Practice not Only Makes Perfect but Permanent


In our previous post, we encouraged you to decide what unhealthy habits you want to “ditch” and which “new” ones you want to form after reaching your goal weight. This is worth repeating because it could mean the difference between another failed diet or permanent weight loss emanating from a lifestyle comprising a nutrition-rich reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.

When it comes to eating, most of us have developed bad habits. The good news is that even if you’ve had the same eating pattern for years, it’s not too late to create new habits. Forming new habits requires a thoughtful approach in which you reflect, decide, replace, and reinforce.

We have all heard the adage that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. However, mounting evidence confirms that it takes much longer to cement it. Learning a new behaviour will create a neural pathway in the brain known as neuroplasticity. This means that in forming new habits, you rewire your brain. Indeed, it takes 21 days to create a neural pathway, but it takes approximately another 40 days to cement it into a stronger impulse that will make it easier to stick to the new habit.

Two practical tips—do not indulge in how much you enjoyed the old habit, but concentrate on the benefits of the new habit. Secondly, strive for progress, not perfection! Every hour you have been successful is an hour closer to a more permanent lifestyle. Therefore live from minute to minute, hour by hour, day by day, until the new habit becomes a reality.

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