Step 1: Time to get motivated
It’s hard to change lifetime dietary habits, unless you are really motivated to do so. To stand the best chance of success it’s vital to get into the right frame of mind.
You need to be ready and have clear, strong reasons for making the change. It’s also worth thinking about what has stopped you before and how you might overcome any obstacles. You can download our getting motivated factsheet to record your answers. Here are the key questions to ask yourself.
Why do you want to lower your cholesterol? Think about what this might mean for you, your health, the people you love and the way you live your life. Why is it so important?
What is stopping you?
What has kept you from making these changes before, what might get in the way now? Think about your routines, the way you plan, shop, prepare meals, who might be affected, social occasions, holidays, foods you’ll miss, trigger points for eating.
How will you overcome any problems?
Having noted the things you might find difficult, how might these problems be overcome. Why not talk this through with a friend, partner, relative or health professional.
What changes do I need to make?
Take time to reflect on what, when and why you eat and drink. We have provided a diet diary template for you to do just that. By writing down what you eat every day you will soon come to recognise areas of your diet that you could change or improve.
Why keep a diet diary?
A food diary provides you with a true record of what you actually eat. Most of us eat more than we realise or remember. By recording what you eat and drink – at the time you eat it – you will get a good idea of what, how and when you eat. Keeping a diet diary has also been shown to be very effective in helping people to make dietary changes.
It can help you to:
- recognise exactly what you eat and drink and when
- understand your motivation for eating (such as hunger, boredom, pleasure)
- consider how to change any behaviours
- maintain a healthier way of eating once you start to make changes
Keep it simple by carrying a small notepad and pen with you at all times, or download one of the many food diary apps now available such as Mynetdiary, Meallogger, My Meal Mate and UK food diary.
It’s important to keep a diet diary for at least 2-3 days, better still a week, before you start to make any changes.