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Dr. Gina Cleo – Creating Healthy Habits

By October 24, 2019June 19th, 2022Podcast

Creating Healthy Habits (Podcast with Dr Gina Cleo)

Research suggests that half of everything we do is habitual. But most attempts to improve our health actually focus on changing behaviours rather than habits, meaning we still need to consciously use effort and willpower in order to continue our improvements in the long-term. Our next guest has identified this huge problem and made it her life’s work to research some amazingly simple ways to create healthy habits that last for life.

In this playful and lively interview, Australia’s only full-time habits researcher Dr Gina Cleo and I discuss:

✔︎  The difference between behaviours and habits.
✔︎  Setting the record straight on how long it takes to create a habit.
✔︎  Gina likes variety, Glenn likes routine (and what this means for you!)
✔︎  You only need motivation to get started (habits keep you going!)
✔︎  Changing habits without a diet or exercise plan (no yo-yo!)
✔︎  Gina’s work is similar to our Twelve Month Transformation and Tapping programs.
✔︎  How habit change is NOT sexy, but it is life-changing (which is sexy!)
✔︎  Creating micro-habits to rewire the brain’s pathways.
✔︎  Breaking habits through ‘restructuring’ and ‘reprogramming’.
✔︎  How to make new habits that are as rewarding as old habits!
✔︎  Q&A from our Psychology of Eating, Movement, Weight and Body Image Support Group.
✔︎  The importance of confidence, self-compassion and accountability.
✔︎  Changing habits is actually quite fun 🙂

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google PodcastsStitcher, Overcast, or on your favourite podcast platform.


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If you’d like to see the interview, please follow the link below!

Selected Links from Podcast:

Pre-Order Thinsanity:
Book from Booktopia
Ebook from Kindle
Ebook from Apple Books

Due to a change in direction, Gina no longer supports the Sum Sanos program. Thankfully, she whole-heartedly endorses our new-and-improved Transformation Support Community!

Thankfully, Gina has now developed a 12-Week Creating Healthy Habits Series especially for our Transformation Support Community Online Program (available now!).

Dr. Gina’s Habit Change Institute
Dr. Gina’s Website
Dr. Gina’s Instagram
(Note: Gina’s Book Is Still On the Way!)

The Ten Top Tips
Twelve Month Transformation Online Program
Tapping for Weight Management Online Program
Video with Lyndi Cohen about adding, not subtracting
Our Psychology of Eating, Movement, Weight, & Body-image Support Group

Gina’s work dovetails so well with ours, so please check her out, have a play with making or breaking a habit soon and let me know how you go!



Episode Highlights:

Introducing Dr Gina Cleo. [06:20]

What are some of the key factors for habit change in relation to weight. [11:40]

How much of what we do is habitual. [11:48]

How much of our eating and movement behaviour is habitual. [12:24]

The difference between behaviour change and habit change. [13:15]

The ingredients of a habit: a cue, a routine and a reward. [14:58]

How emotional eating fits in with habits. [16:42]

How long it takes to form a habit & the myth of “21 days” to change a habit. [17:03]

On habit strengths and how this factors into the time it takes to break or create a habit. [19:13]

An example of a person with a strong habit strength. [19:46]

An example of a person with low habit strength. [20:35]

On figuring out your habit strength. [21:07]

On the complexity of the habit you are changing and how that affects how long it takes to implement. [20:46]

The range in days of habit change and the average amount of time. [22:31]

Why the truth of habit change can be empowering. [23:14]

The detail on Dr Cleo’s research on habit change for weight loss maintenance – what she did differently [25:55]

Participants initial reaction to Dr Cleo’s research trial [33:09]

How to create new habits [36:20]

The definition of self-efficacy and why it’s important [44:59]

How to break habits [47:50]

Why when our habits and our intentions are not aligned our habits will often win [50:42]

Why identifying your habit reward is vital when trying to reprogram a habit [52:30]

The 10 tips gave to participants for forming healthy habits [58:06]

Question from audience – “Where do you start with a lifelong habit or an addiction to food?” [49:10]

How many habits Gina recommends trying to change at once. [59:43]

How do you know when something new has become a habit [1:00:18]

What two habits are the most important to work on for long term weight management and health [1:01:18]

Why the mentality of reducing food is less helpful than adding in more nutritious foods [1:05:26]

On habits being able to be changed at whatever stage of life you’re at. [1:09:48]

What Gina says to people who struggle with habit change [1:10:20]

Accountability on creating habits [1:12:30]

On Gina’s habits based programs and about her upcoming projects [1:13:02]