Breaking bad behaviors AKA Understanding the habit loop!! More tips from the top personal trainer in Leicester

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Simon Long

Simon Long

Simon is a highly experienced personal trainer and behavioural psychology expert
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All habits work in the same way. Whether they are positive or negative.
Every single one starts with a craving, which is followed by a behavior, and ends with a reward. So for instance lets say that your craving is for a distraction because you are bored, your behavior may be to eat a snack, which provides the reward of alleviating the boredom. Every habit works this way. You crave a reward, and so you perform a behavior that’s going to get it.

Positive habits work in exactly the same way. If you regularly work hard you may find that you crave the sense of accomplishment that comes from being ahead of your work load. And the behavior of working hard allows you to acquire this reward.

But how do you stop bad habits? Well one method would be to try to break the loop. To stop the craving of the reward. But this can be hard battle. Thankfully, there is another way. Keep the craving. Keep the reward. And just modify the behavior.

So for example, if your craving is to distract yourself from boredom, then instead of falling into the common tactic of comfort eating, watch a funny video on Youtube. If your craving is for the reward of tasting something sweet, instead of eating some Haribo, find a very sweet fruit to have instead. And so on.

Of course. This does make the task seem almost too easy. There is another step to it though. You need to first find where your habit loops are.

A tactic we use very successfully within the Body Vision app is to keep a temptation diary. It’s dead simple to do. All you need is make a note of four things every time a temptation occurs. First write what triggered the temptation (being out for dinner with friends), followed by what the temptation was for (sticky toffee pudding). Then note down your thoughts (If I don’t have a dessert I’m going to have to explain that I’m trying to lose weight), and finally your behavior (I ordered and ate the sticky toffee pudding).

After doing this for a week or two you’ll begin to notice patterns of triggers and behaviors. This lets you identify where your habits are. Then you can practice modifying them.

Good luck!!

If you want to get your weight loss journey supercharged then come and see Simon, Leicesters top personal trainer and weight loss coach. Book your free half hour consultation now!! Find out more at Personal Trainer Leicester