Imagine walking through a forest and having to forge your own trail, chopping tress, moving rocks and branches, it is hard work to get to where you want to go. Now imagine taking a path that is already there, that leads to your destination. The journey will be a lot quicker and easier.
This is what it is like to develop habits.
When it comes to creating better nutrition habits or any habits we should start with small changes. Changing something drastically is usually unrealistic and not maintainable. It may work for a month or two but after that you will find yourself right back where you started.
For example, if you eat cereal for breakfast, a sandwich at lunch and pasta for dinner most days then try and cut the carbs and have no bread, pasta or cereal at all this is a big change and will be hard to maintain. Chances are you will crave those carbohydrates and grab more of something you shouldn’t have later.
When we create habits they are wired in our brains. The more you do something the clearer the path becomes. If you try to do something drastically different you have to forge a new path which takes a lot of work. It is easier to take the path that’s already developed. So how can you change your path?
Take the same path but change it slightly so it is not hard work. If you are eating sandwiches for lunch use a sprouted grain bread instead of a plain white bread. If you eat cereal for breakfast, eat some yogurt with it and have slightly less cereal. You are still taking the same path but making small changes. If you eat white pasta for dinner frequently then try potatoes instead, then eventually sweet potatoes, then change that to cooked carrots, beans and other starchy vegetables.
Changing little things at a time is more maintainable and realistic and will be easier to do. This is how you can create healthy lifelong habits! Forget the all or nothing approach because even if you get where you want to be, going all in, it will be harder to maintain long term!
Today: choose one poor habit and change it slightly each week for the next four weeks. See what happens.
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