Why It’s So Hard to Change Health Habits (and What to Do)

It’s hard to change your health because it’s hard to change your health habits. Even when you want to.

It takes time to formulate new habits as an adult. You have a routine way of doing so many things that have become almost automatic. 

 You shower and get dressed in a certain way. Maybe it’s the first thing and maybe for you, you like to have a cup of coffee first. You do your hair and your makeup in a certain order. Am I right? And you don’t even think about these things… until someone challenges you on them or asks about it. 

But when it comes to learning new information about your current habits that makes you consider a change… you’re forced to think. Now you have to choose. And you’ll have inner resistance. 

But it’s not just you. Women frequently tell me, “It’s so hard when my husband doesn’t want to eat that way.” I’ll hear, “I’ll be traveling so I’ll get back to it when I return.” “The holidays are coming, and I want to enjoy them.”

And all of these comments come from women who want to lose weight or feel better and know what they’re doing now isn’t working. So first, there’s no judgment in this episode. It’s not a preachy, teachy intention. How it lands on you may be different, however, and I’m sensitive to that, but can’t control it. 

If you want to change and are struggling -with internal or external resistance – then this may help. 

[06:40]

NO ONE ELSE HAS TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CHOICES BUT YOU 

Resistance to change is one of the hardest things we face as adults. As kids, we just had to make up our minds to do something but as adults, we have to change our minds. We’ve been forming habits for years. That includes our beliefs about the habits we have. The smallest of habits that seep into our daily lives, often have the biggest impact. 

It is just plain hard to change health habits.

How important to you is that coffee first thing in the morning? How much could your breakfast choice impact your blood sugar, muscle mass, and fat? Yet it may be hard to change if it’s something you’ve been doing for years… or even shorter periods of time.

Even if you’ve been doing it for just two it can be a challenge. I’d been drinking coffee since I was 19. I blame my sister-in-law and brother for getting me hooked on it. It had been a morning ritual for 35 years when I realized the benefits of matcha. Almost two years ago I switched to matcha and hadn’t had coffee for a year. I formed a belief that it was better for me, my gut, my focus, and even my skin. I researched the safest/screened/tested matcha available. Then though, I’m finding through daily testing of my blood glucose levels, that coffee brings less of a blood sugar spike. 

Even thoughts and habits formed in such a relatively short time (compared to 35 years!), it’s hard to change back. I’ve got this inner conflict going on. 

BTW, If you want to try a continuous blood glucose monitor too, enjoy $25 off your first month with this link. https://www.flippingfifty.com/glucose

 [09:24]

Change Health Habits with Less Resistance

There are a lot of feelings that can come up from our small habits. Sharing meals and a kitchen with others may feel like more resistance if someone hasn’t embraced the changes you want to make. Say, they still want to have junk food in the house or want ice cream in the freezer, and you’ve decided to “unprocess” your diet and are avoiding sugar and dairy. 

It may feel downright difficult if they’re sabotaging you. If they know you’re making an effort to get more protein in your diet to support your autoimmune disease and improve your insulin sensitivity, but based on their beliefs make statements like, “You don’t need that much protein.”

 Hot, Not Bothered challenge:

https://www.flippingfifty.com/hnb-challenge

 [10:35]

Whether it’s about: 

food you do or don’t eat

the time you do or don’t eat

the way you choose to work and live 

the relationship you have 

The only person that matters is you.

Is it working for you? Are you getting the results you want? Is there evidence you’re getting the measure of success you want? 

Recently this has come up around both work and nutritional habits. What we have to remember when we feel resistance from someone else, there’s a strong chance it feels stronger because you already have your own internal resistance. They’re just stirring it up. 

Again, if you can anchor into, is it working, you’ll be so much more confident and solid in your ability to stand your ground.

 [12:27]

Instead of a diet change, let me give the example of work. 

My values are not necessarily the norm of 9-5 work.

Freedom and flexibility are high values for me because the highest value I have is creativity. And that you don’t turn off and on. (Even though you’ve never seen anyone work more tirelessly on a project and finish on deadline or ahead. And if there’s something to be done and someone isn’t doing it, I will). 

Even though it’s the first measure of success out of college, I never really wanted to “have a job.” 

I was repelled by colleagues who couldn’t wait for spring break more than the students, during the first week of classes!

The idea of being in an office from x to x did not inspire me.

I am a creative.

I enjoy a project, putting a puzzle together with the best solution, and I like the feeling of accomplishment.

Ideas and inspiration fuel what I do and when I do it, and that’s an asset to be nurtured.

I give myself structure, with deadlines for content and appointments for interviews … and content creation. 

And the structure gives me freedom. 

 [14:48]

It’s Really Not That Different from Eating Habits

Similarly… with eating habits.

If you’re doing it one way and getting the results you want, be that exercising fasted instead of fed, or fasting through the morning instead of breaking fast in the morning… 

As long as you are living your best life and getting results… there’s no question! 

If you’re not, then we change it. 

I like to work for several hours in the morning. I’ve been this way since high school. As the annual editor, I would work on pages before school. I woke early for classes in college and did something similar. Even before those 8 am classes others dreaded, I was up early. 

But it’s odd to me that all others hear is that I’ve already been up working when they roll out at 7 and it feels like a “have to” for them.

People are going to put their own values and experiences about things on what others do. It’s hard to help it unless they’re conscious about it. 

If you order certain things at a restaurant and avoid others, others are often anything from a little threatened to a little curious. If they don’t connect weight gain, digestive issues, headaches, or joint aches and pains to food, there will be a disconnect with it being a choice for you rather than a chore for you.

They see it only as it is for them. It’s the only lens any of us have. So, they’ll offer their opinion. 

And… it’s none of your business. 

 [17:21]

What’s the Reason Why It’s So Hard to Change Health Habits?

 There isn’t one. There are dozens. But you can start by logically thinking about it. We feel certain things because of what we think. We can influence feelings with thoughts. And if we feel all warm and fuzzy, or excited about a new habit or an outcome from it, we’re far more likely to willingly go through the resistance to do it. 

If you’re trying to give up a food, do more high-intensity training, or start lifting weights… answer try these prompts to uncover how the way you think might impact the way you feel and that could be getting in the way of doing what you want to do: 

What are your thoughts about giving up dairy?

Write down your thoughts about high-intensity intervals: 

What do you think about the need to lift weights?

Resources Mentioned in this Episode: 

Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor: https://www.flippingfifty.com/glucose

10 Day Hot, Not Bothered Challenge: https://www.flippingfifty.com/hnb-challenge

Pique Tea (Matcha):

https://www.flippingfifty.com/matcha

matcha pique tea

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top

Get Notified On The Next Session

Just enter your name & email to be notified on the next training…

Flipping Fifty Logo