7th June, 20183 min read

Tips for losing weight

Last reviewed: 07/06/2018
Medically reviewed

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In this article
  1. The only way to lose weight healthily and keep it off is to make permanent changes to the way you eat and exercise. Drastic fad diets and exercise regimes that result in rapid weight loss are unlikely to work for long, because these kinds of lifestyle changes can’t be maintained.
  2. Aim to lose weight at around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb), until you achieve a healthy body mass index (BMI). You should be able to lose this amount if you eat about 500 to 600 fewer calories than you need a day.
  3. Eat wholegrain foods, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta. They’re digested more slowly than the white varieties, so will help you feeling full for longer.
  4. 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.
  5. If you feel like a snack, try having a drink first, such as a glass of water or a cup of tea. We often think we’re hungry when really we’re thirsty.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Lots of foods in the supermarkets are labelled “low-fat”. However, in some cases these foods can be very high in sugar and therefore calories. Make sure you check the label for low calories as well as fat.
  9. Controlling portion size is important for losing weight. Try to eat slowly so you are less likely to over-eat. At home, serve yourself a smaller portion to start and then decide if you really need another serving.
  10. When we are stressed we often turn to unhealthy snacks. Try to cope with stress in another way such as exercise, which promotes mental wellbeing. If you do snack, try plain popcorn, fruit or vegetables.

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