Contrary to popular opinion, losing weight and keeping it off isn’t about willpower. Not really. Mostly today it’s about biology – our genetic blueprint up against an obesogenic environment. But there are people who successfully fight against all the elements of our food and environment that conspire to make us fat: people who exercise a lot every day and eat lower carbs, focusing on vegetables and protein. How do they do it when the rest of us are exhausted at the end of the day? Do they have incredible willpower to do the impossible? Research says the answer is not really. The answer is that they have made it a habit.
Creating Healthy Habits
Making something a habit takes time and it takes a plan. One has to knock down the barriers that make it harder to walk every morning, for example. And it means repeating the good thing, the morning one-hour walk in this case, every day until it becomes a habit. Daily behaviors become habits over time through repetition. But getting there means laying the groundwork so your hour is free from distractions, associated with the enjoyment of listening to your favorite music or podcast, and facilitated by always having your proper shoes and outfit clean and ready to wear. You have announced to your partner that this hour is sacrosanct. You have committed to walking the energetic new dog at this time every single day. You have promised that friend you will be at the corner every morning at the appointed hour.