You have indicated that you would like to receive tips, advice and motivation about weight loss.
New healthy habits
It happens again every year. New Year’s resolutions. Exercise more often. Eat more vegetables. Sleep longer and better. Rather be with yourself and others. And every year only 25% of people manage to last 30 days. And after that? Only 8% sticks to their New Year’s resolutions for a full year. That’s not a lot. But I have good news for you. You’re going to do better. We don’t have to wait for the new year either, you don’t even have to wait for the following Monday.
No, you can start NOW. And we’re going to help you to make it manageable. In this step we’ll take a closer look at our behaviour and how we make it easy for ourselves, so we can successfully develop new healthy habits.
Everyone has decided at one time or another to start new healthy habits. It doesn’t matter whether that’s working out, eating healthier or sleeping better. It often remains difficult. First of all, what is a habit?
“A habit is a pattern of behaviour that goes (semi) unconsciously.”
There are many varying estimates of what percentage of your behaviour exists of habits. Between 40% to 95% of our behaviour consists of habits. That is behaviour that we do (almost) automatically. If you take a standard route to work or school, day in day out, you often do it on autopilot. Maybe you recognize that feeling. You go to work and suddenly you are there. At no intersection did you really think about where to go. Your hands and legs did everything automatically and your eyes stared glassy forward.
When you start a healthy habit, it often takes effort at first. One of the healthiest habits we learn from a very young age is brushing our teeth. Just think back to when you were a kid. Or maybe you now have children of your own and you experience it every day. You didn’t like it at all in the beginning. It was a struggle for your parents and now maybe it’s a struggle for you with your own children. But you now automatically pick up the toothbrush when you walk into the bathroom in the morning or evening. It will not cost you any energy to maintain this habit.
That’s a good thing, because if you had to think about everything, it would cost you a lot of energy. And we are programmed in such a way that we like to save energy. Ultimately, of course, it’s about efficiency. We want to achieve our goals and put as little energy as possible into it. That doesn’t mean no effort at all, but we don’t want to waste energy either.
This is also the reason why it is a good plan to develop healthy habits. Once you have learned and mastered them, they form the building stones for your healthy lifestyle. It is crucial that you do not make it too difficult for yourself.
“The first focus is on creating the habit and not perfection right away.”
Okay… an example:
You are not eating enough vegetables. Maximum 1x per day with dinner, hardly about 3.5 oz. And some nights, you skip the veggies altogether.
If we follow the guidelines of the National Health Service, we want to eat at least 9 oz of vegetables each day.
You add an extra vegetable snack in the afternoon of 1.5 oz . Make it as easy as possible. So choose vegetables for which you hardly have to do anything and you can eat raw such as carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, radishes, celery, tomatoes, etc.
You have successfully added the vegetable snack in the afternoon.
Options for the next step: You can make the vegetable snack a litte bit bigger. You can increase your vegetable portion in the evening. You can add a third vegetable moment to your day, for example by adding mushrooms or tomatoes to your scrambled eggs in the morning. Choose the option that you prefer. This will make it the easiest to do consistently. This of course applies to all the healthy habits you want to integrate in your lifestyle.
If you want to get in shape by running and eventually run a marathon, you don’t immediately start running 10 miles. Depending on your starting point, you may start with a 5 minute run and then 1 minute of rest, repeating four times. You do that every Tuesday and Thursday for a few weeks until you realize you can handle more and then you do a little more.
If you want to start a new habit, make it easy.
If we take a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is almost impossible and 10 is super easy, we want to bet the habit on at least an 8 or a 9. This ensures that you can easily build momentum.