Bad habits are like little devils that can stop you from reaching your fitness goals. It can be an unhealthy eating, sleeping, drinking or fitness habit, they can all negatively affect your body. The most dangerous part is that they become automated after a while. This makes them hard to notice and to break.
How Bad Habits Work
Bad habits don’t just appear in our lives out of the blue. They are formed through a process repeated several times. This process is called ‘habit loop’. It has 3 components: Cue, Routine, and Reward.
Quite simply your brain gets a cue first. This cue makes you behave in a certain way. This is the routine, which then leads to a reward. Every time you repeat the behavior, the habit is reinforced. This is what leads to automation.
The routine itself is usually the most obvious component. The cue and the reward are likely to be unconscious. An example could be social smoking. The routine, which is the bad habit, is obviously smoking. However, the cue and the reward are trickier. The trigger could be seeing someone smoking. The reward could be a feeling of belongingness. However, these are not that obvious factors.
How to Break Bad Habits
In order to overcome your bad habits, you need to be aware of each stage of the loop. We have already introduced how to break your bad habits in an old-fashioned way. It includes going through a 4-step-process.
But what if I told you there is a quicker and easier way to do it? As a Management Journal Article states bad habits can be broken by consciously choosing to behave in another way than the routine. In order to achieve this, you have to change the cue. This is not an easy process normally. However, your smartphones will make it easier!😉
5 Mobile Apps to Break 5 Unhealthy Habits
Last week we talked about 5 Unhealthy Habits killing your diet and health. Now it’s time to break them! With the help of these mobile apps, it will be easier than ever.
#1 Don’t skip meals – MealReminder
The consequences of skipping meals can make you gain more weight than dropping it.
It’s definitely hard to keep your meals consistent with a busy schedule. Sometimes we don’t even notice that we’re hungry because we’re just concentrating too much on other things.
Luckily, you don’t need to remember anymore, just download the Mealreminder app. This app knows that “your body needs a well-balanced diet to function properly”. Therefore, it will remind you every time a meal is scheduled. So you won’t skip it again.
You can personalize your meal schedule, but the minimum is 5/day. They explain the reason behind this quite well. If you eat healthy meals multiple times a day, your body will have a great source of energy throughout the day. On the other hand, if you skip a meal, you’re likely to end up snacking or overeating at the next one.
Besides the meal reminders, they also give you their meal recommendations. These are built on correct nutrient timing.
#2 Drink More Water – My Water
Not drinking enough water is probably one of the most dangerous unhealthy habits.
The main issue behind this bad habit is the lack of signal from our brain. If the cue is missing, there is no behavior. Unfortunately, with having so many things to pay attention to, it’s easy to forget to drink.
Yet, with My Water this will never happen again. This app is simple and straightforward.
Based on your personal data and what Apple Health provides, the app will give you a daily recommendation. Now all you have to do is make sure you drink that much every day.
You can set your preferred reminder intervals. The app will then push a notification according to your set preference. If you drink, you just tap on “Add a drink” and choose what you’ve had. Then the app will tell you how much you’ve drunk so far. As simple as that.
The app also provides you with facts about what happens to your body if you don’t drink enough! Plus, you can earn awards by reaching certain achievements. These features will help with both the cue and reward components of the habit loop. Additionally, if you are not a water-tea-coffee drinker, upgrade for the premium version. This will let you choose from a variety of drinks.
#3 Stand Up And Move – Stand Up!
Just like with not drinking enough water, the cue is often missing here too. All of us with office jobs tend to forget to stand up and move. However, our body and health need it.
Don’t worry, the Stand Up! app will remind you from now on. Simply choose the days and the intervals when you think you sit too much. You can even set the location where you should receive reminders. This is especially good for flexible working hours. The app will know when you’re at the office and won’t leave you alone then.
You can choose how often you should be notified and personalize the message. Although, I think that the pre-set one is quite funny and motivating.😌 Then just tell the app if you actually stood up or not. Don’t cheat, it’s for your best interest!
#4 Eat More Slowly – Eat.Chew.Rest
This can be a direct consequence of skipping meals. Yet, even when you have the time, do you know how fast is too fast? Probably no, but Eat.Chew.Rest will help.
This app is like an eating timer. It sets the optimal amount of eating, chewing and resting time. You tap on the screen and the timer on the plate starts to move signaling how much time you have left. It might be a bit freaky at first, but can definitely be useful in the long run.
#5 Don’t oversleep – Alarmy
It’s not just sleeping too little that can harm your diet, but also sleeping too much. One of the biggest digital alarm clock problems is the snooze feature. If you’re a serious oversleeper, you probably press that button before you even realize it.
However, Alarmy won’t let you do this. You set up your alarm and then it rings in the morning. Sounds pretty basic, except the twist comes after this. To turn the alarm off, you have to complete a pre-set task. You can choose between 4 methods.
Shake – Shake your phone a number of times
Math Problem – Solve an easy or a bit harder math problem
Take a picture – Go to a pre-set location and take a picture of it
QR-code – Scan an item’s QR -code
Either of these methods you choose, your alarm won’t turn off until you complete them. Once you complete them, your brain will be awake to remind you not to go back to sleep. What a genius idea to stop oversleeping.
Now that you’re not alone against your unhealthy habits, ending them won’t be that hard. Surely you still need dedication, but let your smartphone help you. Download these habit killer apps, and let us know how they’ve worked!😊