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Habitual Behaviors and Weight Control

Here are some definitions of “habits”:

“A settled tendency or usual manner of behavior”

“An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary”

“A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance”

Based on these above definitions, would you say that some of your eating/drinking behaviors are “habitual” in nature?  Do you find yourself regularly pouring several alcohol drinks a night?  How about heading into the pantry for a nighttime snack at a certain time?  Do you have a regular pattern of eating crunchy/high caloric foods while watching a sporting event or show on television?

We have heard the statement previously that we (humans) are all “creatures of habit”.  To an extent, this applies to pretty much all of us.

Take a step back and write out the behavioral patterns that you engage in that may be considered “habitual”, focusing on those that are detrimental to your weight control efforts.  When you write out this list focus on those behaviors that are the most glaring in their negative weight control impacts and then take the steps needed to change these habits.

There are some “good” habitual behaviors for weight control such as exercising daily, carrying around a water bottle to ensure lots of water intake, writing out shopping lists before heading to the store, etc.

Breaking habitual behaviors is not an easy task but this is a necessary part of a successful long-term weight control outcome.

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