Eimear Nee, the Allcare Pharmacy trainer, shares some tips for healthy weight loss.
Maintaining a healthy weight is very important for overall health. It helps to reduce our risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, a heart attack, stroke and certain cancers e.g. pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer.
It’s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to do so quickly. However, evidence has shown that people who lose weight gradually and steadily gain more success with maintaining a weight loss. Positive lifestyle choices concerning diet and exercise, even those which are very small, can make a big impact on weight over time.
For those who are overweight, a 10% reduction in weight can have a positive impact on blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, wellbeing and self-confidence.
Your local Allcare Pharmacy can support and motivate you on your weight loss journey. At Allcare Pharmacy, we offer a free BMI Check Service. ‘BMI’ stands for Body Mass Index and provides a guide on a person’s weight is categorised as ‘healthy’. The Allcare BMI Check service involves a weight and height measurement along with an optional waist circumference measurement in one of our private consultation rooms. Should the results indicate that you would benefit from losing some weight, the Allcare Pharmacist or a trained member of staff will discuss an achievable weight loss target and a weekly weight loss goal. The consultation will also involve a discussion on lifestyle changes which may help to support you. The Allcare BMI Record Card has space for future recordings, should you like to call into the pharmacy for regular checks and to see your progress.
Speak to your local Allcare pharmacist if you have any questions on losing weight or if you take medicines or have a condition which might require additional consultation before embarking on a diet or exercise plan.
Top tips to support a healthy weight loss in adults:
- Aim to eat 3 regular meals per day plus 2 -3 healthy snacks if needed
- Aim for 5 – 7 portions of fruit, vegetables and salad daily. The Food Pyramid issued by Healthyireland.ie (below), details the types and portion sizes of food we should eat to maintain health. If you don’t eat a balanced diet, or if you restrict certain foods from your diet, supplementation with a vitamin and mineral may help to support you in meeting your daily nutritional needs
- Limit intake of high fat, sugar, salt (HFSS) food and drinks
- Replace an unhealthy snack with a healthier choice e.g. an apple instead of a biscuit. The more you do this, the more you will naturally tend to reach for the healthier option
- Drink plenty of water (1.5 – 2 litres daily)
- Plan meals to avoid reaching for convenience food. Cook in large batches and freeze what is not needed, for those days when you don’t have the time nor the willingness to cook from scratch!
- Choose grilling or baking rather than frying or using fats or oils to roast
- Eat slowly and try to stop eating just before you’re full
- Increase physical activity levels. Aim to be active in some way every day
- Choose an exercise that you enjoy. Otherwise, it will be difficult to commit to regular exercise regularly
- Reduce alcohol intake. Alcohol and certain ‘mixers’ can contain a high amount of calories. Keep alcohol intake at or below the low risk alcohol guidelines.
Women - less than 11 standard drinks (110g pure alcohol) spread out over the week, with at least two alcohol-free days
Men - less than 17 standard drinks (170g pure alcohol) spread out over the week, with at least two alcohol-free days
- Write down the reasons why you would like to lose weight. Refer to this list to motivate yourself
- Small changes can make a big difference. Start today!
Still looking for the best options for you? Ask our Pharmacist!