Changing Behaviours is Hard!

Joe and I got back from visiting with family in Nova Scotia last week.  When I measured my body fat on Friday it was up 2%!    Yup, no surprise there — drinking every evening, rich sauces, deep-fried foods & birthday cakes — yes plural!

If I want to return to pre-NS body fat, I’ll need to reign in my eating.  And I know my weakness: I’m obsessed with Peanut Butter! I can eat the stuff by the spoon full!  I have a bad habit of going into the jar after every meal, probably to the tune of 2-3 tbsp.

Habits are formed by 3 things:  Cue, routine & reward.

My peanut butter habit looks like this:

  • Identify the trigger (cue):  Finish a meal
  • Identify the behaviour  (routine): Go the fridge for peanut butter
  • Identify the reward:  Enjoy the taste, feel more satisfied — it’s just yummy!

To change a habit you have to adjust one of these things.

  •  I decided that instead of peanut butter, I’d take a tablespoon of plain greek yogurt.  Guess what?  I only take 1 tbsp, I don’t go back for seconds and thirds.
  • I actually changed two things:  I allowed my peanut butter indulgence on 1 meal instead of 3.  I’m not doing perfectly, I feel back to old habits on Saturday.

I have to admit that I don’t really want to change –  I enjoy my peanut butter treat.  I do however want to lose the additional body fat.  Only practice, time & patience will change the habit.  There are no quick fixes, no short cuts.   It takes hard work and determination.

For more information on how habits work, I’d recommend the book: “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.

Contact me if you’d like help incorporating more healthy habits into your life.  The people who are most satisfied with their body composition, have practiced healthy choices until they are automatic.