8 keystone habits that can transform your life

Tracking what you eat

Duhigg cites a 2009 study by the National Institutes of Health in which participants with food journals lost twice as much weight as those without.

Why? They began noticing routines in their eating habits, like that they would eat regularly at one specific time. Participants would keep a snack, like an apple or banana, handy during those times, Duhigg writes. It allowed them to plan for a healthy snack in advance.

The food journaling “created a structure that helped other habits to flourish,” Duhigg says.

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