What motivates you to eat the way you do? T... - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

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What motivates you to eat the way you do? This is a multiple choice poll. Thanks to Copper27 for this poll idea.

JerryJerryAdministrator182 Voters

Please select all that apply:

86 Replies

I'm a diagnosed coeliac so have to avoid all gluten, I was into whole foods when diagnosed and now eat a whole food gluten free diet and it works for me.

I have ticked ‘other’ because whilst

I should be managing illness and I should be getting fit it’s all gone by the wayside since lock down during the pandemic. I’m starting to get back on track but it is difficult. Being on my own I resorted to comfort eating.

Cooper27Moderator in reply to Catmad10

Me too :)

It's ok that we all went a bit off the rails to begin with. Personally it taught me why eating right for my illness is so worth it! Find your balance and I hope you feel the benefits soon :)

Catmad10 in reply to Cooper27

Thanks Cooper, I’ve been ‘invited ‘ to make an appointment with my doctor for annual diabetes check up. Last year I’d got down to 8 units of insulin a day, now I’m back to 42 units. I’m determined to get back on track.

PandQs in reply to Catmad10

OK first off I'm no medical expert, just someone who needed to lose weight . But it was other people here that made me look at the role of insulin in the digestive system. My routine at the moment is to try and avoid food that creates a requirement for insulin to come into play and it certainly seems to have worked for me in terms of weight loss. I particularly like the series of videos by Dr Robert Lustig called The Skinny on Obesity. You also might like to watch an online lecture by Dr David Unwin about diabetes called Hope on the Horizon. You don't say what type of diabetes you have, but there may be something in their work that could help you get back on track. There's also a website by a Warrington GP Dr Jane McCormack called fatismyfriend. Good luck.

Catmad10 in reply to PandQs

Thanks hun, David Unwin was on TV this morning and made a lot of sense. Before lockdown and when I’d nearly reversed my diabetes I was following a low gl diet. I have a super little pocket reference book which has a traffic light system and I stuck to the green goods in the main.

PandQs in reply to Catmad10

When / where was he on? Maybe I can see it on catchup. I hope the HOPE video of his gives you some motivation to restart!

Catmad10 in reply to PandQs

He was on This Morning at around 10.00am. I’m sure it was him as they called him Dr David. He inspired one of our MPs to lose around 5 stone. I only had half an eye on it.

PandQs in reply to Catmad10

I'll have a look for that thanks :) x

PandQs in reply to Catmad10

I think that might have been Dr Michael Moseley and Tom Watson MP. Probably very similar but advocating a low calorie 800-1000 diet. Another This Morning item with Dr Zoe on Sept 4th 2019 is more like the Dr David Unwin view.

Catmad10 in reply to PandQs

Sorry, I caught the name David and the diabetes. I have a real problem with these very low calorie diets, for me they are not sustainable long term and I may be wrong but I think that kind of diet is unhealthy.

PandQs in reply to Catmad10

My personal view now is that low calorie, low fat diets in the past were what messed me up. I've been doing LCHF for two years now and having lost weight in the first 6 months, I've been pretty stable since. I enjoy the food and don't get the hunger pangs and sugar cravings that I used to, so think this will be something I can stay with long term - without having to count calories or weigh portions.

Catmad10 in reply to PandQs

I think the LCHF is the basis for the glycemic index food regime. It certainly worked for me and I’ve gone back to it.

Activity2004Administrator in reply to Catmad10

Hi Catmad10,

Are you planning to do a Video Chat appointment with your doctor? My upcoming Endo. appointment will be done on Video Chat since I can't leave the house, yet. The doctor's office staff and I prearrange it so I would have most of my Endo. appointments done over the phone until the lockdown out here is done/COVID goes away. I'm a type 1 Diabetic.

The blood test/weight/feet exam needs to be done at the surgery and I won’t be doing that until I am happy that I will be safe. The following consultation will be by phone (not video).

