself, old habits are hard to change but it can be done.
Change will grow into new healthy habits. Some of the healthy habits I live by are reading nutrition labels, and weighing and measuring my foods. I personally love being proactive when in a restaurant by asking for substitutes that fit my plan. I almost always check the menu online before going out. I heard one Coach say he lives by the “24” hour rule. He never eats the same thing in a 24 hour period. I found that interesting. It eliminates boredom and makes you think about varying up your foods. New foods mean more tracking and more new experiences. Most of all you wont feel deprived. When we are willing to let go of the old habits and create new healthy ones the scales will inch down and our self esteem soars up. Happy Tracking!!!