By Marcie Seninsky, Program Manager, The TrueU Weight Loss at Advanced Endocrinology & Weight Management, Little Silver. Ritu (Malik) Anand, M.D., Board Certified in Endocrinology and in Obesity Management. 732-842-4111.
It’s time to make new habits.
A habit isn’t just something that you perform regularly. A habit is something you perform automatically, without thought. For example, every day, you get up and brush your teeth. Do you even think about doing it? You were never in the habit of brushing your teeth—you may have even given your parents a hard time about it, but now, it’s become a habit. We’ve all recently formed the new habit of grabbing our phone & taking it with us everywhere. We created that new habit using purposeful continuous repetition. Sometimes, we think that we have forgotten our phone, and then—oh—look—-it’s in our pocket! We automatically put it there! Habit!
Habits, or automatic responses also help us get through the day when motivation wanes. Repetition creates a mental association and establishes how you will react to a given situation. How long will it take to put a new habit into place? Some experts say 21 days, some say the average time is 66 days, so my take-away is to decide what you want to change or add into your routine and do it until it comes naturally.
So, how do we apply it to reach our “goal weight” or our health goals?
Oh—in so many ways. For example, before you go to bed, pack up your lunch and put it in the refrigerator so you can grab it & go in the morning. And do it again the next day, and the next. Are you planning to go to the gym? Keep your sneakers in your gym bag and arrange your gym clothes in “outfits” in your drawer (top, bottom, sports bra, socks & undies) so you can grab the outfit and pack it in your gym bag the night before. If your plan is to go to the gym after work, put that bag in the car the night before and change into your gym clothes at the office. There will be more of a chance of you actually getting to the gym!
We’ve all had those days where we talk ourselves out of going to the gym, or not preparing our healthy lunch to bring to work. When making a new habit, we may have to think about it at first, and then push ourselves to do something that we may not prefer to or have time to do however, over time it will become automatic.
When we keep our weight and health goals as a priority and we purposefully repeat new habits, we’re developing new automatic behaviors that we can count on to get us through the difficult times.
The key to forming a new habit is repetition —- practice, practice, practice!
Ritu (Malik) Anand MD’s medical weight loss program offers quick weight loss (3-7 pounds per week) while you’re learning how to think about food differently and making lifestyle changes in order to prevent re-gain. We are offering 1/2 off of our weight loss program joining fee if you get started in January.
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