Activity2004Administrator in reply to Catmad10

Thank you for letting me know. The only time I had to go to an actual office for appointments/blood work was for eye appointments and the dentist, so far. The blood work was done recently and I'm still waiting on the results. Hopefully, they will be ready by Monday morning for the appointment with my Endo.. :-)

Fingers crossed for you xx I hope the results are good to get you your Endo appointment. 😻

Activity2004Administrator in reply to Catmad10

Thank you! I hope the A1c has gone down slightly since the last time I had one done, the results always seem to go for the 9.something range even when I eat the right way. :-) :-(

Unfortunately I have no interest in food any more which is probably due to heart medication. I tend to eat what I want when I want just so that I get some nutrition.

I eat differently depending on my mood. I have anxiety and depression so on

‘a bad day’ lots of sweet carbs. On a good day I try to eat a healthy diet.


Thanks Jerry :)

I have autoimmune thyroid issues and try to manage my symptoms with diet (I'm not at a stage of needing medication). I've selected energy too, as slipping into poorer habits during lockdown showed me how much more energy I have when I eat a certain way.

My other is that I eat GF for my partner who is coeliac, although I have food intolerances that play into my diet.

JerryAdministrator in reply to Cooper27

Hey thank you Cooper27 as this was your poll idea. 😊

Its great that you don't need meds so good for you, I also have microscopic colitis was gluten damaged my colon before diagnosis so the individuals cells of my colon are prone to bleeding and I keep this under control with diet so I avoid all alcohol and astringents so my diet is very strict compared to most peoples.

I think its great that you're gluten free because your partner is as it must make life soo much easier for him at home so thats very selfless of you. 👍

Cooper27Moderator in reply to Jerry

Well you say selfless, I just find it easier - this way I just cook the one meal, and don't need seperate utensils and prep space, toothbrush jars etc :D

After 3 years of it, I discovered I was gluten intolerant before all that too, so it was to my own benefit anyway.

Hi . I have something called noctura. It been with me 18 months . Now its much worse. Doc has prescribed tablets. I am worried about side effects . As I have afib. Does anyone have this complaint . I would like to hear if they take the medication ,and if it affects them too much. I am 80 years old though . Thankyou

Cooper27Moderator in reply to Niimi

Hi Mimi, you might have more luck posting this as a new post altogether, and there are also heart health sections on HU, where it might be worth asking too:


My other is well being, I do feel better eating only small amounts of white meat, but mainly plant based foods,and together with portion control has meant gradual healthy weight loss.

Midori in reply to Tudee

The pandemic has caused me to alter my diet somewhat, mainly because during lockdown and shielding I have put on weight.

I have also developed an intolerance to bread cooked by the Chorleywood Process (supermarket bread), and have become gluten intolerant so I have had to switch to Sourdough and Brioche, which don't get my IBS going.

Cheers, Midori


I picked weight management - having lost two stone last year I don’t want to gain any of it back. My “other” reasons are: 1. I don't eat meat from personal choice, I didn’t choose “ethics” for this because I realise I am sentimental about animals and lucky to live in a place and time where I can avoid eating them without having to sacrifice nutritional needs. 2. Avoiding added sugar and reducing starchy carbs helps me avoid illness (diabetes) rather than illness management.

I need to lose weight but I’m not doing any good at all. I eat little and often ie cheese crackers sandwich, either bacon, steak, sausage, chips, or double cheeseburger home made. Crisps fruit strawberry/blackberries /tangerine/ nectarines yellow flesh/ grapes yoghurt/ pastry’s sweet/savoury chocolate, mars bars marshmallows Jamie tea cakes scones jam/ clotted cream, ice cream/lolly I might eat a roast dinner once a month pasta soup home made. A mixture of all aforementioned foods in a week

LeeRa in reply to Lily-s

All of the above foods would appear to be high or very high calorie options. I can't imagine that you'll ever be able to loose weight eating them. Try the NHS program. It will explain about healthy eating and suggest a plan of action that is easy to understand and follow. Hope this helps. 😊

Lily-s in reply to LeeRa

Thanks !!!!

