Changing a habit (how to stop snacking)

Confessions of an addict

I have a confession to make, you see, I have been addicted to many things in my life, some good, some bad, but by far the hardest one to quit, was my food addiction. Yeah, addiction! Did you know that sugar is 7 times as addictive as heroin? You might want to laugh it off like it’s nothing, but what you should do, is take it real serious! Because food companies know this, and they make sure that their products have the right mix, to make you super addicted to it. They do it by making the perfect mix of sugar, fat and salt, the 3 things humans crave the very most, and in the right combination the most addictive substance known to man.

Breaking the habit

But all that is easy to say, how are we going to change it? First of all we have to treat it like the addiction it really is, and going with basic psychology, we first need to acknowledge that we have a problem in the first place. That is step one! Can you admit to yourself that you have a problem? Good, if you can’t, then you either don’t have one, or you are lying to yourself, figure out which one it is!

Now that we figured out if you have a problem or not, we can begin dealing with it. Don’t think that this is something we can just fix in 5 minutes and then we are done, very few things work that way. What we have to do is first to establish what kind of habits goes along with your addiction. Work out what situations, what thought patterns you have, and work out what your triggers are.

You should try and work them out into detail, like what is the exact time and situation that makes you want to eat? What are you doing at this moment, what is going on around you, what is your hands doing and what are you thinking about (besides food of course)? You see now we have a pattern and a pattern can be changed.

Changing the pattern

You have figured out the pattern, every time you are doing this, thinking about that, talking to this person, are on your own, or what ever the pattern is of interconnected events and systems. This means that you can now change that pattern, you can be aware of it, you can notice it, and you can do things differently. You can drive a different route home from work, you can clean up the cupboards at home for stuff you crave, you can talk to your family about what they can change to make it easier for you. There is so many ways of attacking this, and it will take some time to figure out the ‘right’ approach to succeed.

Trial and error

So now now that you have successfully changed your first pattern, guess what you can do? You can apply this technique to other aspects of life! The thing about this type of approach is, that it takes a huge amount of focus and awareness, so you can’t just go out and change your life over night, or during a month. It is a series of small steps, in fact so small that you will rarely feel them as a massive success. Through trial and error you will slowly change your life for the better, one day you will wake up and look back thinking how amazing this change has been.

Habits and patterns can not only be used to get rid of cravings, but can also be used for getting stuff done. I for example have a pattern I use when I am not motivated to go for my morning run, I gather all my running gear, put everything on, then when I finally tie up my laces, that is when I think to myself: “you already have everything on, so now you might as well begin moving.”

It works miracles, it get’s me out there even when I really don’t feel like it, when I am just tired, annoyed or whatever excuse I can find. Completing the pattern makes me run. It works. I believe in you, I think you can do it as well, so become aware of your patterns and change them. What’s the worst that can happen?

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