Your best chance of making a change is choosing something that's important to you. It helps to work on small, manageable goals to start with and to avoid trying to change too many things at once.
If you need help getting motivated to change, have a look at our page linked below on why making healthy changes to what you eat is a good idea. It might also be useful to think about whether making healthy changes could save you money, time or help protect the environment.
Find out more about the benefits of making healthy changes to what you eatWhy should I eat a healthier diet?
The rest of the page has tips on how you can make real life changes, whether you need help to take action, or how to use prompts to keep making the change.
- Set a clear goal for what you want to achieve. Make specific plans about what fruit and vegetables you will eat and when you will eat them.
- Think about what might make it difficult to eat more fruit and vegetables and work out things you could do that would help.
- Record your progress. Keep track of the fruit and vegetables that you’re eating, it’s one of the best ways to stay on track.
Sam wants to try to eat more fruit
Sam eats vegetables with dinner, but almost never eats fruit. They quite like fruit and think it would be a good idea to eat more, but just aren't in the habit of buying it.
Following the 3 tips above, Sam could;
- Set a goal to eat more fruit and make a plan that every time they do their shopping they will buy at least one kind of fruit
- Think about how in the past they found bags of fruit too much for one person, so plan to buy small amounts of loose fruit instead
- Tick off each day they manage to eat fruit in a notebook so they can see their progress.
Prompts to keep making the change
- Put fruit and veg on the worktop or on an open shelf on the fridge so you see them and are prompted to eat them. Put other foods you might eat instead out of sight or buy less of them so that it’s easier to resist temptation.
- Leave yourself reminders about eating more fruit and veg (e.g. put a note on the fridge reminding yourself to add veg to meal, or a sticker on your purse reminding you to buy fruit and veg when you shop etc). Noticing them in the moment will remind you to act.
- Try to eat fruit and veg regularly to build new habits. You might have to do it every day for a month before it starts to feel ‘normal’.
Lou needs help remembering to eat more fruit and vegetables
Lou wants to eat more fruit and vegetables but in a typical day only has 1 or 2 portions. They decide to try and increase this towards 5 portions a day.
Following the 3 tips above, Lou could;
- Put fruit in a bowl in easy reach of the sofa so that they can grab a piece while watching TV and put the biscuit tin away in a high cupboard.
- Put a sticky note next to the cooker to remind themselves to put veg on with every cooked meal
- Challenge themselves to eat 5 a day every day for a month to give themselves the best chance of the new habit sticking.