The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1019: Trade In Bad Habits for Better Ones

Learn how to get rid of bad habits and embrace good habits for better health.
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Trade In Bad Habits for Better Ones

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As we start the new year, many of us use the opportunity to try to change the habits that affect our health. Last week we heard from Gretchen Rubin, author of the book Better Than Before.

How to Change Our Bad Habits:

This week, we touch base with Dr. Wendy Wood, whose research focuses on how people form and change their habits. Find out how to make healthy habits stick, and what it takes to get rid of bad habits.

Join the Conversation:

We welcome listeners’ calls about their struggles and successes turning poor health habits into better ones. Call 888-472-3366 to join the conversation or send an email to

This Week’s Guest:

Wendy Wood, PhD, is Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California. Her website is

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I LOVED the suggestion for restaurant dining, to put half of my meal in a “box” immediately, before starting eating. I suppose that “box” would probably be a cardboard, or heaven forbid, styrofoam container, provided by the restaurant.

I plan to implement this strategy, but I have an etiquette question.

If I know I’m going to ask for a food “box,” could I simply bring my own seal-able glass container to the restaurant, and put half of my meal into that container? I would do this subtly, to try to avoid anyone being alarmed make to feel uncomfortable as they enjoyed their meal. Maybe I’d opt to sit close to a wall, then turn towards the wall when I put the food into the container. I don’t mean to be “sneaky” about it, but this approach (of bringing my own food container) would avoid awkward encounters with the staff.

In essence, on a social level, I’m pretty shy and don’t want to cause discomfort to others. I feel asking for “a box” when I order a meal is… well, something I’m not sure I can manage. How terrible would it be, to order a meal as usual, and then (hopefully subtly) put half of that meal into a food container in my (large) purse?

I have been working out in a local gym for 3 & a half years. I keep a journal of what I accomplish at the gym & I’ve turned the experience into a game–a fun experience where I compete against myself. I have succeeded in losing weight & re-sculpting my body. When I first began, the numbers I entered were humiliating: I could only do 3 minutes on the elliptical & the treadmill before my knees buckled. Now I can easily do a mile or more but this requires patience & perseverance. I can compare my current numbers against my old numbers & be proud of how much I’ve improved.

I don’t see the date of the podcast about changing bad habits.

Thanks for brining this to our attention, the broadcast date was January 9, 2016.

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