Kickstart Your Heart Healthy Diet

By Orna O Brien, Dietitian Nutrition News   |   16th Jun 2021

As part of Heart Month we’re talking about kickstarting your motivation and setting you on the road to a heart healthy diet

 

Let’s face it – it’s not easy to make changes to the way we eat, especially during a pandemic that has challenged us in so many ways. The reality is that our collective heart health has suffered through changed eating habits, stress levels and physical activity patterns. But as we begin to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19, what better way to begin planning for a brighter future than making time to connect with ourselves and get into the right mindset to make positive changes for our heart health.

Motivation

Getting into the right frame of mind is essential. You need to feel ready, and have clear, powerful reasons for making the change – you need to identify your ‘why’. Perhaps a close friend had a health scare recently, or you want to set a good example for your children, or maybe you simply want to feel a bit more in control of your health.

Try answering the following questions to tap into your motivation:

It’s not easy to make changes to the way we eat, especially during a pandemic that has challenged us in so many ways.

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Barriers and Triggers

Spend some time reflecting on what has kept you from making changes in the past. Why do you think you found it difficult to stick to changes? Being aware of our barriers and triggers can help us to tackle them and move forward. Recording a food diary for a few days is a great way to build this awareness.

It can help you to:

Supports

Supports help us to overcome barriers and triggers and they come in different forms. The following questions can help us identify supports:

Don’t give up if you have a bad day, learn from it, and think about how you will celebrate your successes.

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Identifying your priorities

We all have habits around what we eat, how we eat, cook, unwind, and all these habits have an impact on our heart health. The questions below, can help you identify what steps you’ve already taken to protect your heart health and what areas you would benefit most from targeting.

Congratulate yourself on the questions you answered YES to. If you answered NO to a number of questions, don’t worry, you are not alone. Pick one area to focus on and check out our Health Eating page for practical advice and tips.

Goal setting

Put your plan into action by writing down one or two specific, measurable, achievable ‘personal pledges’ based the areas you identified. Don’t give up if you have a bad day, learn from it, and think about how you will celebrate your successes.

Reboot Your Life

Reboot Your Life this Heart Month

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