How to lose weight the healthy way
We put on weight when the amount of calories we eat exceeds the amount of calories we burn through normal everyday activities and exercise. Most adults need to eat less and get more active.
The only way to lose weight healthily and keep it off is to make permanent changes to the way you eat and exercise. A few small alterations, such as eating less and choosing drinks that are lower in fat, sugar and alcohol, can help you lose weight. There are also plenty of ways to make physical activity part of your life.
If you’re overweight, aim to lose about 5-10% of your starting weight by losing 0.5-1kg (1-2lb) a week. You should be able to lose this amount if you eat about 500 to 600 fewer calories than you need a day. An average man needs about 2,500 calories a day and an average woman about 2,000 calories to stay the same weight.
Six ways to kick-start your healthy weight loss plan
Here are six simple things you can do to eat healthily and help you lose weight.
- To reduce the amount of fat you eat, you could trim the fat off meat, drink skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of full fat, choose a reduced- or low-fat spread, and replace cream with low-fat yoghurt.
- Eat wholegrain foods, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta. They’re digested more slowly than the white varieties, so will help you feel full for longer.
- Don’t skip breakfast. A healthy breakfast will give you the energy you need to start the day, and there’s some evidence that people who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to be overweight.
- Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day.
- If you feel like a snack, try having a drink first, such as a glass of water or cup of tea. Often we think we’re hungry when really we’re thirsty.
- Swap drinks high in calories for lower calorie alternatives – that means drinks that are lower in fat, sugars and alcohol. Swap a sugary fizzy drink for sparkling water with a slice of lemon. Don’t forget that alcohol is high in calories, so cutting down on alcohol can help you control your weight.
Exercise and weight loss
Regular physical activity will not only help you lose weight, but could also reduce your risk of developing a serious illness.
Walking is an excellent way to lose weight. The rule of thumb is that for every mile (2000 steps) you walk, you lose approximately 100 calories.