Saturday, February 9, 2013

Don't Just Drop Bad Habits...Replace Them!

Giving up unhealthy habits can be a struggle.  It's easy to feel deprived when you cut something out of your diet or your lifestyle.  Lately I've found that replacing an unhealthy habit with a healthy one makes things a little easier.  For me it helps to pinpoint what it is about something that makes me crave it....then I try to find a healthy alternative to replace it.  Most recently I replaced drinking a glass of wine (or two...) while spending some quality time with my DVR in the evening.  Now when I want to unwind at the end of a long day I do some relaxing yoga and drink a cup of tea...while spending some quality time with my DVR ;)  I was actually able to lose weight without giving up wine, but now that I have new goals my workouts are more intense.  I am consuming more calories now than I was when I was trying to lose weight.  In order to fuel my workouts I need to every calorie to be nutritious...which means there's not room for empty calories at the moment.

If you know that you have some bad habits that you need to eliminate, why not replace them today?  Here are a few tips to get you started...

1. Decide what habits you need to eliminate:  Are you going overboard with sweets, chips, going out to eat, or drinking your calories?
2. Pinpoint the craving or need those habits are fulfilling:  This is is key!  If you don't know what it is about your habit that makes it hard to kick, it will be very hard to replace. 
3. Come up with healthy alternatives that will fulfill the same cravings or needs:  This will be different for everyone.  Take a quick look through the pictures on the Fit From Scratch Facebook page or Instagram profile for some ideas of healthy alternatives for your food cravings.  If you still need ideas, feel free to message me on Facebook!
4. Give it some time...if it's not working....switch things up:  Bad habits have a tendency to kind of sneak up on us.  Once we've had them for a while it can take some time to shake them.  When it comes to food cravings it usually takes a week or two before the cravings really go away.  If you can make it through those first two weeks, the rest should be smooth sailing.  If you are still struggling after week one  it might be a good idea to switch things up.  You don't have to stick with one replacement for each bad habit.  It may take a combination of healthy replacements to satisfy the need that your bad habit was fulfilling.
5. Don't let one step backwards turn into a landslide:  You know that little voice that tells you, "'ve already eaten one cookie, so your day is ruined...might as well eat the rest of them"?  DO NOT LISTEN TO THAT LITTLE VOICE.  If you have a weak moment and take a step back that's okay.  Just don't allow that one step back to be the beginning of the end.  Try to figure out why it happened so that you can prevent it from happening again, and then move on.
6. Stay Positive: Your attitude is SO important!  Don't say, "I have no willpower"...."I'll never make it through the week"....or "I could never give up (insert unhealthy habit here)".  Believe that it is possible, and that you are capable of anything you put your mind to. 

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