LeeRa in reply to Lily-s

Looking at your list of foods. Some of them are really good and would certainly tick your 5-a-day box. I've started to make my own deserts using some fresh fruit mixed into natural yogurt. If its not sweet enough I use a teaspoon of natural sweetener. I also allow myself a tablespoon of granola for texture and crunch! I work out the calories and keep a tab. NHS allows a generous 1400 calories per day which allows me a few 'treats'. I make a vegetable soup myself which I often have for lunch with a small finger of cheese. Dinner is my main meal. I try not to have any pastry (as its delicious and I wouldn't be able to stop!), I do have rice, pasta and bread but I am strict about weighing and counting the calories. I find this works well. I have lost 8lbs so far in 5 weeks.

Lily-s in reply to LeeRa

Congratulations LeeRa your tips are really helpful as I do make all cooked food I eat, myself from scratch, I could make up a rice and tomato soup using collie flower rice and home grown tomatoes shallots and herbs from my garden. I love the granola tip as I love Greek yogurt and I could do as you suggest and add my favourite fruits to it. Thanks again for your kindness and help. I’m sure with your help and the other kind people out there I will lose the 3 stone I need to lose. Eventually . Yes I’m 5ft 2 and weigh 12 stones. I would like to get down to 9.stones. 💕💕💕💕🤞

LeeRa in reply to Lily-s

Really good luck with it. Just don't get despondent....you are bound to have bad days and tomorrow is always a fresh start! You are lucky to have all that wonderful fresh produce, it makes such a difference. Be careful not to have more than a tablespoon of granola as its very high cal but really nice just to have a little! The soups are lovely and comforting when the weather turns cold again. Best wishes going forward. X

Eryl in reply to Lily-s

Anyone would have weight problems with so many sweet foods and bread/cakes in their diet.

LeeRa in reply to Eryl

Maybe suggest ways forward.... just saying!!

PandQs in reply to LeeRa

Research "all calories are not equal" and sugar addiction. It may sound a hard task, but getting rid of the cravings for sugar by cutting it out altogether did not take as long as I thought it would, and no longer being a slave to those cravings makes it much easier to ignore temptation without feeling deprived.

Cooper27Moderator in reply to Lily-s

Do you think you prefer to graze, or would you ultimately be looking to move to a 3 meal a day type arrangement?

I find grazing can become a bit of a habit and is less about really being hungry. I found following a 14:10 eating pattern very helpful for breaking the habit. This means I eat breakfast (first food of the day) at 10am and that I don't eat past 8pm. You can also start out with a 12 hour eating window and work your way up. From there, you can start looking at changing your other snacks/meals to suit how you'd like them. If you do want to change things, this might be a good place to start :)

Lily-s in reply to Cooper27

Thank you for your productive response unlike some who just seem to get pleasure out of telling me what I already know. (Eryl see reply above) I will give that a go. It sounds like a positive way to address my weight issues. Thanks for your support .💕💕💕

Cooper27Moderator in reply to Lily-s

No problem :) most of us try to be more productive than that, promise ;)

If you find the 14:10 arrangement helps, let us know. We have more tips to help, but I wouldn't want to overwhelm you with too many changes at once :)

Lily-s in reply to Cooper27

Thanks I would appreciate as many tips as possible. Then I can hopefully find the one that works for me. When you have time of course💕💕💕

Fran182716Prediabetic in reply to Lily-s

Hi Lily-s you are at a similar point to where I was in Jan 2019. I’m 4ft 10 and my starting weight was 11 stone 5 with just under 3stone to get to a healthy BMI. I lost two stone last year and currently sitting at 9 stone 6 planning to lose the last stone. Looking at your food list I’m wondering if you graze from habit, or whether the amount of sugary/starchy food gives you blood sugar lows and highs which leave you hungry again soon after eating? My experience was similar to PandQs, I had to cut out the sugar because of prediabetes and motivation carried me through the hard part then after that it was easier because sugary foods tasted unpleasantly sweet and I no longer craved them. You will get some varying advice from people because they have had success with different ways of eating, but I think we would all agree that cutting out added sugar and highly refined foods (eg white supermarket bread) is a good place to start. It sounds like you already do home cooked foods which is excellent as you will find this easier than someone who relies on takeaways.

Looking at your list above my suggestion would be to start by cutting out the crackers and crisps (very high calorie and not filling) chocolate bars, marshmallows, pastry, and cakes, maybe making fruit with cream an occasional treat. If you make chips for a family just having a couple yourself. Adding vegetables and salad to your meals as you didn’t mention them. Eating the fruit with Greek yoghurt as you mentioned above will fill you up more.

