If you're overweight, losing weight will bring you a range of important health benefits. The key to success? Making realistic changes to your diet and level of physical activity that can become a part of your daily routine. Evidence shows that the best way to lose weight is to make long-term changes to diet and physical activity that result in a steady rate of weight loss. Aim to lose weight at around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb), until you achieve a healthy BMI
Physical activity recommendations for adults. Modern life can make it easy to eat and drink more than we realise and do little physical activity. The result is often weight gain. People who are overweight or obese should first aim to gradually build up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.
Ready to get started? You can take five actions today that will start your journey towards a healthy weight:
If you haven’t already, check your BMI you can ask in the pharmacy. If your BMI is in the overweight range, aim to achieve a weight that puts your BMI in the healthy range. If it is in the obese range, aim to lose between 5% and 10% of your starting weight. Having lots of muscle may put your BMI in the unhealthy range, even if you have little body fat. However, this will not apply to most people.
Now take the next snack you plan to have and swap it for something healthier. Many common snacks, such as sweets, chocolate, biscuits and crisps, are high in fat and sugar and supply calories that we don’t need. Today, swap your elevenses or mid-afternoon snack for a piece of fruit, a fruit bun or a slice of malt loaf with a low-fat spread. Aim to do the same every day: you’ve adopted your first weight loss habit.
Try to swap drinks that are high in calories for drinks that are lower in fat and sugars. Swap a sugary fizzy drink for a sparkling water with a slice of lemon. Don't forget that alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down could help you to control your weight.
Next, find a way to fit just one extra walk into your day. Fast walking is a way to burn calories, and you can often fit it into your daily routine. You might walk to the shops during your lunch break, or get off the bus one stop early on the way home and walk the rest of the way. Commit to this and you’ve adopted your second long-term habit. Ideally, you should aim to walk 10,000 steps a day: it’s not as many as it sounds.
Last, think about your breakfast tomorrow morning. Can you make it healthier, using the foods you already have at home?
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