The challenge: Make a change – set a goal to make a positive change that lasts!
Change can be good
Over time, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to obesity and other chronic health conditions. Making long-term changes to your lifestyle behaviours can have positive effects on health and wellbeing, and reduce the risk of developing chronic health conditions. Setting a goal to make a positive lifestyle change is helpful because it can:
- improve motivation;
- provide focus;
- make healthier behaviours easier and more automatic over time.
What can be changed?
Small lifestyle changes that are easy to incorporate into daily life are more likely to be maintained. Reflect on your current eating, drinking and physical activity habits and think about where you would like to make a positive change.
When setting a goal for a healthy lifestyle change, it can help to think S.M.A.R.T.
- Specific – you have a better chance of achieving your goal if it is well-defined (e.g. a goal to ‘swap sugary drinks for water over the next month’ is more specific than a goal to ‘consume less sugar’).
- Measurable – how will you know when you have accomplished your goal? You might want to keep a diary or use an App to track your progress.
- Achievable – is your goal realistic and feasible? Impossible goals can be demotivating, so set a goal that you have the time, skills and resources to complete.
- Relevant – will your goal improve your physical and/or mental health? Some people may benefit from eating more fruit and vegetables; others may eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, but spend too much time being inactive. Make sure you identify which aspects of your lifestyle could have the biggest impact on your wellbeing.
- Time-bound – how often will you need to do the tasks required to achieve your goal? When will your goal be accomplished? For example, a goal to ‘eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day for the next month’ may be more motivating than a goal to ‘eat more fruit and vegetables’.
Support for you
- Try, swap & change planner – Make a change in lockdown by planning healthier life swaps and opting for changes you can stick too
- Healthy, balanced diet webpage – learn about what makes up a healthy, balanced diet and use this information to plan your meals.
- Healthy lunches information – get some ideas and tips on how to make your lunch healthier.
- Snacks and healthier snacking while at home – change your snacking habits with our top tips on snacking more healthily.
- Healthier snacking for children, adults and older adults.
- Healthier takeaways – make healthier choices when choosing a takeaway
- Get portion wise – Learn more about the importance of portion sizes and take a look at our portion size lists, perfect to help adults plan their meals
- 1-4 years portion – if you have toddler’s at home, find out about portion sizes for them
- A family Eat well tracker – stick on your fridge!
- Weekly meal planner – plan your meals and stick it up in your kitchen!
Go the extra mile
- Keeping well in lockdown online course – learn some tips and ideas of how you can keep well in lockdown with this free online course
Have kids at home? Here’s some activities!
- Remote learning – we’ve hundreds of activity ideas and further support on our education website.
- Keep the learning going – check out our education website, developed for schools, but useful for home learning too!
Get cooking – a few recipes for you at home …
- BNF staff are cooking each day this week – find out what’s cooking!
- Made with love, shared with love – cook together at home and share the love.
- Can you trust it? Recipes – try these five recipes and learn some fun facts about the ingredients.
- Try one the these 5 tasty recipes from nutrition.org.uk
- Our education website has hundreds of recipes, which can be searched in different ways
- Let’s get ready to cook poster – prepare your children for cooking hygienically, why not print out and stick on your wall or get children to create their own poster?