The first step is to make sure the habits are ingrained. So whether you have a gastric balloon or not, these three tips will help you integrate healthier habits for a lifetime.
1. Don’t try to do everything at once. Start with one small habit, like drinking lemon water in the morning or drinking 2 cups of water before dinner every day. Work it until it becomes natural, until it pops into your head spontaneously, the way tooth brushing or flossing already does. Then move on and add in your next, modest behavioral change.
2. Connect your new habit to something you already do. Let’s say you want to eat a salad every day at lunch but you never have time in the morning to prepare it. Connect it to something you do at night. Say, “After I put on my pajamas, I’ll cut up veggies for lunch the next day.” Putting on your pajamas is something you already do. So this just connects your new behavior to something that’s already a well-established behavior.
3. Visualize the process, not the result. See yourself doing the actions involved in the new habit. Picture yourself at the grocery store checkout lane buying lettuce, carrots and peppers. See yourself standing at the sink in your pajamas, reaching for a plastic container to put your lunch salad in. This is much more effective in getting you to successfully change a habit than fantasizing about yourself in clothes that are several sizes smaller. That fantasy is fun too, but it’s less likely to get you to change a specific behavior.
Try these tips on a single healthy habit you’d like to adopt and see for yourself how much easier it is to adopt a new, healthy habit toward your goal of a healthier lifestyle.
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.