Oct, 3, 2012
Change Your Nutritional Habits. Really.
We are all human and creatures of habit…right? Yes, that is correct, but we have often formed habits that aren’t necessary and we only do them because that is the way we have always done things.
The first step to getting control of these nutritional habits is to become aware of your patterns.
A journal that tracks your exercise and dietary habits will help you examine your behaviors. Once you discover what actually stimulates your less-than-healthy behavior, you then have the choice of either changing the stimulus or situation, or changing your response to the stimulus or situation. Review the following examples to help clarify the action steps.
Step one: Recognize what stimulates the unhealthy action. Become aware of the habit. Monitor what you eat, when you eat, who you are with and how you felt.
Whenever I’m depressed, I eat junk food.
Whenever I go out with my BFF, we always drink too much and eat terribly.
Step two: Either change the stimulus or change the response.
Change the stimulus. For example, using the scenarios above:
Try not to get overly depressed and attempt instead to examine whether there could be any potential outcomes from the depressing situation. Try to develop the skills to become an optimist.
When you go out with your BFF, bring along another friend who may be a better influence. Instead of watching a movie, schedule a hike or a walk with your friends.
As for changing the response, examples might include:
When you get depressed, watch a funny movie or call a best friend or go for a long walk.
You and your BFF make a healthy dinner at home and then go out dancing, both understanding that you’ll be drinking two glasses of water for every beer or alcoholic drink.
For more examples and details on how to change your nutritional habits read my article in the Columbian “Getting a Handle on Habits Key to Better Health.”
Now, your homework assignment:
- List the stimulus-response connections that you participate in regularly.
- What actions can you take to overcome them and change your behavior?
Yours in Health & Fitness,
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