Studies have shown that it takes 8 weeks to form a new habit, 66 days to be exact.
According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit," habits are not born but created. Duhigg found that habits are created by what he calls a "habit loop," a three-step process of forming a habit.
1. The trigger, this tells the brain to do something.
2. The behavior itself, or the routine it creates.
3. The reward, the pleasure you get from the behavior.
If you are aware of this "habit loop," it is easier to break old habits and CREATE new ones. You need to be mindful throughout your day because some habits are so ingrained that we don't even know we are doing them, like biting our nails while we work or snacking when we get stressed or nervous. Eight weeks is enough time to retrain your brain and create healthier habits.
So lets gets started!!!
Each week we will be adding a new habit to change or perfect!
Start Tracking your food
Increases mindfulness. Often times we forget everything we put in our mouths. Tracking helps you remain mindful of what you eat because you have to log it.
Provides you a better understanding of your current eating habits. In order to reach your nutrition goals, you need to know what your starting point is so you can make an attainable plan with steps to reach your goal. For instance, you need to know how many calories you’re currently consuming, from what sources, and what ratio of macronutrients before you can tweak anything to make progress towards your goal.
Informs you how nutrient dense your food is. Tracking your food helps you determine what foods are “worth it” for you to meet your goals/nutritional needs (after a few days, you may think, “Wow, those donuts from the breakroom are really difficult to fit into my nutrition plan and they aren’t that satiating. I think I’d rather eat something else.” It helps you realize what foods are inhibiting you from meeting your goals.
Holds you accountable. By logging, you are aware when you near your daily calorie limit.
Helps you balance your total calories and macronutrients throughout the day. By logging each meal, you can see how balanced your meals are and this can help you make better choices in the future or ensure you continue to make balanced choices for sustained energy.
Helps you reach your goals. Once you know the caloric density of your food, you can’t help but use that information for the future to help you reach your goals.
Gives you options. You can feel empowered that you have control over incorporating a variety of your favorite foods, in moderation, into your diet.
Allows you to plan ahead. Decide what you’re going to get at the grocery store while at home or pre-read the menu and log those foods in advance. If you aren’t able to do this, learn after you make a choice why it was good or bad (moving you towards or away from your goal) and how to improve your choice in the future.
How to Track Your Food
Track your food using the free app, MyFitnessPal (MFP). For specifics on how to use My Fitness Pal, check out their how-to guide.
or Cronometer, MyMacros+ or similar food tracking app.