At least 2 out of 4 running days, I run on the treadmill as it is easier for me to drop off my kid at the YMCA childcare where she can run freely and enjoy the company of other children. I have taken my youngest one on long stroller runs before but she is reaching an age when she just wants to be continuously on the move, so I don’t want to take the risk of having to cut my run short. This past week I was listening to an old episode (posted in Sept 2014) by one of my favorite running podcasts, the Marathon Training Academy about “Harnessing the Power of Habit” based on the book “The Power of Habit – Why we do what do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg, which is on my reading list for this year. I thought this is what I could try to break my bad habit of selecting the wrong type of food when I snack at night. At first, I considered to banish nighttime snacking altogether but that was not really the issue. In fact, I read a recent article on www.stack.com, regarding this topic that what matters is the selection of food rather than when the food is eaten.
The podcast episode talked about the habit loop which consists of a cue, a routine and a reward. To change the bad habit into a good habit, I need to change the routine, figure out the cue and determine the reward. As for my case, my bad habit is picking a carb-loaded snack i.e. pita chips (something crunchy) with hummus as the routine. The cue is still the same – it’s right after my children are tucked in bed when I feel I need something to eat. My reward is still satisfying my hunger but without the guilt since I know I ate something that was good for my body. It sounds quite simple to just pick a healthier snack such as fruit with cottage cheese or a handful of nuts, but it does require willpower. So I will be taking baby steps to change my habit starting tonight! It’s 10pm and I might have a snack – something crunchy….