How can you lose weight – healthily?
The key to success is to think of small, realistic changes to your diet and level of physical activity that can become a part of your daily routine.
Commit to change
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.
To lose weight, we need to change our current habits. This means eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting active. Drastic exercise regimes and fad diets that result in rapid weight loss are unlikely to work for long, because these kinds of lifestyle changes can’t be maintained.
Four things you can do today:
If you haven’t already, check your BMI (Body Mass Index)
Try this: Healthy Weight Calculator
Swap your morning or afternoon snack for a piece of fruit. It’s a simple way to cut down, help you achieve your 5-a-day and make you feel better overall. Many common snacks such as sweets, chocolate, biscuits and crisps, are high in fat and sugar and supply calories that we don’t need.
Find a way to fit just one extra walk into your day. Brisk 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.
Make your breakfast healthier. You could slice up a banana on top of your cereal (in place of added sugar) or you could try one of these:
- Porridge with dried fruits
- Muesli, fruit and yoghurt
- Wholegrain breakfast cereal (with a sliced-up banana)
- Boiled eggs with wholemeal toast
A good breakfast has a lot of health benefits and can be quicker and easier than you might think. Those who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to be overweight and research shows that children who eat breakfast perform better in school.
And here's more you can do during the week ahead:
Plan a healthy weekly shop - eating well often starts with having the right foods at home. At the supermarkets look out for fresh foods and healthier options.
Swap a shop-bought pizza or a takeaway for a healthier, lower calorie, home-made alternative.
Commit to one more way to increase your level of physical activity. It’s recommended that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week - you may need more to lose weight. Physical activity means anything that raises your heart rate and makes you warm. You can split the 30 minutes up - into three periods of 10 minutes, for example.
For some ideas and step-by-step exercise guides for beginners, try this:
Make a note of this week’s danger zones. These are times when you might find yourself eating lots of unhealthy foods, perhaps because you are eating out or simply because you’re tired or stressed. Plan ahead so that you can limit those foods, but don’t be too strict - an indulgence from time to time is fine.
Here’s help with diet danger zones:
Diet Danger Zones
Start Losing Weight
And don’t forget your five-a-day!