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habit change



Six Reasons to Start Your Diet on Labor Day

I’ve been writing for Diets In Review for a while, but I just found out recently that Labor Day is the second biggest diet day of the year; I am assuming following New Years Day.

With the rush of back to school and getting ready for the holiday season, I did not expect weight loss to be a high priority for many people. As the weather cools off and we look forward to boots and sweaters and layers, I expected fewer people to be concerned with dieting.

While I am slightly surprised to find out that Labor Day is the second biggest diet day of the year, there are reasons why it makes sense.

Back to school time, at least for me, brings to mind fresh notebooks and clean slates. If you grew up thinking of each fall as a new beginning, then autumn might be the perfect time for a habit change for you.
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Tricky Marketers are Preying on Our Health Habits

Author Charles Duhigg has done some fascinating research regarding human habits in his new book, The Power of Habit. He has been attempting to open the public’s eyes regarding how many of our daily actions are simply habits, not actual choices. Due to this fact, he also points out how companies are cashing in on our routines.

A 2006 study determined that more than 40 percent of our actions are habits, not real decisions. That’s a large portion of our lives being governed for us. Duhigg wants people to view their situation and see how they can nurture good habits and lose the bad ones.

Duhigg created a three step process to explain the development of habits. The process is cue, routine, and reward. The process is explained by using Claude Hopkins, the famous ad man for Pepsodent toothpaste as an example. Hopkins helped create a craving that made toothbrushing a habit. The cue was unsettling tooth film, the routine was brushing, and the reward was clean attractive teeth.

Another case study example of how habits are recognized and then effectively changed into good habits is that of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Duhigg points out how the routine of drinking was replaced with meetings and companionship. AA has become one of the world’s most successful habit changing organizations.


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Healthy Food and Fitness Swaps for World Swap Day

January 21, 2012 is World Swap Day. Originally started as a way to reinvent shopping, it’s a movement that’s gaining national attention and seeing activity across the country. World Swap Day encourages all to share goods, food, clothes, toys, or many other items verses buying them new. Swapping will turn any unused items into things you actually need. Therefore, you don’t spend money and you don’t compile unused stuff around your house.

In celebration of World Swap Day, why not do some personal swapping for your health. Big results have come from small changes. For example, swapping fries for a medium baked potato saves you over 250 calories in your lunch and you avoid all unhealthy oils. Swapping is easy, and good for everybody.

Check out 10 easy swaps you can do to celebrate World Swap Day, and your health.
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A Surprising Tip to Combat Snacking

By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com

In a new paper by USC researchers, bad eating habits were shown to persist even when the food didn’t taste very good; but the best nugget of the study, perhaps, is the revelation of a surprisingly easy way in which to counter bad eating habits.

Researchers gave people entering a movie theater a bucket of either just-popped popcorn or week-old popcorn. People who don’t generally eat popcorn during movies ate much less of the stale popcorn, but moviegoers who indicated that they typically had popcorn at the movies ate about the same amount of popcorn whether it was fresh or stale. The conclusion: for people accustomed to eating popcorn at the movies, it made no difference whether the popcorn tasted good or not.

“When we’ve repeatedly eaten a particular food in a particular environment, our brain comes to associate the food with that environment and make us keep eating as long as those environmental cues are present,” said lead author David Neal, who was a psychology professor at USC when the research was conducted.


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5 Tips to Jump Start Your Health

By Dr. Mache Seibel for Care2.com

Ask a person if they want to stay well and in less than a nanosecond you will get a universal, resounding “Yes!”

Then ask if they eat healthy, exercise regularly, incorporate relaxation into their daily routine and get enough sleep. The response is much slower and the percentage saying, “Yes” is a lot lower.

Sure, people want to make changes to improve their health, but changing old habits for newer, healthier ones is hard work. For many, it seems almost impossible. Why else would the average person make the same New Year’s resolution 10 different years without success, or only one in seven people who have had a heart attack make long lasting changes to improve their diet or exercise habits? Don’t you think it is time to take responsibility for your own health?

The trick is to start simple. Small changes can make a big difference. Here are five simple steps you can start doing today to improve your health.


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