It’s worth trying what people suggest as it’s worked for them, see if their ideas work for you and you will eventually settle on your own plan. My main tip would be to take your time and be prepared to tweak your plan to meet your own needs, and keep other interests going so that you lose weight while getting on with living your life rather than just waiting for weight loss to happen 😀

Good luck 🍀

LeeRa in reply to Fran182716

Excellent advice for us all. Many thanks.

To make me a better person inside and out

The motivation is firstly & utterly I love to cook for my family !!

I'm a Buddhist so ethics is a big part of my being vegetarian i.e. the first precept we follow is to do no harm to any living creature either intentionally myself or by benefitting directly from another's deliberate actions and to show loving kindness to all beings. Otherwise health and illness management including food intolerances.

kleelibby in reply to lawli56

I chose ethics too. I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for 23+ years. My partner eats meat every day so we have separate groceries. I have hypoglycemia so grazing works best for me.

Body image/vanity

To be very frank, I eat what I fancy. I do eat a lot of fruit but only because I like it.

For me, "Healthy Eating", up until my heart attack in 2015, was following Public Health guidelines and eating Low Fat. The consequent high sugar diet was a disaster for me, leading to arterial damage. I was advised that the condition could not be reversed, but I was not convinced.

So I spent two years on YouTube, attending online academic lectures on nutrition, reversing sugar and fat addiction and halting cardiac disease. And then one gram at a time, over many months, I made the transition to Mediterranean-style healthy eating, with minimal sugar, saturated fat, and processed food (and unlimited vegetables!)

Despite no focus on calories, my excess weight fell off and I got a spring back in my step. My latest blood test results enabled me to persuade my GP to discontinue all medications except aspirin.

I feel the BHF website should do so much more to tell its readers about How to Migrate to Healthy Eating, (as judging by the recently shared BMI figures, many have struggled to do this.)

Eryl in reply to Onegramatatime

Totally agree, BHF seem to be more concerned with their own existence rather than helping people avoid heart disease.

Onegramatatime in reply to Eryl

In fairness to the BHF, they are in line with cardiac patient's doctors whose focus is on surgical procedures, tests and medication, rather than on lifestyle change. A doctor told me that patients aren't generally motivated to change, so it is a waste of time to try to persuade them. Doctors mostly feel that they didn't go to medical school to be lifestyle coaches. There a a few shining examples in the UK, where GP's have created practice support groups for lifestyle change, but they are few and far between.

Eryl in reply to Onegramatatime

As most of the NHS costs by now are lifestyle related, that needs to change, as Dr Aseem Malhotra has been saying.

I’m fascinated that weight management is topping the poll. As someone who used to struggle with it I’m happy to say that going vegan in a healthy way (vegans can still eat rubbish) weight management is a thing of the past. I achieved a healthy weight without even trying and it never goes up anymore!

INK45 in reply to willsie01

Same here. After 30 or so years as a vegetarian I went vegan 4 years ago and since then lost 30 + pounds without even trying, eating unlimited quantities of plant based food, and without even changing my dastardly habits as a couch potato !

kleelibby in reply to willsie01

Lol when people think a vegan diet is restrictive I mention vegan donuts etc. so yes there’s plenty of junk food for vegans!

JasperJ in reply to willsie01

I tried it for 4 months and put on even more weight :(

I thought i had a healthy diet, but on having my blood pressure and cholesterol taken (190 and 7.5), discovered improvement could be made. I now eat a plant based while food diet and have gradually become totally vegan. I have discovered plenty of scientific studies showing animal protein is bad for us in several ways. Also when archaeologists find the fossilized excrement of paleolithic peoples, it isnt made of meat but huge amounts of fibre. I came to the conclusion that eating animals is bad for our health because it is wrong. We evolved eating mainly plants and eating other mammals is almost cannibalism. It is unnecessary in todays world when a rich supply of alternatives are so plentiful and easily sourced. I havent had dairy for so long Im now lactose intolerant. And dont ask where i get my protein from. Same place the huge muscular gorilla or bull gets it, the plants they eat.

