Are We Creatures Of Habit?

We are what we do – Aristotle quote

Here is a definition of “HABIT:  A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

We all have habits that we pretty much exhibit on a daily basis.  This can range from what time we wake up to what shows we watch at night to who we speak to on a daily basis, etc etc.  

Looking at the definition of “habit” provided above, let’s focus on the last part of this, i.e. “especially one that is hard to give up.”  We, as part of our human nature, find it difficult to give up things that feel good.  The reason why we fall into habitual behaviors is because they tend to be comforting, controlled, non-threatening and make us feel good.

To a large extent, successful long-term weight control requires a change in habitual behaviors, such as:

  • Increasing protein intake and decreasing carbohydrate consumption
  • Finding more time to exercise
  • Avoiding nightly or weekly alcohol intake
  • Decreasing/eliminating night time snacking

The above bullet points, as well as many others that could be listed, are very “hard to give up”.  Yes, we can perhaps change these habits in the short term (also known as “dieting”) but long-term habitual changing (also known as “life-style changing”) is was more difficult.

Take a step back and bullet point your “habit list” as this relates to weight control.  Then, proceed to devise a strategy as to how to impact this in the long term to rid yourself of those habits that derail your weight control efforts and embrace the new habits that will support those efforts.

We are all, to some extent “creatures of habit”.   Changing habits is not an easy task, but it is a necessary one to achieve long-term health and happiness that weight control brings us.