What are habits?
Whether you realise it or not but 40-50% of what you do day to day basis is made up of habits. Habits are things that we do subconsciously without thought and are often due to a trigger. For example, we sit in the car which triggers us to fasten our seatbelts before driving off. We do all this without even thinking.
How do habits form
The science behind habits has 3 steps:
1. A trigger such as the time of day, place/location or your emotional state sends a message to your brain
2. This message results in the formation of an action that is executed in response to the trigger.
3. A positive signal is communicated back to the brain and we are rewarded with a positive mental or physical benefit
Overtime this feedback becomes automatic and so another habit is born.
Ultimately your identity is shaped by all your habits. If you can be aware of your triggers and habits, you can also look to implement strategies to change unfavourable habits that do not support your health and nutrition goals. This is where with tailored education and guidance from your dietitian, the magic really starts to happen to challenge your old identity. Enter the new YOU.
Dietitian Tips for Habit Challenging:
Our top five tips to get you thinking about habit changing are;
1. The brain can only handle a few changes at a time, so fix one habit before thinking about the next
2. Find a positive habit to replace the existing habit, this is the best way to successfully break a habit you are not happy with
3. Set specific actions or use cues to engrain the new habit
4. Be persistent with changing your existing habit and stay surrounded by your health professionals who will provide a sense of accountability as well as evidence based advice.
5. Once you have successfully changed a habit for the better, reflect on the journey and commend yourself for working on being the best version of yourself. This will keep you motivated and inspired to live a healthy lifestyle.