The cluster of eating habits most negatively affecting you is:
You’re fighting a lot of cravings and wishing you had more willpower so you could stop slipping up. Once you fall into the sugar and junk food trap, it boosts your cravings for more and it’s really hard to drag yourself out again.
What you might not know is that your cravings are providing a sweet reward that causes craving habits to wire up and those habits are creating and amplifying your cravings. No fair! Each time you succumb, it hyper-stimulates the pleasure centers in your brain, which turns on habit wiring mechanisms and reinforces the habit. This means you’ll be much more likely to eat that same thing again without even thinking about it. And it fires up your sugar, salt and fat taste buds, setting their preference levels even higher, which is why vegetables might not taste as good to you (and you’ll unconsciously avoid them). Each blood sugar dip unconsciously sends you looking for foods that will boost energy levels again, which leads to snacking and soda habits and a preference for foods with hidden sugar in them, like power bars, condiments and most restaurant dishes.
Read on to find out what bad habits this causes + simple steps to break them
Watch out! These unconscious habits result in:
Slipping up over and over is really hard. It creates roller coaster ups and downs in your motivation. Eventually, this becomes demoralizing and leads to believing that you CAN’T do it, a state called low self-efficacy.
Eating sugar produces a blood sugar spike.. and then a big dip, which causes bigger cravings for more sugar. Dips also boost your appetite, reduce your sense of fullness AND they shut off willpower. Not a fun combo.
Brain Fog + Weight Gain
Nobody’s at their best after finishing the bag of Doritos. Feeling foggy and drained? Sugar and grease don’t replenish the body but they do trick it into thinking it’s had a meal. Oh, and they slow the mind down.
Your Personal Action Plan
Here’s where you should start to get some quick wins and begin disrupting this cluster of habits. If you do the following three simple things a handful of times, you'll start to see distinct results. If you do them over and over in the same context, they'll start to rewire your brain and become automatic. Make them a habit to transform your health!
1.Downgrade Your Treats
Sweet treats that are like sugar bombs are the worst. They don’t satisfy your craving for sugar - in fact, they prolong and intensify it. To start cutting down on your cravings, stop trying to prevent yourself from succumbing altogether and instead choose a treat that’s one step better for you than what you would have had. Try choosing something loaded with fat instead of loaded with sugar, which might feel less tempting but will satisfy your craving better. Or try stepping down the sugar content of your treat substantially and allowing yourself to eat more of it, which will feel good but reduce the total amount of sugar going into your body.
2.Avoid Your Triggers
Every time you crave something, it’s actually a habit with a trigger that kicks it off. If your cravings are getting the best of you, you need to map out your triggers and make plans to systematically avoid them. Most people want to boost their willpower but habit researchers know it’s far easier and more effective to avoid most of your triggers. You might not realize it, but the people who successfully stick to a healthy diet for years are not fighting cravings every day. They’ve found ways to avoid and reduce their cravings, and eliminating triggers is the best first step to doing this.
3.Get More Sleep, Seriously!
Lack of quality sleep is arguably the biggest cause of strong cravings. Missing out on sleep or keeping a schedule that shifts around a lot will directly fire up cravings for sugar and fat that are designed to nudge, cajole and manipulate until you eventually give in. It’s no accident that willpower is also severely depleted when you’re tired and doesn’t function properly. When your circadian rhythms are misaligned, your body’s digestion, energy production and restoration are out of sync, causing you to fall severely short of the energy you need just to make it through the day. To compensate, the brain demands the fastest, easiest calories it knows of- sugar and fat - and keeps raising the red flag until it gets you to do something about it.
One Key Skill to Master
Want to 10x your results? Recommended just for you based on your quiz answers:
Self-compassion is the single best core skill to focus on to get you through the ups and downs of willpower failures, slip ups and slow progress. Willpower failures are inevitable because willpower is unreliable (it doesn't function well or turn on at all on when you're stressed, distracted, tired or your blood sugar is getting low). Those are some of the most key times you need it! Without the skill of deep self-compassion, you’ll beat yourself up, have motivation swings and even quit along the road to changing your habits for good.
Did you know the most common time people quit their health goals is directly after a slip up or perceived failure? After you slip up, say to yourself "Wow, these cravings are really tough to resist. I didn't do so great this time, and it feels bad to have succumbed yet again. But I get points for trying hard, and double bonus points for not quitting, which many people do at this point. A kind friend trying to support me through this might say to me __________".
Kendra Markle, MEng
Habits Behavioral Scientist
Before you go crush your new habits, let me introduce myself..
Hey there, I'm Kendra!
I'm a behavioral scientist who's obsessed with how to make good habits and break bad ones. Can you tell?
I've coached hundreds of clients, patients and research subjects through changing their behavior with all the most fascinating tricks and methods that research has shown to actually work. I spent years in the habits research world learning all about what makes people do the fascinating things they do, how to change behavior by design and of course, all the best and worst health habits you need to master to level up your health.
I've seen it all.
I really enjoy teaching habit design techniques to sharp-minded people like yourself who are struggling to change their own behavior and just want to know what works so they can level up, improve their health and live with vitality and longevity.
I love habits because they're fun and easy, if you do them right, and they're straight up super impactful. They have the power to transform your life and your health. If you want to laser focus on easy changes that generate enormous results, you're in the right place.
I'm so excited you're here and I can't wait to help you experience the power of habits and the thrill of success with a new toolbox full of all the best ways to make good habits and break bad ones.
PS This is just the beginning..
I don't just want to tell you about how awesome habits are, give you a few tips and then get back to work. I'm here to help you through the whole process of taking your habits up to the next level.
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