How to Change Habits for Good

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

3058-448583_burger_meal.jpgGood health habits and behaviors are the key to a long term healthy weight.

Do you ever feel that bad habits are holding you back from your goal?

It is not too late to change. Practice these few tips and you will be on your way to long term health.

5 Steps to New Habits

  1. Determine what’s holding you back. Are you making excuses? Do you lack planning for your grocery shopping and meals? Make a list of the habits you want to change and the reason why you have been unsuccessful in the past.
  2. Prepare to change. In a journal, write down how you are going to change that habit. Have you been drinking a lot of soda without thinking about it–out of habit? Maybe you have grabbed a snack without even thinking if you are biologically hungry. Prepare to become mindful about your choices.
  3. Set a timeline and begin those new habits! Create a goal with a start date and a realistic deadline.

    Set timers for your eating. Set forks down between bites. Rate your hunger on a scale of one to ten before eating. Find another stress, emotion, or boredom outlet like walking, a craft, or reading a book.

  4. Seek support for your changing habits. Find a friend who is working on similar behaviors, or join a support group (no matter if it is in-person or online). Food logs on phone applications or websites can help you stick with your behavior change.
  5. Journal and re-evaluate your progress. It helps to write down your progress–something that holds you accountable and keeps you mindful. If you have completed you goal, great, but you are not done! It takes continued repetition to create a new habit. Continue to revisit your goals to make sure you are staying on track and that your habit change worked.

Have you tried to change your behaviors? What have you found helpful?


  1. Jeff

    I completely agree that keeping a journal is the best way to drop some extra pounds. I have been using MyNetDiary and I love it! My diet is not the most conventional but I am losing a ton of weight eating the foods I love!!

  2. Bob

    Thanks for this incredible information. I struggled for MANY years with eating garbage, but I came to realize that when you eat bad, you FEEL bad….I was struggling a lot with Acid Reflux which was getting old fast!!

    I think once you commit to eating healthy, you start realizing that you start feeling better too! Great article!!

  3. David

    Good post ..thanks for sharing !

  4. Brent Cullen

    Great article with great information. Healthy eating is definitely a long term commitment . In order to eat healthy, you must be able to permanently change your eating habits and as you have stated and have set goals that you can realistically achieve and it tales a lot of hard work, but it will definitely pay off big for you in the long run.

  5. O.

    I’ve been trying. Lately when I get that uncomfortable feeling instead of heading for the junk food I get things like fruit, 100% fruit juice or ice pops, or a diet soda. So far it has delivered the pick me up I need.

  6. Spectra

    Some habits seem really hard to change, but if you make a conscious effort to make the change for several days in a row, it gets easier. Pretty soon, it becomes second nature. I used to be horrible about flossing and now I do it just about every single day.

  7. Stan Starsky

    Great tips…I think getting support is important, unless you have a lot of discipline it is hard to change habits with some support…great post.