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Why it takes 66 days (not 21) to form new habits

By Alexandra McCarthy |


I Quit Sugar: Why it takes 66 days (not 21) to form new habits

While it has long been lauded that it only takes 21 days to break a habit – have you ever considered how long it takes to actually form a new one?

We did our research and turns out, it takes around 66 days to form a brand new habit. Why 66 days exactly? Well, that’s how long it takes for people to reach self-reported automaticity in the new behaviour. So effectively, once people are performing the behaviour without having to consciously remember to do so, it’s officially a habit!

This is why our 8-Week Program goes for… well, eight weeks!

This gives your body enough time to wean off sugar and recalibrate. It’s no secret that fructose is highly addictive as it triggers the pleasure centres in our brain. One particularly interesting study found that a whopping 94 per cent of rats chose sugar over cocaine – crazy stuff!

Why not just go cold turkey?

Frankly, it doesn’t work. When you suddenly remove fructose from your diet, your body freaks out and tells you very loudly that it needs more, making it super easy to cave and jump back on the sugary bandwagon. We want to give you a fighting chance, which means signing on for eight weeks of sugar-quitting!

How does it work?

Our 8-Week Program follows our tried and tested method of reducing refined sugars for the first week, then removing all sugars (including natural ones) from your diet for four weeks, which allows your taste buds to adapt and change. Then, in week six, we reintroduce some sweetness so you can gauge how you’re feeling. And, by the end of the eight weeks your cravings have died down and your palate has changed… To put it bluntly, you’re no longer controlled by sugar!

But, do lapses in behaviour break the habit?

According to research, missing the occasional opportunity to reinforce the behaviour doesn’t have a serious impact on the habit formation process. So, if you do happen to slip up on your journey to food freedom, don’t stress – it doesn’t automatically negate all of the hard work you’ve put in!

Plus, the benefits of ditching sugar make it all worthwhile!

If you’re after clearer skin, quality sleep, weight loss and increased energy, then try quitting sugar. By doing so, you’ll also significantly reduce your risk of some nasty illnesses like type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome. Sounds good to us!

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