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UCLP© Step 1: Time to get motivated

Explore your motivations for making changes further

Download the factsheet

The first step is to get into the right frame of mind

We know it’s hard to change a lifetime of eating habits, so getting into the right mindset will help you stick to your goals.

Think about what making healthy changes would mean for your life, what has stopped you before, and how you could overcome these obstacles. Take your time to think through these questions:

Q1 Why do you want to lower your cholesterol?
What difference would lowering your cholesterol make to you, your family and friends, and the way you live your life? Will making a change now have an effect on your future? Why is it so important?

Q2 What's stopping you?
What has kept you from making these changes before, what might get in your way? Think about your routines, the way you and your family plan, shop, prepare meals, who might be affected, social occasions, holidays, foods you’ll miss, trigger points for eating.

Q3 How will you overcome any problems?
What can you or others do to help you overcome the things you find hardest to change? And when things don’t go to plan, how will you get yourself back on track? Do you have someone who can help you when times are tough? Why not talk this through with a friend, partner, relative or health professional?

What changes do I need to make?

Now, take time to look at what you’re currently eating and see where you can make improvements. Ideally, complete both the quick checklist and the diet diary below. 

Fill out the quick checklist

See how you're doing with this quick checklist. It will help you see which areas of your diet are already heart healthy and which to improve. 

Download the quick checklist

Download the checklist for vegans

Keep a diet diary 

It is also important to reflect on what, when and why you eat and drink. For example, do you eat simply because it's a mealtime, or due to hunger, boredom, pleasure, anger or disappointment? 

By writing down what you eat every day you will soon come to recognise areas of your diet that you could change. 

Download the diet diary

How to use your diet diary

Print out the UCLP diet diary and carry it with you, or use a small notepad and pen instead. Alternatively, you could download a food diary app such as Mynetdiary, Meallogger, My Meal Mate, UK food diary or See how you eat.

Keep your diet diary for at least two to three days or, better still, a week, before you start to make any changes to what you eat and drink. Most people find it helpful to continue with their food diary once they start making changes – it can help keep you on track. Use it to help you to: 

  • see exactly what you eat and drink at a glance
  • identify quick wins
  • understand why you eat
  • recognise eating patterns that are not helpful.

Once you have completed your motivational questionnaire and either the quick checklist or the diet diary, you are ready to move onto Step 2.

Have a look at our full range of UCLP© resources