Can Habitual Behaviors Be Broken?

One of the many aspects of human nature is our tendency to fall into certain habitual patterns of behavior. Some of these habitual behaviors are forced upon us, such as setting the alarm clock every day to get up and go to work on time. Other habitual behaviors are by choice, such as coming home after work and having 2 glasses of wine.

Habitual behaviors are not difficult to break when they are not deemed pleasant, pleasurable or fun. Going back to the alarm clock set for work example, if you were to hit the lotto and not need to go to work anymore, not setting the alarm every day would be quite easy. Now, turning to the post-work wine relaxation thing, breaking this habitual behavior is very difficult because the affected person enjoys engaging in that habit.

Concerning weight control, some HBs (sorry…I am tired of writing “habitual behaviors”, but darn, I just wrote it again explain the HB thing) are productive for weight control efforts such as hitting the gym 5 times a week, writing a shopping list before going to the store, etc.. However, other HBs worsen weight control, such as my HB of going into the pantry every time I come home for work to get the cat food can and find myself digging into cookies conveniently placed in that pantry.

Take some time to evaluate whether you have any consistent, habitual behaviors that are derailing your own weight control efforts. Are there actions you take frequently and predictably that continue to interfere with your ability to lose weight? Write these HBs down, examine them and plan a strategy as to how to break them.

We have all heard the term “creatures of habit” and there is no doubt that our HBs do impact on weight control and they CAN be used for our betterment as opposed to the detriment.

Author
Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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