Bad habits die hard, they say. However with some help you can succeed in giving up the unhealthy eating habits you have, and at the same time, begin an exercise routine. Generally speaking, it takes about 21 days to break a bad habit and be safely on the road to redemption.
Your motivation must be clear, as that is what is going to keep you on the right track when times are hard. Think about the things you are missing out on by having those extra pounds and not exercising. How do you envision your life will be better when you are longer in the grip of poor food choices?
One good way to break the habit of overeating is to plan your meals ahead of time. When you plan, you are less likely to overeat by grabbing something quick from the pantry or going to a fast food restaurant. Also, be aware of what triggers your need to engage in the behavior you want to eliminate and prepare yourself in advance. For a little while, you will still have cravings for the unhealthy foods your body has grown used to. To help fight those cravings, you may want to stock up on sugar free gum to chew when the craving for something sweet hits you. Sometimes people overeat when they experience stress. Instead of heading for the refrigerator, try going for a mind-clearing walk outside.
Avoid situations that may lead to a relapse until you are strong enough to resist. Don’t go to restaurants where you know there are too many temptations, for example. Another good idea is having a ‘buddy’. Picking up the phone and talking to someone who is going through the exact same process and knows how you feel can give you strength. Knowing you will let your buddy down if you give up is another great motivator to breaking bad habits. Keeping a journal where you write down your thoughts, achievements and difficulties as well as tracking your calories is also a good idea.
Only try to give up one habit at a time, the effort is large enough to get rid of one, let alone two. Some habits may need professional help to break; if so, do not be too proud or scared to seek the help you need.
Take your journey one day at a time. The highest mountains are climbed one step at a time. Make short term day-by-day goals, and then longer weekly and monthly goals. Having a destination clearly in sight will guarantee your success.
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