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Effective Weight Management – Eat well to keep well

Article written by Christopher Chow

Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for our wellbeing as obesity increases our risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and heart problems.  The term obese describes a person who is overweight with excessive body fat in the body. A quick method to check if you are overweight is by calculating your body mass index (BMI) and a calculator can be found on the NHS webpage. (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator) However, this is not accurate in people who are very muscular.

The key to a healthy weight is to establish a routine with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Having a balanced diet means eating the correct amount of food for your daily level of activity. Our body requires different amount of energies from food, depending on how physically active we are. If you keep yourself active and eat less, you will lose weight as your body uses up the fat in your body. Eating a wide variety of food is essential as you require vitamins and minerals from different food sources. 

Some general tips for establishing this routine:

 

  • Eat starchy food as part of your main meal 

 

  • Examples of these are potatoes, bread, rice, and pasta. Wholegrain options are preferred as they contain more fibre, vitamins and minerals.

 

  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and fish regularly

 

  • Fruits and vegetables contain a good source of vitamin and minerals and we should eat five portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Fish is also good source of proteins and vitamins and oily fish contains omega-3 fats that are useful in preventing heart diseases. Try to eat two portions of fish each week, with at least one portion of oily fish.

 

  • Avoid food with saturated fat and sugar and have a low salt diet

 

  • Saturated fat can increase your cholesterol and high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart diseases. Sugary food contains high energy and causes weight gain.
  • You should adapt a low salt diet as excessive salt may increases your blood pressure. Salt may be included in your food products and it is important to check the salt content before eating.

 

  • Maintain a healthy weight by eating healthy and keeping active

 

  • Regular exercise and eating less can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce risk of getting serious health problems. Though losing weight is important for obese individuals, it is advised not to be underweight and you should receive adequate nutrients from your diet. 

 

  • Be proactive and motivated to maintain this routine

 

  • Weight management is a long-term goal, and it can be easy to regain weight after succeeding. Be prepared to maintain these habits even after losing weight and stick to your daily plans.

The advice provided is extracted from https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well and there are multiple resources from the NHS to support you with weight management. The NHS weight loss plan is a 12-week diet and exercise plan, our pharmacy is well trained to support you with the planning.  There are many products available in the public for weight loss but not every product is safe and effective. In particular, laxatives are not used for losing weight and they are not safe for this purpose. If you have any relevant enquiry, our pharmacy staff can advise you about the safety and suitability of weight loss products.

Christopher Chow

Provisional Pharmacist

Lowdham Pharmacy

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