Stoptober is the NHS’s annual campaign to encourage people to give up smoking during the month of October. With this in mind, it got us thinking about how to break unhelpful eating habits – like always having crisps with lunch or a cake with a cuppa in the mid-afternoon. Here, we share LighterLife’s top tips for breaking an unhelpful habit:
1. Become conscious of it
It might sound obvious but the first step to breaking a habit is to become aware of when and where you’re doing it. So, if you always stop at the garage for snacks on the way home from work, think about why you’re doing it. What circumstances lead you there? What feelings are attached to it? By figuring out what’s prompting you to do something, you should be able to stop.
2. Want to break it
Most of us know the facts – chips, crisps, chocolate, wine, bread… whatever your weakness, too much of it isn’t good for your health and can lead to weight gain. Yet we overeat it anyway. Why? Well, most people are driven to do things not by the logical side of the brain, but by the emotive side. Our feelings are what drive us to act. So, to break a habit you really need to feel the desire to want to change. Think about what your life will look if you eat less and lose weight. How will you look? How will you feel? Let that motivate you to act.
A clear, detailed plan will start you off on the right foot to break a habit. If you’re giving up unhealthy snacks and junk food, clear your cupboards of it. Stock up on healthy items and plan in advance what you’re going to eat each day. If you find that you tend to eat most evenings when watching TV, think of other things you could be doing instead – sign up to an evening class, go for a walk, give yourself a manicure… Plan things to do that don’t involve food. By putting a plan in place you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
If you overeat and want to break the habit then LighterLife can help you. Our weekly groups give you the tools and tips to keep lose weight and keep it off. Get in touch today.