Brain, Health

Habits and cravings are very powerful, which is why creating healthy eating habits from the start is crucial. Eating habits are merely a result of repetition. By doing something over and over again, it becomes ingrained into our brain and therefore becomes a norm.

Put in other words, a habit is a creation of various strong connections. We need several connections to create a habit.

It works like a puzzle. Often when we talk about eating habits we associate them as being unhealthy habits, which is not always correct. Habits, whether they are good or bad, are formed in the same way—through repetition. 

From a very early age, our brain is able to make easier and faster connections when there is an emotion involved. These experiences, whether positive or a negative, lead us to create goals. If we have an experience with a positive connection we want to feel that repeatedly. 

Saturdays were my favorite days because they were the only day of the week when my dad stayed home. We played in the small pool he built us, we talked about everything, we watched tv, and at the end of the day, after our weekly shower, my brother and I raced the big couch cushions up and down the hallway and my dad was the referee. Happy memory + Healthy habit.

Creating a healthy habit works in the same way. If we see the new habit, embody the new habit, and create the emotional connection with the new habit.

Practice exercise.

  • Think about one habit you want to change.
  • Write the new habit down in a post-it note and hang it on your fridge.
  • While practicing the habit for the first time, think the whole time of a happy memory.
  • Your mind needs to feel that you are enjoying the new habit. Make sure it happens during a relaxing time for you.
  • Repeat for one week.

Even the most challenging habit will turn into fun if you tricked your brain into having joy during practice.