Friday, December 11, 2009

MYTH – Changing habits is “as easy as pie”.

Answer: Busted.

For those of us who have made the same New Year’s Resolution for several years in a row, we KNOW how hard it is to change our habits—regardless of what they are. Changing a habit takes determination and practice.

Of course, the first step in changing a habit is deciding which one to change and then go from there. December is the perfect month to really think about what habit we want to change in 2010. As an added bonus, this month gives us time to practice a bit before settling on a specific resolution.

Let’s consider making a resolution to lose some weight next year. In thinking through what needs to change to lose weight, three ways come to mind—changing what we eat or changing our physical activity or both. If we think about losing weight as something we are going to buy (like a major appliance), maybe we should think about what “appliance” will work best for us, how much it “costs” and will it give us the “service” we want? Some example questions to help us decide which way to use to lose weight are: What will I have to do to make each of these ways work for me? What way “fits” best into my life right now? What way will give me the “best product for my money” (or, best weight loss for my effort)?

The holiday season is a great time to practice changing eating behaviors. Some ideas to experiment with include the following:
· When taking food to a party or office-gathering, consider taking low-calorie snacks like vegetable trays. Put cottage cheese in a food processor or blender, add a bit of water and a package of flavoring for a lower calorie, more nutritious vegetable dip. Salsa is also a great low-calorie sauce to use with pita crisps.
· How about using a smaller plate? Research has shown that using larger plates results in more food being eaten. Take a few snacks and move away from the table. People who stand and talk by the food table tend to eat more than those that don’t. Mingle with everyone at the party—focus on the fun and the people, instead of the food.
· Watch those beverages! Drink diet soda, diet tonic water or a glass of water instead of multiple glasses containing calorie-loaded fluid!

Look for more hints next week!

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