Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study in 2016 showed that people’s lifestyle choices are complex and changing them can pose a challenge: 50% of people surveyed are at risk of not eating a healthy diet yet only 34% are motivated enough to want to change their food choices. Equally, the same study showed that 78% of people would like to change their weight, yet only 51% are at risk of being outside of their healthy BMI. Why is food nutrition such a tricky area to tackle?
Change your Mentality
Many people think that eating healthy has to be a diet, that you have to follow someone else’s way of thinking or follow a strict diet plan, throw out all the chocolates, biscuits, crisps and cake. Healthy eating does not have to be torture.
Enjoy yourself while making changes and make changes that suit you and no one else! Your healthy eating journey doesn’t need to be a complete overhaul with changing everything all at once. Try with small changes every couple of weeks; instead of two biscuits - have one, switch the crisps to lower calorie crackers, have one more vegetable with your evening meal.
Small changes will make a massive difference in the end! Share your goals with your colleagues and keep each other motivated; can you challenge one another to see who can bring in the healthiest and tastiest snacks?
Setting goals can be difficult and we can all get carried away with wanting to change everything so try to remember these steps:
Specific – The more detail the better. A generic ‘I want to eat healthy’ statement can mean a variety of things. Why not try ‘I am going to change my afternoon biscuit to a banana at least three times a week’.
Measurable – How do you know if you achieved it? If you are looking to lose weight, how much do you want to lose and by when? Having a realistic goal you can measure against such as losing two kilos by the end of January is better.
Achievable/Attainable – Can you pull it off? Can you keep it going? And can it motivate you? Is it achievable to aim to run a marathon if you have never ran before? A more attainable goal may be to sign up to parkrun and complete your first one by the end of the month.
Realistic – Trying to make a thousand and one changes will most probably not work but one realistic goal will create a knock-on effect. Don’t attempt a complete overhaul of your diet straightaway, why not start with one meal such as having a piece of fruit with your breakfast every work day for the next two weeks?
Time-bound – Have you ever tried to make changes that just don’t seem to happen? Or they constantly roll over into the next week? Try to put a time limit on it so you know when you would like to achieve the goal by such as to eat five portions of fruit and veg daily by the time you go on holiday in July. Clear time to achieve that goal!
Healthy eating and dieting are not the same thing. Don’t try and change your whole lifestyle overnight. Try small focused changes and they will soon add up. Remember to track your goals and note down what you are trying to achieve.
Make your resolution one for life, not just for after Christmas!