Adele has been in the press a lot recently. Mainly for the record-breaking sales of her new album 25. But also because she has lost weight. Her weight loss is attracting the attention of the press because of how she achieved it.
According to The Sun the singer said:
I used to drink ten cups a day with two sugars in each so I was on 20 sugars a day…. Now I don’t drink it and I have more energy than ever.
Adele also described eating more healthily and giving up alcohol and cigarettes.
Giving up tea is what has attracted the most attention. Maybe because it isn’t a familiar cut-out-carbs or calorie-counting diet. Instead it’s a change to an established habit. Reducing sugar intake by 20 spoonfuls a day is a significant change and interestingly Adele reports having more energy and generally feeling better. And it’s simply one specific habit change.
It probably wasn’t easy for Adele to give up tea, because changing a long-standing enjoyable habit takes effort. But for all of us, once we develop a new habit, we have done the hard work. I don’t know exactly what Adele did to make the change, but if you have a specific eating or drinking habit which you know is unhelpful to your weight or health, you can change it to a new habit so that your weight loss or health improvement will be permanent.
Appetite Retraining is all about changing one habit at a time, so that the change is easy to sustain.
If you have a habit you want to change:
- First, work out what you will do instead of the habitual behaviour. We’ll call this the new activity. Choose something you already find enjoyable or interesting and preferably something that occupies your hands and your brain.
- Identify the trigger(s) for the habitual behaviour, which could be a particular situation or time of day or maybe feeling a certain way. For example, if the habit you want to change is eating chocolate in the evening, the trigger might be sitting down to watch TV.
- Notice what you do between sitting down to watch TV and eating the chocolate. This might be walking towards the cupboard with the chocolate in.
- Put a reminder of the new activity between the TV and the chocolate cupboard (maybe on the cupboard door).
- When you go to get the chocolate but see the reminder of the new activity, go and do that. This will take effort and focus, but only briefly. Once you are engaged in the new activity, the impulse for the old habit will pass. And because the new activity is something you enjoy, it will provide an alternative reward to the chocolate.
- You will need to keep deliberately doing the new activity until you do it automatically. Research suggests that new habits take about 60 repetitions before they become automatic. And once they become automatic, it is easier to do the new activity than the old one.
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