It's All About 'Habit'

Discussion in 'Very Low Calorie Diets' started by cah-ching, 3 November 2006 Social URL.

  1. cah-ching

    cah-ching Gold Member

    I posted this on my diary, but thought folks could benefit from it here too.

    I hope you don't mind.


    I think the key to this "Crazy Diet" is habit. Those who succeed, in my opinion, are those who are more predisposed to forming habit. Unfortunately I'm not one of those people - I think and analyse too much. Thus I have to consciously become systematic. A little anal I know, but needs must.

    I believe the reason why the diet gets easier in time is a combination of three factors:

    1) ketosis - physical change in the body that stabilises the blood sugar and eliminates hunger
    2) weight loss - psychological: you see the difference in your body or on the scale and thus your will-power increases
    3) habit - psychological the more and longer your do something the easier it gets.

    I think that "habit" or "routine" isn't something that is specifically mentioned. There are lots of lovely encouraging folk that say "don't worry, it will get easier", but no one has specifically broached the subject of "habit-forming" which I think is the most important of the three factors mentioned above (as the other two are residuals of habit-forming).

    It takes at least 21 days to form a habit. This means that you have to do something at least 21 times before it begins to become part of your everyday routine.
    So for me, my goal is to lose weight and in order to do that, I need to make a true commitment to doing so and in turn make a commitment to forming the "CD Habit".

    How do I do this?

    Setting the goal: My goal is to lose weight.

    Planning and scheduling how to do it: Decide exactly how I want to undertake CD i.e. SS/790 etc. and break that down even further. For me, that means halving my shakes and consuming them at exact times, for me that means having them at two hour intervals (8 (4) shakes per day - consumed with psyllium husk) wherever possible.
    Planning my water consumption is also important, for me that means bringing a 500ml bottle of water up to bed with me at night and consuming it as soon as I wake in morning, then drinking another 500mls in the car on the way to work, so I've drunk 1 litre before 8AM in the morning. I write down ever 500ml I drink, so I know where I am in terms of consumption. I temporarily stop drinking water at 3pm every day, so that I can drive home uninterrupted!

    Writing it down: writing down my goal and reading it every day: I post on here! Even my most inane thoughts and feelings are posted, sorry! If I'm doing well then I post thus enabling me to harness some of my previous positivity when I'm at my weakest.

    It takes 21 days to form a habit, and akin to what has been said here so many times, "don't let anything get in the way of your schedule". Those 21 days are the "wagon".

    The most hardest thing of all is: if you fall off the 21 day wagon, just get back on it, and start again as if nothing happened.

    Consistency and dedication is fundamental in habit forming and achieving.

    Once I've reached my 21 days on the wagon I'll be pleased, but the habit is only JUST beginning to form (it takes AT LEAST 21 days for a habit to form). One must continue until I do it, without even thinking about it, like driving!
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  3. Aubergine

    Aubergine Member

    I once heard on Radio 4 (so it *must* be true :)) that it takes up to three months to form a new habit but six months to break an old one. I guess the way CD or LL work plays to this psychological habit-forming trend by replacing old habits and allowing you to form new ones gradually.

    I hope it's 21 days in my case though. I could do with the early help.

    I know that one of the reasons I like CD is that I feel like I am breaking my old bad relationship with food -- it's like not seeing a boyfriend for a long time after a painful break-up and then (I hope) meeting as tentative friends.

    Food, I loved you but how I abused you!!!11!! :::exits dramatically with face like a smacked a**e:::


  4. cah-ching

    cah-ching Gold Member

    It takes 21 days at least beging to form a new habit. So your 3 months may not be wrong at all in terms of completely forming a new one.

    In terms of 6 months to break a habit - rather than look at it that way, turn it around on the positive. Rather than 6 months breaking an old habit, look at forming a new one to override the old one ;-) (takes much less time :D)
  5. pebbles

    pebbles Full Member

    When you brake a habbit, you feel guilty strest out, and lost, i love routine, and hate it when its broken.
  6. magickmel

    magickmel Loves VLCD's !

    Lighter Life and now CD
    Yes I think getting into your foodpacks and drinking the water is about getting into the habit. I like a bit of structure so I think that's why I get on with LL so well ! I don't go as far as having the same foodpacks at the same time or anything. I do vary the shakes hot and cold. But I agree once you're in the habit its so much easier
  7. bigbluefurrymonster

    bigbluefurrymonster Full Member

    Hi Cah-ching... this is a really useful post! I think habit forming definitely plays a vital role... and I wish you all the best with ur new "habit" ;)

  8. clairejen

    clairejen Lurker

    Good luck with the plan Cah Ching, you certainly seem to have thought this through.
    Don't think it would work for me, to me habit equals boring. Still I have managed fine for 23 days now and nearly at healthy weight (by my scales) so I suppose it is a case of whatever suits the individual.
  9. cah-ching

    cah-ching Gold Member


    For me the whole diet is boring - there is nothing in the way of scope for variety at all.
    Please tell me how you add variety to your diet?

    My routine enables me to make sure I drink my water litres. (my routine also incorporates muffins etc.)

  10. clairejen

    clairejen Lurker

    Hi Cah Ching,
    My days and evenings don't follow a set pattern so I have to play it all by ear a bit. I have to keep a chart of drinks to check off as I have each one to make sure I drink enough. As for the packs I make muffins, cookies and trifles with the sweet ones, and crisps with the savouries, but not to any planned schedule, just as I feel like it. Also the drink flavourings and bouillon add some variety. Quite often I am out in the evening so I have to rearrange meal times. But to me this is an advantage because going out and doing things (I have dance classes and show rehearsals) keeps my mind off food really well.
    I think we all have our own methods of living with this, it isn't the most fun diet in the world but it works.
    Perhaps the fact that I know I'll only be doing SS for another 3 days makes a difference too, I've been considering the future after CD more than the present.
    I do admire your dedication, I'm sure it will help you achieve your goals.
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