Healthy weight loss
It’s no secret … eating less and moving more is the key to losing weight. Reaching a healthy weight and staying at that weight has great benefits for our health and happiness. A healthy weight reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. It can boost confidence and self-esteem. Other benefits include improved sleep, feeling more energised and being better able to concentrate.
Are you currently a healthy weight?
Just one in three Peterborough adults are a healthy weight. There is no ideal weight that suits everyone. Each person is different and your healthy weight is determined by factors that are unique to you. There are a couple of measurements you can use to check if you are currently a healthy weight.
- You can use Body Mass Index (BMI) to find out if your weight is in a healthy range. A BMI calculator uses your height and weight to calculate whether you are a healthy weight, underweight, overweight or obese. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
- You can also check your waist measurement. If you carry more weight around your middle this may be unhealthy, even if your BMI is in the healthy range. A healthy waist measurement for males is 94cm or less and for females is 80cm or below.
If your BMI is overweight or obese and/or your waist measurement is above a healthy range losing weight would benefit your health.
How can you lose weight?
Eating a healthier, balanced diet and increasing your physical activity levels are the key to success. NHS Choices has lots of guidance to help you start losing weight.
There are often media stories of people quickly losing a lot of weight. The evidence shows that you are likely to keep weight off once you’ve lost it if you lose weight gradually over a long period of time. Aim to lose around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb) until you achieve a healthy BMI and/or waist measurement.
Eating well and having the right portion sizes will help you to lose weight. There are lots of fad diets out there but these are often extreme, difficult to stick to and may not provide all the nutrients your body needs. Although you may lose weight in the short term reverting back to old habits can see the weight pile back on. Instead the Eatwell Guide shows us a healthier way to eat and still loose weight. This shows that there are five important foods groups our bodies need to be healthy and how much of each food group we should eat.
Being more physically active is also important in losing weight and looking after your health. No matter what or how much you can do there are plenty of ideas for moving more and keeping active.
Set yourself some weight loss goals
You may feel you have a lot of weight to lose. Be realistic about reaching a healthy weight and the time this may take. Remember a healthy weight loss is around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb). If you are overweight then starting with an initial goal to lose 5%-10% of your current weight gives you something to aim for. It can be motivating to set yourself smaller weight loss goals towards your total weight loss aim e.g. reaching your first 2lbs, 7lbs and 1 stone.
The One You Easy Meals app is a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. You'll find delicious, easy meal ideas to help get you going if you're ever short of inspiration.
The Live Well 12 week weight loss guide combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity. You get a brilliant information pack for each week of the plan, which is full of advice and tips, plus a brilliant stick-it-on-the-fridge planner to help you track your weekly progress.
NHS 'BMI Can Do IT' website