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Keeping a Healthy Weight

Introduction

Helpful Hints(Shopping & Eating)



Introduction

If you are overweight you are damaging your general health as well as making your heart work harder.  Your waist measurement is a good way of deciding if you need to lose some weight. Fat around your stomach and waist area is particularly likely to increase your chances of a heart attack.  As a general rule;

  • Men should aim to keep their waist measurements below 37 inches (94cm).  A waist measurement above this can increase your risk of ill health, and a waist measurement of over 40 inches (104 centimetres) can increase this risk even further 
  • Women should aim to keep their waist measurements below 32 inches (80 centimetres).  A waist measurement above this can increase your risk of ill health, and a waist measurement of over 35 inches (88 centimetres) can increase this risk even further

By making some changes you can lose weight, by watching what you eat and doing more physical activity.

Not all of us will get to our ideal weight but don't get disheartened – even one pound off counts towards improving your chances of not having a heart attack (or another if you've already had one). 

The key to maintaining a healthy weight is to make sure that your body is in energy balance.  To stay in "energy balance" the amount of calories you take from food and drink over a period of time (e.g. a day or week) has to equal the amount you burn off during that time from physical activity. 

If you regularly eat more calories than you burn off you will put on weight.  If you regularly eat less calories than you burn off you will lose weight.  A packet of crisps extra each day will put on 1 stone in a year.  A packet of crisps less a day will take off 1 stone in a year.

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Helpful hints

Shopping

  • Make a list and stick to it
  • Shop after a meal.  Don't shop when you are hungry – you'll buy too much

Eating

  • Don't try to lose too much weight too quickly – if you do you'll get disappointed and stop trying.  Aim to lose at least a half to one lb (0.5kg) each week
  • Try smaller portions on a smaller plate
  • Don't eat while you are watching TV or reading – you'll not notice if you eat more than you meant too
  • Remember – fatty and sugary foods have the most calories
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.  They fill you up and are low in fat – containing fewer calories
  • You should think of cakes, biscuits crisps, chocolate, sweets and soft drinks as treats and only have them once in a while.  They all have lots of sugar and/or fat so they contain lots of calories.  They're not filling and so you'll want more food too soon
  • Have some low calorie snacks handy – carrot sticks, celery, apples etc.

The key to maintaining a healthy weight is to ensure that your body is in energy balance.
Follow the advice in the earlier physical activity and eating a healthy diet sections.

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