Habits

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How much of what we do is habitual…particularly when it comes to our diet? A habit being a pattern of behaviour that often occurs automatically.

I always thought that it took 28 days to form a new habit, so by now after 57 days on the Dukan Diet, I should be well and truly in the habit of eating Dukan friendly foods….not eating carbs or drinking alcohol, etc.

I decided to do some reading and came across an interesting blog post about the topic, and according to the research it is not as clear cut as “28 days”.

One of the main points of the article is that the length of time required to make a new habit varies on whether it is a simple or complex habit….All in all, we would be looking at an average of 66 days to form a new habit.

Another interesting fact is that missing single days does not reduce your chance of forming a habit (thank goodness for all of those small hiccups along the way). However for the best chance of success in forming a new habit, it is most important that repetition is followed in the early phases. So for all of the people out there beginning the Dukan (or any other diet) Stick At It as best as you can for as long as you can without any slip ups and you will have the best chance of changing your eating habits in the long run.

I am beginning to feel like this way of eating is becoming a habit, not so much that I am choosing Dukan friendly food, rather doing it automatically. I am finding situations with lots of unhealthy choices easier to manoeuvre…so I hope that soon I can say that my food choices are made out of habit, and I will have changed who I am for the better…for the rest of my life!

Lauren.

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4 responses »

  1. I am still in the bad habit of eating when bored. Which is ok when it’s dukan friendly but I would simply rather not. I am also proud to say exercise has become habit which is really great for me. I get irritated and need to get out even for 15 minutes or so. I know it takes a short time to get out of a harder habit especially if it’s not something you really like.
    Very interesting thanks Lauren

  2. I’m with you – picking the right foods has become a habit, but my old habits of thoughtlessly picking high-sugar, high-carb, high-fat foods and bingeing on them are dying hard. I can suppress the actions that come from those impulses, but the impulses are still there, unfortunately.

    The exercise, on the other hand – that’s become a habit. If I’ve not had my walk yet, and it’s late at night, I’ll STILL go out for my walk. No guarantees that this will continue through into the winter icyness, but one can hope!

    Interesting article, thanks for the link!

    Charlotte x

    • I feel a similar way Charlotte, that’s why I said I am beginning to feel like it’s a habit. I can’t really image a day where I don’t want what’s not allowed…but who knows, with will power it just might be possible 🙂

      Tam and Charlotte, I wish my exercise was a habit, like it sounds like it is for the both of you 😦 My excuse is time, and I know it’s an excuse….I could get up early but I really don’t want to give up any sleep. Maybe when Summer comes around it will be easier to get outside in the mornings.

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