Health & Fitness
Kicking Old Habits
There’s nothing wrong with almonds, but I can’t believe that I ate a
huge handful without even thinking about it. It’s as if my memory shut
down. I work hard to eat well and I carefully plan my meals. What
would Freud say?
Bill makes me these beautiful, eddible artistic breakfasts that I love
and thrive on. They start my day in a good way. I feel good about my
eating habits. So it’s surprising that I would eat mindlessly.
What’s going on?
I learned some interesting facts from a new book by Charles Duhigg,
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And In Business.
Duhigg explores the science behind habits and he describes the three-
part process of forming habits that he calls “habit loops”, a cue or
trigger, a routine and a reward.
No memory or thinking required!
It’s as if my old habits come back to visit every once in a while,
especially when I’m tired and see a trigger food. An old routine kicks
in and rewards me the way it did when I first developed the habit when
I was a kid.
Fortunately, habits are malleable and we can create new ones. But it
A part of the brain called the basal ganglia, plays a key role in
rewarding the pleasures of old habits.
The planning and decision making part of the brain, prefrontal cortex,
is overpowered by the basal ganglia. So it's easier to fall back into
old patterns that are automatic.
A new habit such as eating fruit for dessert or a salad with meals can
Studies show that it takes about two months for the new routine to