Establishing New Habits for Your Low-Carb Lifestyle
Episode #10 of the course Basics of low-carb eating by Emily Stone
Let’s recap how to switch to a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle:
Step 1: Recognize that the mainstream nutrition advice you’ve heard all your life is actually a recipe for weight gain and disease.
Step 2: Decide to do something about it by embracing a new way of thinking about, planning, and enjoying food.
Step 3: Learn practical strategies and recipes for switching to low-carb, high-fat eating and begin implementing these.
Now we are at Step 4: Establish and maintain new habits that will keep you on track.
What Kind of Habits?
Each person has their own habits surrounding food and drinks. For example:
• Starbucks vanilla latte on the way to work
• ordering pizza for dinner every Friday
• having a beer with/after dinner
• reaching for chocolate when stressed
• grabbing a diet soda from the break room a few times/day
Identify the habits that could keep you from making optimal choices, and decide how to replace that behavior. If you enjoy your trips to the break room to get up from your desk, then stock the fridge with sparkling flavored waters for yourself, so you can still make the trip but grab a healthier choice.
Use Proven Strategies
The bestselling author on human nature and happiness, Gretchen Rubin, wrote Better Than Before, which includes 21 research-backed strategies for habit change. Here are a few of the strategies that can help you stick to low-carb eating:
Convenience. If something is convenient, you’re more likely to do it. If there’s a low-carb snack in your desk, you’re likely to reach for it when you feel hungry.
Inconvenience. If you choose a route home from work that does not contain your favorite fast food restaurant, you’ll be less likely to pick something up.
Abstaining (or Moderating). For some people, it’s easier to abstain from something altogether (can’t have just one bite of cake); for others, abstaining makes them want something more, and moderation will lead to better results. Figure out which type of person you are and set your expectations accordingly.
Clean Slate. It’s easier to start a new habit when reminders and environments of past behavior are erased. This can be accomplished by a deep cleanout and restocking of fridge, freezer, and pantry.
Accountability. If you are the type of person who is more likely to stick to something when others hold you accountable, enlist a partner to go low-carb with you or hold you to your goals. However, if you know you’re less likely to do something if others know about it, keep a low profile on your low-carb switch for now.
Bringing It All Together
Mainstream nutrition advice is slowly shifting away from the long-held myth that fat is bad and carbohydrates should dominate our plates. That’s great, but in the meantime, more and more people are fighting a losing battle with their weight and moving toward (or already dealing with) serious diseases. What we put in our bodies for fuel has a huge effect on our health. At least with the correct information, we can be empowered to make choices that will prevent or mitigate disease.
You’ve learned how to identify quick-digesting carbohydrates and replace these with slow-digesting carbohydrates and healthy fats. Unfortunately, quick-digesting, sugar-filled foods and drinks are everywhere, but with some planning, pantry restocking, and habit change strategies, you have the tools to successfully upgrade to a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle.
My hope is that this course is just the beginning and you are able to use the recommended resources to learn more about the science behind nutrition, recipes that suit your tastes, other people’s experiences and more. You may be surprised to find out how many people are making the low-carb switch and loving their results.
I wish you the best on your low-carb journey!
From my kitchen to yours,
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits—to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life by Gretchen Rubin
Share with friends