Dr. Heather McKee's Evidence Based Insights

How to break a bad habit

Welcome to this month's Bite Sized Habits Insights.

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This month you learned:

  • Why looking at your nutrition with the same focus you would give a work project could be the key to your healthy habit success. Listen to the podcast episode here to learn why dietitians eat doughnuts
  • How to fail better through the top 5 ways to cultivate acceptance to keep you on track with your healthy habits. Read The Kindness Habit part 2 here. 
  • I also shared my top 5 research insights on social media about;
    • How to think of lifestyle change as an evolution,
    • The importance of action taking for habit change
    • A simple and mindful way to break a bad habit
    • Why you shouldn't be fooled by the willpower myth
    • Why we need to change the public health narrative on obesity (Links and insights below). 

May's top 5 research insights into how to build healthy habits that last:

1.       Breaking bad habits. A really insightful video on how by being mindful/curiously aware when performing a bad habit. That by turning toward our experience and really tuning in to what you are doing and how it makes you feel can help you break a habit (9 minute video).

2.       Habit change is a process. Don't think of lifestyle change as a resolution but rather an evolution. This great article from the American Psychological Society (APA) details how lifestyle changes are a process that take time and require support (3 minutes reading time).

3.       The willpower myth; Why the evidence is now showing that we need to move away from willpower and more towards engineering our environments to support our long term habits (11 minutes reading time - worth it ;)).

4.       Habits are formed through taking action. Education is not enough to change behaviour (30 second research abstract).

5.       New research suggests obesity should be seen as a chronic disease. It argues “that by simplifying the causes of obesity as unhealthy eating and lack of physical activity, these policies may be contributing to the belief that obesity can be solely controlled through individual behaviours. This belief is a fundamental driver of weight bias.” (4 minutes reading time).

Next week I will be sharing the next Bite Sized Podcast episode. In this episode Martin, a father of two, with a busy career managing his own thriving business, discusses the strategies he used to go from being sedentary and feeling low on energy to a healthy habit master. This episode is split into two parts as it is jam packed with really useful insights which I didn’t want you to miss out on. I know you will enjoy Martin’s powerful story and get some valuable insights to apply to your own healthy habits.

Subscribe to the Bite Sized Habits podcast here to get the episode as soon as it comes out. 

P.S. We are also looking for new Bite Sized Habits Podcast guests. If you would like some free coaching or have a healthy habit success story that you wish to share to inspire other listeners please email me

Published on 4th Jun 2018 at 08:00 by Dr Heather McKee

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The Bite Sized Habits Podcast is all about serving up bite sized, digestible evidence-based guidance from top health and behaviour change experts and some inspirational real life stories to help you to get the mindset for success and stay there.

What people are saying about The Habit Changer programme:

"You were put in my path for a reason. Over the course of our sessions a light bulb went off with me!!! That’s when it all changed for the better."
- Orla

"This programme is different from everything else you’ve ever done. It wasn’t just loads of advice. I liked learning and thinking about my goals – it wasn’t about someone else, it was about me specifically. We all know what we need to do, we need to exercise more and eat better but this was a different approach, it was empowering. Doing the programme was a light bulb moment for me, it became 100% obvious to me where I had failed in the past and what. I should do in the future. I feel so much more in control of my weight now but not only that I feel stronger, more relaxed and happier."
- Cathy

"It’s a different way of thinking a different perspective. All diets fail this isn’t a diet it’s different. It’s a lifestyle change it helps look at the behaviours behind why you eat rather than just solving the symptoms. It shows you if you take small but deliberate actions what the cumulative changes would be . I certainly feel positive I’m heading in the right direction. This isn’t a quick fix its looking at your motivation – changing your mindset and that helps change your behaviours."
- Colm


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Copyright ©2019 Dr. Heather McKee

Registered in United Kingdom (Reg. No. 12021384) with the registered address at Flat 4, 7 Enfield Road, London, N1 5EN, London, United Kingdom

This work is in no way meant to replace any medical advice. Dr. McKee is Non-HCPC-registered. Photography by Dylan Madden.

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