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How Long?

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Old 09-07-2007, 11:01 AM   #1
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Default How Long?

How long does it take the average person to get into new routines and break habits?

I've heard different things...

there is the "3 day rule" - if you can do something consistently for 3 days, its set with your body.

there is the "30 day rule" - you can change your eating habits in 30 days fully...

... what have you found? is there a standard?
how long did it take you to find that working out was second nature and grabbing a whole bag of chips wasnt a big issue for you anymore??
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:09 AM   #2
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Well if there was really a 3 day rule then I'd eat perfectly, be skinny, have perfectly flossed teeth and there'd never be a dirty dish in my sink. I can't believe that anything becomes a habit in 3 days.

The 30 day rule may apply to food choices. It certainly got a lot easier to make the right choices by the end of the first month. However, I'm not sure that exercise will ever be a habit for me. I do my 4-5 times a week because I know that it's good for me and because I feel guilty if I don't. It's been 3 1/2 months and I still have the "am I going to the gym today" discussion with myself everyday.

Sorry, but I don't think there's a magic moment when this gets to be easy. Easier maybe, but not easy. If there were then 95% of all people who lose weight wouldn't put it back on.

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Old 09-07-2007, 11:37 AM   #3
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i agree with Robin41,
Eating habits were easy( maybe it was because I have always loved water and fruit?), now exercise is another story. I still have trouble getting myself to exercise. This morning was one of them, I have to push myself to get up and go, it is really frustrating. Maybe when I am under the 200's it will be easier,but right now the only habit I have for exercising is excuses .

When I am at 196 lbs I will no longer have a BMI of an obese women.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:03 PM   #4
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I'm with the others. I've never known what people meant when the say it takes XX days to form a habit.

I think there is something to the idea of if you do something more often it gets easier. All the research in cognitive psychology backs that up. But that doesn't necessarily mean those old habits have been kicked to the curb. I didn't exercise regularly for nearly 40 years -- that's an ingrained habit for sure. I've been exercising for nearly 2 years now, and it's still a struggle to make myself do it. I have actual conversations in my head when I'm thinking of going to the gym "Yes, Heather, you're tired/overworked/too busy/achy/whatever to work out. But you need to do this and will feel better later." At least I listen to myself these days! Maybe in another 38 years...

What does get easier is knowing WHAT to do and how to manage different situations.

A lot of my daily eating is on automatic pilot (provided I stick with my plan). I know what to shop for, how to put together breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack combos, and even how to incorporate eating out into my plan.

While it's somewhat automatic (which may be what a "habit" is) that doesn't mean I can let it go on it's own. I have to be conscious every single day of what I'm doing or overeating easily (way too easily) sneaks in. Even overeating healthy food will stall weight loss, after all. And again, after nearly 40 years of NOT doing this... well, those old habits are waiting in the wings...

My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences

Last edited by Heather : 09-07-2007 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:12 PM   #5
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i think the generaly accepted time is 3 weeks not 3 days. but thats 3 constant weeks any slip up even once can put you off track so most people take longer. i.e hit the snooze button and sleep in 1 morning instead of getting up to train. this then tells your body everything is fine and normal and the last few days have been a freak.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:49 PM   #6
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Ive been at it for 2 full months now and its still not 'habit' to me. I have to make myself eat right and make myself work out. Yeah its easier than it was in the beginning but still its definatly not easy.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:30 PM   #7
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It takes me a good 3 MONTHS to form a positive habit....

and 3 seconds to form a bad one.
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:40 PM   #8
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I heard that it takes 30 days to get into a routine, or break a habit. but of course the longer you do it the easier and more natural it becomes

"Being fat is hard. Losing weight is hard. Maintaining weight is hard. Choose your hard."
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:07 PM   #9
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While doing something good for 3 days in a row is a great start, it's definitely not an end. I don't think it's good to think of things that way. "If I just do this for 30 days then I'm set!" not quite.

I will say that some of the food I used to like doesn't taste as good or it makes me feel ill. I think my body is telling me, "wait a minute, this is not the good stuff you've been giving me. I want THAT!" ... I can really tell a difference. And when it comes down to eating right and exercising, it's way easier for me to eat right. I have never really been someone who was into exercise. I like to sit on my butt and do artsy fartsy things, read, etc... not get up and run a marathon. So it's really hard for me to do exercise, because I can easily think of many MANY other things I would rather do.

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