The health risks of being overweight are well-known to us all, including high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. It can be tempting to jump on the new year bandwagon of losing weight with fad-diets or gym memberships. In fact, the reality of weight-loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, can be far more difficult in practice.
At Smarta Healthcare, we understand that your personal weight-loss goals depend on a number of factors. Weight management needs to be tailored to the individual and take into account lifestyle, health conditions, as well as physical and mental behavioural change.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you get started with your personal weight loss plan. You can call us if you would like advice on healthy weight loss strategies, or if you’d like to take part in in our Weight Management workshops. Call us to find out more: 01234 831 768
1. Understand your current health and set your own weight-loss goal
Understanding your BMI or Body Mass Index can help to provide a picture of your overall health and give you a visual realisation of what your healthy weight-loss goal should be. You can find out yours using the free online NHS BMI calculator. A BMI greater than 25 can be a cause for concern when it comes to being healthy.
It’s worth noting that BMI only gives an indication of your current level of health. Some people may have other aspects of their health, or certain conditions, that need to be taken into account before they start a long-term weight management plan.
If you would like help understanding a more complete picture of your overall health, we offer 20-minute health check at the Smarta Healthcare clinic, that takes into account blood pressure, artery health as well as BMI. It can highlight early signs of health issues and provide peace of mind. Call us on 01234 831 768 to find out more.
2. Focus on the ‘why’, not just the ‘how’
There are many benefits to losing weight including feeling better, having more energy or more confidence in your appearance to consider. Ask yourself – what is important to me?
Many people find it useful to centre their attention on why they want to achieve their weight-loss goals, or what it will mean to them once they’ve achieved it. This could be something very personal, like having more energy to enjoy kids or grandkids, an upcoming wedding, or even getting into your favourite pair of jeans.
Whatever success looks like for you, make a visual representation by writing it down or printing out a photo, and put it somewhere you will see it every day for motivation. Everybody has bad days, but setting your sights on your goal will help keep you on track to success.
3. Making healthier choices
It can be tempting to dive right into a limiting diet that results in fast weight-loss, without a long-term plan of how to keep the weight from creeping back on.
We believe that making healthy habits leads to better choices and when it comes to managing your diet. For instance, meal-planning for the week ahead can be a game-changer. Not only can it help keep you on track by choosing only foods that are healthier and low in fat, it can even help you save money by making sure there is nothing going to waste. Set aside some time each week to research recipes that are exciting to you, and that meet your weight-loss goals, and write down a complete list of everything you need.
Remember that small changes can add up to a big difference. By making informed choices when you go shopping, you can help focus your commitment to losing those pounds each week. Try out a few of our tips when you’re planning that shopping list:
- Cut down on red meat – there a plenty of veggie or even vegan alternatives out there that taste just as good, and are much healthier for you.
- Try fish twice a week – Oily fish is especially good for your heart, as well as being a great source of vitamins, minerals and of course, protein.
- Look for low-fat or unsaturated versions of oils and spreads to use in cooking.
- Getting your 5-a-day may seem like a lot of fruit and veggies to cram into one day, but remember you can get those vitamins, minerals and fibres from different types of meals, including drinking smoothies and snacking on nuts or seeds. And don’t forget – beans and pulses count too.
- Also, never go to the supermarket hungry – temptation is around every corner!
4. Hydrate to lose weight
Keeping hydrated is often overlooked when it comes to healthy weight management, but the benefits of hydration can really make a difference in the long-term.
Water is a natural appetite suppressant with zero calories, so drinking a large glass of water when you might be feeling a bit peckish can help with those snack-cravings between meal times. There’s also plenty of research to back up the idea that drinking water helps burn calories, remove waste from the body and help reduce muscle cramps and fatigue during exercise.
5. Find your groove
It can be difficult to set aside time in your day to focus on your goals, but our busy lives still need to flex around what is important to us. Finding a regular form or exercise that works for you and your routine is essential to losing weight in the long-term. After all, commitment to change only works if you can maintain it.
Be it starting a five-a-side football team with your mates, or doing a daily dance workout YouTube video, exercise doesn’t have to be expensive or a chore, but it does need to be regular and something you enjoy. Take some time to find something that works for you and stick with it.
You can also plan your daily activities around being active. Even small changes can help, like taking the stairs rather than the lift in the office, or walking to the shops for your essentials – it all adds up.
Read about Esther’s Weight-Loss Journey with Smarta Healthcare
6. Don’t give up
We know losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is far easier said than done. We can help you kick-start your weight-loss and create a long-term, strategic approach to maintaining a healthy weight, through our Weight Management Workshops, or personal weight-loss plans. Call us to find out more: 01234 831 768