Thinking about losing weight?

Obesity is a growing concern in the UK and is one of the leading factors contributing to heart conditions such as Hypertension (high blood pressure), raised cholesterol and heart failure. With 23% of the population currently obese and this number rising, it is essential this issue is tackled. Within this blog there are tips to help you live or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Physical activity

Physical activity is important in helping to lose weight, just eating healthy foods will only get you so far. Physical activity doesn’t have to be going to the gym every day but should involve activity of moderate intensity which works to slightly increase your heart rate and make you slightly out of breath. The types of activity could be brisk walking, swimming or cycling.

If you are aiming to lose weight, exercise duration should ideally be one hour a day, five times per week. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, thirty minutes per day is sufficient. It may seem daunting but this doesn’t need to be done all in one go; exercise can be split into three sections of twenty minutes throughout the day. If you are not used to that much physical activity, start small, five to ten minutes a day to begin with and then work yourself upwards as it gets easier.

Diet

When dieting it doesn’t need to be all about fruit and vegetables! Here’s the breakdown of recommended portions per day.

Fruit and vegetables are recommended at five portions a day. These give you the essential vitamins and minerals to keep your cells working and fight off bacteria so the theory is you spend less time feeling unwell! These portions can be tinned, fresh, frozen or as a juice.

For water the aim is two litres a day (8 glasses). This can be plain water/with juice or as tea and coffee (although tea and coffee shouldn’t be the main/only fluid intake in the day).

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the day. Aim for wholegrain carbs such as brown bread and brown rice which gives you extra fibre. Women should aim for five to six portions and men eight to ten. Bear in mind one portion = one slice of bread or three tablespoons of pasta or rice so it is easy to go over. If there is also insufficient levels of exercise your body will convert carbs into fat. Remember to tailor your carb intake with how much of it you will burn off during exercise.

Fish should be eaten twice a week. If this is not possible then consider Omega 3 capsules as a supplement as this is an essential mineral.

Protein such as eggs and meat should be two portions a day. Protein is important as it helps with growth and repair of cells. If you’re vegetarian, meat substitutes contain lots of protein too!

Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt should three portions daily. This is essential for keeping bones healthy.

Fat and sugary products should be kept to a minimum BUT are needed in our diets to protect organs and keep us warm especially in winter!

These are the best basic tips to help with weight management. There are so many different diets out there but just eating three meals a day, exercise and a small snack when needed is the best option and is easier to manage.

If you have any questions or for further information visit your local Cohens Chemist where we offer a FREE weight management and blood pressure check service!