Hab·it– a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

Almost all human beings are creatures of habit. Even if your habit is to be habitually random. So the trick to conquering bad habits in my opinion is not to cold turkey quit but more along the lines of replacement. There is a reason nicotine patches come in stages, so you slowly diminish your need for the habit. Tackling a food habit is really no different.

Get some paper, I want you to write down the 5 worst habits that are keeping you from reaching your health or fitness goals. Dig deep, look yourself in the mirror, and for Pete’s sake be HONEST!

Now everyone is different in the steps it takes to conquer your demons. So for today we are going to say 5 steps is what it is going to take us. That is a little extreme but I am going for worst case scenario. This was me several years ago. The amount of time you spend at each step should have an end date. Don’t open end a goal, it’s setting yourself up for failure because “what if” rarely shows up. While Pop is my habit here we also need to figure out the end game, which is water, which I really don’t like to guzzle all day long.

Step1..The Problem: The problem is diet pop, which let’s face it, with what we know about diet pop you might as well be drinking a regular pop. Diet pop drinkers are more likely to have mid-section extra weight. Our bodies also don’t quite understand how to process the diet part. So it in turn, goes into a sort of defense to get it out of our bodies.Which causes more problems.

Step2..Finding out first step off the pop. This may be cutting down or replacing it with something else. For me it was replacing it with sweet tea. I didn’t quite suffice the carbonation effect but I am equaling the sugar and caffeine effect. Now yes we have switched from zero calorie artificial sweetener to actual sugar but our bodies know what sugar is and how to process it. (For time sake I am going to give myself 14 days at step 2)

Step3.. I am now able to survive without a pop, yeah I have replaced that habit with a big ol Southern Sweet Tea. My next step is Half Sweet/Half Unsweet. I have never been a salt craver. It is always sweet when I crave it, so this is something I still have a hard time with. It all comes down to making a conscious decision that this is what I know is best for me.

Step4.. Flavored Water. I am not a huge fan of lemon. So going out to eat is the time I struggle with this the most. I have also found it need to be ice-cold before I can drink water.

Step5.. Finding the right water. Everyone’s taste buds are different. To me the only bottled water I actually want to drink is a smart water. I don’t know why but to me it just taste different.

Now does this all mean I can never have a pop again? Nope, but I will tell you that pop you think you love and need, before you know it you won’t crave it and when you do have it the taste isn’t the same. So one every now and then will be fine to you. I would take this approach to any bad diet related habit you have. Maybe pop isn’t your nemesis, maybe Eileen’s Cookies is what is causing your jeans to expand triple fold!  Either way YOU CAN DO THIS. As always I am here to help! Let me know what your bad habit are so we can build them into healthy habits!

Happy Reading H