For our third, and final, installment this week of how to avoid sugar, we are going to look at developing habits. The more and more our food industry becomes processed, the more sugar is being added to our food. This makes avoiding it harder and harder. Eating is often times a habit. It is something we do every day, usually around the same time. We don’t usually think much about it and eating is a regular part of our routine.
As such, eating unhealthy, high in sugar, food is often a habit as well. While it may be a bad habit, it is nonetheless a habit. Therefore, we have to stop this bad habit. As we explained further HERE, in our series on habit forming, it isn’t enough to simply try to replace the bad habit.
In this post, we are going to talk about how to form a better habit.
Pick your new habit
When you are trying to end the bad habit of grabbing sweet treats every night before bed, pick to new habit. Maybe that new habit will be to take a 30 minute walk. It doesn’t really matter what the new habit is. Start by picking something you want to do. This new habit should help you reach your goal of reducing your sugar intake. If you are walking outside for 30 minutes, you aren’t in the kitchen grabbing a handful of chocolate.
Make it super easy
Now that you have your desired new habit, break it down to something super easy. Most likely, it is easier to go grab chocolate than it is to go for a walk. Therefore, you need to make the action easier than heading to the kitchen. Maybe you start with going to your bedroom and putting on your walking clothes.
Here, the action is the same. You are getting up from the couch to go to another room. You are simply going to a different room, i.e. not the kitchen.
You need the ability to do it
When you are deciding on a new healthier habit, you need the ability to do it. Make sure you have the time for the new habit. Do you have the physical and mental skills for the new habit?
You don’t want to pick a task that requires too much change to your life. If you want to replace eating a sugar snack with painting a picture, but you don’t know how to paint, you new habit won’t take hold.
Set your prompt
Finally, set a reminder. You can use anything for this reminder. We all have a phone near us. It is almost guaranteed that the phone has a reminder app of some kind. So, set a reminder each night after dinner to for a walk.
As long as you don’t ignore the reminder, you are all set to go for the walk instead of head to the kitchen.
We’ve tried to give you all kinds of ways to reduce your sugar and sugar cravings in this series. When the other tactics don’t work, change the habit. Pick a new action, make it easy, set your prompt, go to it.