Breaking a Habit [Reading Time 2 Mins]

Human beings develop habits quickly but find it extremely hard to change them. Simple things like which sock you put on first, left or right, can unknowingly form a pattern. Therefore, when we attempt to alter our food habits, we struggle immensely and more likely fail. Patterns of our experiences are etched in our neural pathways. For example, the stimulus, say eating an ice-cream, and reward, the pleasure you get from the sugar high, create a positive feedback cycle. You will find yourself craving an ice-cream at about the same time every day as the mind and body seek that pleasure cycle.

I craved bread. It did not matter in what form. I could run through a loaf in no time at all and repeat the cycle at every meal. As I began my journey of changing my food habits, I thought it would be impossible to break my craving for bread. I even promised myself that when I completed the first ninety days, I would reward myself by eating a whole loaf of bread. It has been over eighteen months now, and I have not had any cravings.

To break a habit, especially a food induced cycle of stimulus and reward, you need to break the habit continually for fifteen days. Breaking the habit means no cheating, no holiday, not even eating bread because it was served at communion in your neighbourhood church. Once you cross the threshold of fifteen days, your body will detox, effectively no longer craving the food.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.