7 Questions on Habit Forming and Healthy Eating With Me, Luke Jones

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on Twitter.


7 Questions With Luke Jones, Health Room

I have something a little different for you guys this week…

I like to stay busy and keep my fingers in many pies (healthy ones) when it comes to this wellness movement. Luckily, over the past few years I’ve been privileged enough to work with some really great people and some amazing businesses.

One of my latest projects is with a company called Fink Cards, a UK based business developed by a lovely lady called Lisa Warner. Fink is all about starting conversations within families on various topics from relationships and parenting, to health conditions and childhood trauma. They work with specialists in different fields to produce decks of cards, each containing conversation starters on a particular topic.

The general idea is that conversations help to raise awareness of certain issues that perhaps otherwise may have gone unnoticed. By talking about these issues, we’re hopefully able to understand them more clearly and perhaps make any necessary changes.

They’re a really great company, and I’m really excited to be working with them to produce a deck on healthy habits for families (which should be available to purchase early September).

To build up to the launch, Lisa and I did a Q&A session over on Facebook earlier today, all about living healthily and changing habits. I really enjoyed doing it, and thought I’d collect together the main questions and answers to share with you guys (edited a little to correct my horrific spelling).

Hope you enjoy!


1. What initially made you so fascinated with habit forming?

So back when I was studying at uni, I started to get a few health problems. After a few blood tests I was offered a range of pills and potions from the doctors, but I knew that I really didn’t want to go down that road if I could help it!  In my eyes, the issues I was having were largely due to the habits that I had at the time. I stressed easily, I was overtraining, I was eating a diet that probably wasn’t the healthiest…

So I tried my best to change everything I could. Like many people I soon realised that it’s not always that easy to make changes to habits that have been ingrained over years and years, so that’s when I started looking at the habit forming process itself – what does it take to create lasting changes, as opposed to ones that fizzle out after a few weeks?

I really threw myself in to that, and slowly but surely, after a load of trial and error and failures, I was able to change a lot of those unhealthy habits into healthy ones, and alter my life trajectory. And that journey carries on today!

2. Why are our habits so important?

A lot of the situations we find ourselves in are the result of our habits. Those tiny micro decisions we make (often on a subconscious level) every day. They seem insignificant sometimes, but they really add up to determine our state of health and happiness.

Although it may not always seem that way to us, I think a lot of the things we do day to day are the result of our habits. They’re unconscious. Habit changing is largely about identifying those unconscious habits that are perhaps not doing us that much good, then making them more conscious.

What I like to do (and what I try to help others do) is then change those small habits one by one so they are more aligned with a healthier, authentic lifestyle.

3. What are some the most common habits that people want to change?

Eating habits are a really big one.

One of the biggest challenges though is that there’s so much conflicting info out there – sometimes it can be hard to know which direction to turn. People just want to eat a little healthier, but they search the internet and are bombarded by a whole load of contradictory info from experts in the subject. A lot of the time this just puts people off, and makes them feel like there’s not much point in trying to figure it all out.

I think it’s important to try to keep the big picture in mind. We’ve kinda over complicated something that’s inherently quite simple.

A good quote by Michael Pollen is: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

I think that’s a pretty good rule to live by!

4. Why do so many people struggle with changing their habits or sticking to new years resolutions?

I think a lot of the time people bite off more than they can chew. In the media you always see these overnight success stories, where people seemingly lose a hundred pounds, start running marathons and meditating everyday – all overnight! But obviously it doesn’t work like that. Every overnight success story is made up of lots of hard work and incremental changes.

People feel like they have to make lots of big changes all at once, but they would likely see much more success if they broke their habits down into small, achievable steps, and moved forward gradually!

5. What is one thing we can do to be more successful with our habit changes?

Aside from starting small and building gradually, I think building community around your habit change is so important.

So often we try to go it alone, and we feel that asking for help is almost a sign of weakness (I know that I used to think that way).

But we’re tribal animals at heart, and we work best as a team. So getting someone who’s likeminded or someone who you know will support you involved in your journey can really help out. Let them know about your habit change, and keep them updated on your progress. Having that accountability can really help – you don’t want to let the other person down, so you’re more likely to stick the change out for longer.

And there are plenty of communities online too that are focussed around accountability (in case you don’t really want to bother anyone in person).

6. What is the most important healthy habit to develop?

I don’t know if there is ‘one’ habit that is really the most important. I often say that health is this really complicated picture made up of so many interacting components. You’ve got your diet, your movement, your ability to handle stress, your alignment with your passion… So many different things, and if one or more of them is out of line, you’re gonna notice it.

That being said, for me, diet was a big one. Changing my diet was kinda the catalyst for a lot of the other habits I was able to introduce into my life. It made me more mindful, which guided me towards meditation. It made me more in tune with my body, which helped me change the way I trained. And it helped me realise my passion, and allowed me to carve out my own career, which is nice.

So if people come to me and they can’t figure out which habit to start with, I’ll often encourage them to think about the food on their plate. If they can get that right, everything else might fall into place a little easier!

7. How can people begin to eat a little healthier?

Again, it goes back to starting small. Some people do well with a complete over-hall, but that’s not most of us.

I often suggest to people, start with a green smoothie for breakfast. Some bananas, berries, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, all blended up nicely. Make that a habit first, before you try to take things any further.

Take baby steps, move forwards gradually, and enjoy yourself. Remember that eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring or expensive – there are plenty of great sites out there with delicious healthy recipes 😉

8. How can people get in touch for more information?

Firstly, thanks a bunch for doing this Lisa, really enjoyed it and looking forward to coming back again!

If anyone wants to find out a little more about what I do, you’re welcome to visit my site Health Room, where I talk a lot more about the concepts we talked about today. I also have a free starter guide to healthy habits that you can check out if you haven’t already.

To find out more about Fink, head on over to their site where they have a load more info and great products.


Back to present time Luke…

That’s about it for the interview, hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed doing it.

If you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comments section below! See you next week! 

 


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Luke Jones

Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

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