INK45 in reply to Ninn

Good thinking, I agree 100%, I so wish more people realized how bad animal products are, for their own health, for the planet ! and, of course, for the poor animals who get tortured abysmally !!!

StillConcerned in reply to INK45

Having too many people and feeding them on sub-standard diets isn't good for the planet either.

HealthSeeker7 in reply to Ninn

I've been vegetarian / vegan for 57 years and have never worried about getting enough protein. All plant foods provide some level of easy-to-digest protein, even potatoes and white rice. Some studies have linked too-much protein with higher risk of cancer. There are plenty of cancer wards in hospitals, but I've never heard of a protein deficiency ward.

Ninn in reply to HealthSeeker7

Yes, i saw a message on Instagram recently from Dr Gregor of NutrtionFacts. Eat plants like your life depends on it, because it does

Doggie123-UKHigh Risk

I put other because, due to my shielding and living on my own I started ordering meals from Wiltshire Farm Foods, in a sense makes my meals more healthy because at least I have 2 portions of veg with every meal

although its not working as the drugs am on makes me gain weight anyway but still try to eat a healthy diet, I could do with energy boosting food but unsure what to get for this

I've had a gastric bypass and want to keep the weight off not put it back on.

Like you I am coeliac and also have microscopic colitis so I have to watch what I eat and drink.

My diet is mainly veggie.

I try to avoid alcohol and sweet stuff.

I answered "Ethics", "Longevity" and "Illness Management".

ETHICS - I stopped eating meat and eggs - along with my whole family - for ethical reasons when I was a teenager in the 1960's. We knew nothing about what constituted a good diet and we consumed a lot of dairy food back then. Our diets became purer over the years as we realized the huge health benefits of eating a plant based diet.

LONGEVITY - Over the decades we have all stayed healthier than our meat eating friends and family, and we look younger too. My dad died in Jan this year of pneumonia after reaching the age of 101, and he was still walking unaided and driving until four days before he died. My mother is still alive and about to turn 95.

ILLNESS MANAGEMENT - My husband was already lacto-vegetarian when we met in 1990. 14 years after we married he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease - probably caused by breathing in lots of pesticides when he worked on a farm. He became practically vegan when we discovered dairy foods interfere with the absorption of some of his PD medication. We rarely consume dairy products now.

I am a passionate cook and veggie gardener. I love food from many countries and eat what my body needs. When I was incredibly ill with a long bout of organizing pneumonia, I lost my sense of taste completely. Everything tasted like blotting paper. During this time I had cravings for energy enriched natural food such as bananas, artichoke hearts, yoghurt, eggs and dairy, fruit such as blueberries, cranberries and poached apples and pears. I had no interest in meat at all but managed to eat fish of all sorts. In the morning I would force myself to always have a big breakfast - a bowl of rice based cereal, toasted muesli with nuts, banana, dried blueberries and cranberries, a large dollop of goat yoghurt, drizzled with honey and light milk (I couldn't digest full cream). This meal kept me going for most of the day. I'm sure it gave me whatever energy I had to get through my one year illness. Now that I am ale to manage my IPF, IBD and shorter bouts of pneumonia, I eat a good breakfast, my lunch is the main daily meal and at night a light snack to wash down my various medications. I gave up alcohol 8 years ago at the beginning of my inflammatory diseases as the alcohol cause burning sensations in my stomach. I drink lots of fluids all day long, mostly warm water and tea. Listening to my body is my best way of managing my health.

Diabetic Type 2

Eat for necessity and enjoyment of good food. Totally dislike all the fad diet mentality and pseudo I’m eating healthy crap, when really, a lot of the so called healthy crap is - crap! Margarine for one comes to mind.

I endeavour to eat what i do out of tradition( i have always eaten the same diet), simplicity( eat and cook as simple as possible) and need( what i feel like at the time).

Needing to loose some weight for health reasons.

Emotional eater, bored happy sad stressed you name it i eat am slowly killing myself and cant stop but cant afford to get private therepy to help me :(

It all depends on how I feel on the day. Some days I eat like a sensible adult and other days I eat like a small child set free in the Haribo factory.

