That’s right, it gets capital letters.
You just want to know how to make your eating habits better, break old habits, and how to easily make new ones.
Usually, if your new habit has something to do with unwanted eating, it’ll last approximately a week.
And that’s if you’re really dedicated.
That’s not because you’re weak, your goals are too ambitious, or that change is impossible. It’s just that habit change is damn difficult.
But not impossible.
New habits are big business
There are a lot of amazing blogs, books, courses, and TED talks about habit change – so many that you can spend all your time learning how to change your habits and never spend any time actually doing it.
You have the knowledge, but you need to take action to create change.
(If you want a little more knowledge + some kick-ass goal-setting worksheets, grab them free HERE)
Knowledge + action = change
I’ve got some different advice and tools for you, and these techniques don’t just apply to your eating. We’re going to cover
- needs, and
– the three things I think are key to forming (or breaking) any habit.
Mindset and new habits
First off, let’s talk about how you think about your new desired habit or resolution.
Too often, wanting new habits – especially around your eating or body – comes from a place of
- feeling like you ‘should’,
- or some other kind of ‘I’m not good enough as I am’ mentality.
And, of course it does. Why else would you want to change, right?
Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to get something by nagging, guilting, or manipulating someone into it – but it doesn’t work well. And, if it does result in action, it’s a pretty yuck experience for all involved.
Doing this to yourself is absolutely no different.
So yes, I get that you want to change your eating. Probably very badly.
But that’s all the more reason to love yourself into change.
Practically, what does this look like?
You have to change the self-talk and the story you tell about your eating and your desired new habit.
If your new habit is “I’m going to stop stress eating”, the talk behind that might sound like this:
“I HAVE to stop stress eating because I’m fat and unattractive and not good enough until I do… I just have no willpower. But, I’ll probably fail just like I did last time… and the time before that…”
It’s a story of pressure, failure, fear, and you’re halfway defeated before you even try to make new habits. No wonder it’s so hard.
Try telling yourself a story about how you’re going to change your diet and lifestyle to get healthy and love yourself up more because you’re worth the care attention.
It might seem like a silly thing to do, but trust me, by consistently changing your story and self-talk you will change your life.
This one is mostly about breaking old habits.
The thing about habits is: they fulfill needs. Very real needs that you have to meet – and that’s why they are so darn hard to change.
When you do away with an old habit, but don’t replace it with something new, it leaves a bit hole that has to be filled.
Usually by resuming the old habit. Bummer.
What can you do instead?
Take a good look at yourself, discover what needs your current habit is meeting, and devise a more positive way to fill them.
I’m not saying it’ll be magically easy, you’ll always meet with resistance. But, by consciously using new habits to fill old needs, you can take control of your eating habits.
If you’re interested in this, my book “The 7-day Emotional Eating Plan” is an awesome read.
Accountability for new habits
What gets tracked gets changed
It’s true. Just by keeping track of something, your behavior around it will change.
And if you’re TRYING to change, tracking is your new best friend.
I’m not talking about weighing yourself every morning and night. I also don’t mean you should invest in a Fitbit to monitor your every move. Or fastidiously log ever gram of food that passes your lips.
Those ways often just buy you a one-way ticket to failure-ville with a nice stop-over in crazy-town on the way.
What I mean is a relaxed system of tracking by which you can see patterns, barriers, and best of all: progress!
My fave way to do this is using technology.
New Habits – tracking apps for the win!
YouFood – a really cool visual food tracking app that really takes the stress out of keeping a food diary. It lets you takes photos on your phone of everything you eat so you can look back over your day/week/month and see what you’ve been up to. It also has a great community and really fun email newsletter you can sign up for – all for free!
Strides – An all in one goal and habit tracker with graphs, reminders, and more. It’s really easy to use, tells you tons of useful stuff about how you’re doing, and just looks so professional. Way of Life is an android alternative.
Habit Seed – not free (but super cheap). You tell it what you want to track, and over the next 21 days you keep a little seed alive and grow it into a (digital) tree by consistently achieving your goals. No, it doesn’t work so well for goals that you only do a couple of times week, and yeah the idea that it takes 21 days to build a habit isn’t true, but… you grow a little tree!
Need more help with new eating habits?
If you feel like your eating is out of control and something you struggle with ALL the time, you’re probably using food to fill the emotional gaps and just can’t seem to rein it in.
Check out the 7-day Emotional Eating Plan. You’ll get the tools, information, and resources you need to finally stop letting food control your life.
The 7-day plan is a 20+ page workbook (including tons of info) to help you plan a 7-day emotional eating intervention for yourself. You’ll learn why you eat, how to stop, and what you can do instead.
It covers mindset, needs, and accountability – just like we’ve talked about above – to support your new habits.