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What do you need to know about behavior change?

What is behavior change?

Behavior change means modifying habits or actions to become a new long-term lifestyle, and it starts with our beliefs, thoughts and emotions.

The mind tells the body what to do (in other words, creating actions). Accountability and habits keep us doing those actions (at Level2, that’s dietary or lifestyle changes), which all influence our health.

What are the main components of behavior change?

We think of behavior change as made up of three key areas:

1) Core Beliefs/Thoughts – Some core beliefs are helpful, like believing that you can change your overall health. Others are not helpful – such as believing type 2 diabetes cannot be improved. Think about your core beliefs and how they can change to support your success. Be open to learning new things.

2) Emotions – Many of our actions are not driven by logic, but instead, by emotions and addictions. You can work to identify the ones that are holding you back.

3) Accountability/ Habits – Someone who is fully supportive, like your Level2 care team, can make all the difference in the world in holding you accountable, teaching you how to create healthy habits and ultimately, achieving long-term lifestyle changes.

Where to start?

You can start with very small steps. At Level2, we recommend exploring the following, and your coach can guide you:

  • Movement – Your body burns glucose when it moves, so find movement you enjoy. Simply walking is very effective. Before you start any new physical activity consult with your primary care provider.
  • Sleep – Sleep (or lack of) impacts your hormones, stress and glucose.
  • Stress – Consistent stress can harm your body and worsen type 2 diabetes.
  • Emotional Eating – Explore the underlying reasons why we eat or over-eat.
  • Food Addiction – Many foods, especially processed ones, are addictive.
  • The Power of Community – We can all use some support.
  • Developing Healthy Habits – Habits define who we are and are powerful change agents.