Great idea for a poll, Coops :).

When I was little I used to have a terrible junk food diet which consisted of many sugary processed foods, gallons of fizzy drinks and hardly any fruit or veg or REAL food as I prefer to call it.

In 1996 I had a brain tumour and a 2nd in 98.

I have had a lot of operations on these tumours due to complications.

At the time, I, my family and doctors thought I was just unlucky but now that I have grown older I no longer agree with doctors saying I was unlucky.

I believe that my awful diet is what brought on my tumours and now I have switched my diet to a lot more fruit and veg and hardly any sugary foods and drinks and look and feel so much better for it too.

So this is the main reason why I eat more healthy and because of the way I eat I have also lost weight as well which I an very pleased about too :).

I have heard before how people have died from cancer and they used to be healthy but it always makes me think of how this healthy food was grown?

They could be eating organic foods grown in soil that has been “treated” with Round Up weedkiller.

Round Up weed killer’s main ingredient is glyphosate which is a probably carcinogenic.

I have to eat gluten free home cooked meals because I’m very sensitive to the presence of any gluten. I eat low carb to avoid weight gain and stay healthy and I do intermittent fasting to hopefully improve my health in the long term. When I’m feeling mentally strong, I fast more, reduce carbs even more than usual and do lots of exercise. That hasn’t happened this year because of Covid. I’m too anxious to concentrate on such things. Just staying healthy is my priority at the moment.

Not really illness management, but I find my hips ache and go very stiff if I eat cakes, biscuits, sugary things! I also find no food after about 7 pm and just having a herbal tea in the evening makes me sleep so much better and not need to get up in the night!

I only eat because I have to. I do not love eating!! I always wanted to be a "Jettson" so my meals would be one little pill.

Hi Jerry and Copper27,

Thank you for the poll, very interesting.

I am on around 3 hours sleep...(I have insomnia, possibly due to a tumour/tumor) so please excuse me, if this is a poor idea...but how about a poll, on the reverse side of this? Something along the lines of 'What negatively impacts your willpower? And, what do you do to stay motivated and on track?' Examples possibly being 1. A bad day 2. Depression 3. Feeling sad 4. Meeting friends for lunch etc...Or, not a poll, and just the question, and ask members to comment. Perhaps this has already been done, if so, please can you kindly add the link please Jerry, thank you :)

Apologies if this is a crappy suggestion. I am struggling a little at the moment...if I stick to my plan, and exercise, I can lose half a stone in one week, but then for the next 3 weeks, I put on a couple of pounds, and then have to try losing that extra few pounds; which I find frustrating, but it's my own fault.

I am learning what makes me leave the tracks, but as yet, I have not found a solution.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone x SM

My husband was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes a few years ago and I made some major adjustments to both our diets.

I ticked all of them except illness management, because God willing I'm not ill.

Eating should be fun. When it's working properly, our body uses most of its energy in the form of fat, using carbohydrate for the more intense activities. Protein is used for growth, repair and maintenance.

We are designed to get our energy almost directly from the food we eat. We don't have the huge hind-gut of a gorilla for instance, to eat lots of fibrous vegetation then for the bacteria within to convert it into fat as theirs does.

So I get most of my energy from meat fat, olives, eggs, and nuts, along with cheese, coconut, and seeds, keeping my carbohydrate intake between 100 and 120g per day.

Hi I have such a winge many times at home because I am so fed up with PALM oil use and food wrapped in plastic 🙄😒

I did it for my Health as I didn't want to get bad health conditions that comes with being obese. Fear of those bad health conditions is what motivated me to, so Fear alone was a big motivation for me.

I am proud to say that I have continued to keep it off and I will never go back their again as I really care about my own health.

You should have put that in (Health) as it is a big factor in life.

I enjoyed doing the survey.

diabetes management


Many thanks for the poll and all the comments people have written. Fascinating to read and reminded me to get back on track. I am pre-diabetic and should take care of my health. The news brings my mood down and that affects whether I feel like eating or overeat. I've got a BHF cookery book called Everyday British with lots of soups, fruit crumbles and strawberry scones I will have try out. So good to read in the comments how Vegan/vegetarian diet has improved people's lives.