What's the Right Weight? and Not Eating Well
If you're overweight you increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and are more likely to develop arthritis, diabetes, high blod pressure, back ache and other debilitating conditions. Losing weight will not only improve your health, but also make you look and feel a new person.
There is no secret to losing weight, all you need to do is eat fewer calories and less fat and step up your exercise. Making these changes part of your everyday life will help you slim safely and maintain a healthy weight.
Safe Slimming tips
- Aim for healthy eating based on low-fat, high-carbohydrate meals, rather than a 'quick fix' diet that may be hard to stick to.
- Check food label carefully when shopping for the calorie/fat content in a serving of a particulay product. The government's GDAs (guideline daily amount) are 2,500 calories and 95g fat for men and 2,000 calories and 70g fat for women.
- Be realistic - expect to lose no more than 1 kg (2lbs) a week.
- Don't weigh yourself everyday! Getting on the scales once a week will help boost your morale and keep you focused.
- Promise yourself a treat when you reach your final target weight and reward yourself when you make progress on the way.
- Plan tactics for coping for when you're eating out. Ask for meat or fish dishes without sauce, go for grilled rather tan fried food, opt for salads instead of chips and fresh fruit rather than a pudding.
- Eat small, regular meals and carry round healthy, low-calorie snacks such as fruit to nibble on when peckish.
- Drink plenty of water - sometimes we think we're hungry when all we need is a drink.
- Ask friends, family and work colleafues for their support.
- Join a slimming group to boost your motivation.
- Get moving! Take the stairs rather than the lift, walk or cycle instead of driving, or take up an activity that you'll enjoy, such as golf badminton, swimming or dancing.
NB: If you have a medical condition, always check with your GP before starting a weight loss programme
Not Eating Well
Because of poor eating habits and an unhealthy lifestyle thousands of people die prematurely each year from coronary heart disease, stroke and other illnesses. Others live with pain, long-term disability and a restricted lifestyle.
Many people eat too much in general. Over-eating or a daily diet containing too much saturated and unsaturated fat may lead to obesity. There is some evidence to suggest that obesity and an unhealthy diet increase the risk of cancers such colorectal (bowel) cancer. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in women in Britain and the third most common for men.
Your diet is unhealthy if you eat too much fat, salt and sugar. Too much salt, for example, can raise your blood pressure and triple your risk of heart disease and stroke. You can lower your blood pressure in just four weeks by reducing your salt intake.
Under-eating or poor eating habits can lead to malnutrition and you may be lacking in:
- Vitamin C - can result in scurvy, poor wound healing and bleeding gums
- Vitamin B12 - may lead to pernicious anaemia
- Folic acid - may increase risk of foetal abnormalities in pregnant women
- Calcium, vitamin D - can result in osteoporosis or brittle bones
Under-eating may also be a sign of an eating disorder. For example, symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:
- 30% body weight loss because of refusing to eat or making excuses for missing meals
- A desire to lose weight when body weight is normal or underweight
- Fear of eating
- Reluctance to admit there's a problem
- Obsession about food or calories
- Excessive exercise
- Missed or absent periods
- Moodiness and insomnia
- Fainting or dizzy spells
- Wearing baggy clothes to disguise weight loss
- Increasing isolation from friends
- Constantly feeling cold
- Growth of fine downy hair on body
- Reduced sex drive
If your organisation have the Health Matters Assistance Programme in place then you can contact the service to gain advice on how to successfully and healthily control weight and how to eat healthily. Indeed speaking to your EAP in the first instance can make for an ideal platform to improving general health and wellbeing.
If you have medical concerns you should also refer to your GP