Getting Real about Changing Habits

There are two articles on the Whole9 Life website that discuss habits: The Cue and Willpower. This is a particularly timely assignment on the nutrition program for me as I have been struggling with cravings again now that I have moved and am now living with my fiance. Before I started this program I cleaned out my kitchen so that there were no off-program foods to tempt me and that worked well. Now there are off-program foods in my kitchen again. Additionally until the nutrition, it had been a habit of mine to always have ice cream after dinner when my fiance does and I love ice cream. I thought I had broken that habit because I was not craving sweets after meals lately but I guess I still have much work to do.

The first article states that “understanding what’s behind a habit is the first step.” Also according to the article, “there is a simple three-part loop at the core of every habit: the cue, the routine, and the reward.” Most of my cravings are in the evenings after dinner. I generally want something sweet either immediately following dinner or within an hour or so. This is strictly a habit as I am normally full after dinner. For the nutrition program, I have resisted eating anything after dinner since I am not hungry and what I want to eat is not on-program. It is particularly bad after a stressful day. I have found that I can have a cup of hot tea and get the same relaxing benefits. The desire for something sweet after dinner does not seem to matter whether I am alone or not but it does surprise me that I find it easier to resist when I am with others especially someone who knows that I am following this program. When I am alone it comes down to my own willpower and desire to follow the program.

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