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Be Smart with your Weight

We hope that this online guide enables you to understand the risks of being overweight

and helps you to make lifestyle changes to lose weight and sustain your weight loss – by improving your dietary intake and your portion control, and becoming more physically active – within your personal budget, ability and time constraints.  



Obesity is diagnosed when someone’s BMI (basal metabolic index) is greater than 30kg/m2. But remember that obesity is a clinical term with specific health implications, and not a judgement on a person’s appearance. BMI is a simple index of weight-for-height that is used to classify how overweight someone is, to estimate their adiposity (the proportion of fat in their body) as a rough guide.  People who have a high level of muscle mass (usually young men) may incorrectly be placed in the overweight category, so any BMI measure must be interpreted with caution.


A BMI of 25kg/m2 and above is classed as being above the ideal range for Caucasians; though this recommended threshold may be lower for people of different ethnicities. For example, south Asian people living in the UK should aim for a BMI below 23kg/m2. A person with a raised BMI has a higher risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders and some cancers. So, take a look at the Table below to see how your BMI might be classed – as being underweight..healthy weight …. overweight ….obese…or extremely (sometimes termed ‘morbidly’) obese? What’s your starting weight, your height and BMI now?

Are you ready to lose weight? Work through these five phases as you progress along your weight loss journey: planning, exercising, recording, reflecting, and most importantly, celebrating your achievements.



Making small and sustainable changes is far better than making extreme changes that are far removed from your routine, so it’s unlikely you’ll keep those changes going long-term. Be realistic about setting your goals, and make them achievable.  If you have big goals, then break them down so that they are much more achievable. For instance, if your goal is to lose 10kg (or 22lbs) it will be impossible to lose it all in the first week, so you need to make targets that you plan to reach by the end of the month, such as losing 3kg (about 7lbs) each month, by eating more healthily and having a good exercise schedule.



Thirty minutes a day of moderate aerobic activity can comprise a brisk walk, a swim, a spell of gardening, cycling. It’s good to have a mix of physical activities that include resistance-type exercises such as press-ups or stretching your limbs via resistance bands – to strength your muscles and bone mass. Aim to be active everyday; and over a week your daily activities should add up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of ten minutes or more e.g. at least 30 minutes of exercise on at least five days per week. Include exercises to improve your muscle strength on at least two days a week.



Progress is great to see when starting a weight loss journey; so note how well your journey is going by recording your weekly milestones. Consider what you have enjoyed and what you have found particularly difficult or challenging each week.



If you have not quite met your goals yet, do still take pride in all the beneficial changes you have made and will continue to do. Keeping track of your progress from the start, can be a massive motivation to yourself and a reminder to push yourself to not give up.



To celebrate, treat yourself to something that is affordable (but what you should never regard as a reward for your weight loss is FOOD! Would you really want all that hard work to go to waste with a highly calorific meal?).



Assess how ready you are to change your lifestyle habits, take forward your plan, and plot out the resources that you’ll need.  Identify the gaps so that you can begin to build an action plan to successfully lose your overweight (forever). Start by completing the Table below, capturing what resources you’ll need to create a positive plan to lose weight and hopefully sustain that weight loss for a long, healthy life.

Resources you'll need?

What? Where? When? Add the details

Location (where you might walk, jog, run safely)

Money/funds (gym, exercise equipment at home, sports shoes etc.)

People (adviser e.g. slimming club, dietitian, psychologist)

Information online (cooking, networks, exercises)

Communication (e.g. What’s App group to share your progress with friends)

Planning (watch trends in your weight, daily exercise/steps done)


Other? E.g. your back up plan…. 

And think:

What will motivate you to lose weight?

Tick ones for you

Spend less on food/drink?

Wear old clothes that used to fit you – not necessarily buy new ones; so saving money.

Enhance your career prospects by gaining self esteem/confidence.

Join a weight loss group or generate your own weight loss group e.g. bunch of friends.

Find a lifestyle coach (e.g. via gym membership) or close friend who can keep you on track.

Sign a declaration of your planned weight loss goal and frame it – stick it up where you see it whenever you’re preparing food.

Photos of you when you were slimmer? Or  – when you were even fatter than now?


1)      How frequently do you exercise?


2)      What exercises do you enjoy doing and why?


3)      What types of exercise do you dislike doing and why?


4)      What are your biggest obstacles when it comes to exercising? How will you overcome these hurdles?

















1)      How did you ensure that you stayed on track with your fitness goals?



2)      How do you feel about how far you have come?



3)      What obstacles did you face along the way? How did you overcome them?

How did you keep the weight that you’ve lost off?

Tick ones that apply to you

Used visual props?

Threw your too large clothes away?

Reflected regularly on what’s going well; what’s not so good- how you could remedy the ‘not so good’ bits?

Listened to tips from others who’ve kept weight off?

Switched from a sedentary to a moderately active life?

Started again (…and again…and again) - forgave yourself when you started snacking as you’re only human?

Worked on resisting your favourite naughty foods with some tasty but healthy alternatives?

Avoided meeting others in a pub to socialise and drink?

Was very careful - didn’t buy ‘naughty’ food or drink to avoid temptations!


How did you celebrate your successes when you reached your various weight loss goals?

What’s your plan in the future if you reach specific goals you have set for yourself? Plan specific rewards for the various milestones in your weight loss plan (e.g. when your BMI falls to an ideal 24.9kg/m2 or you have lost more than one stone/ 8 kilograms maybe)? Be creative in the types of rewards you give yourself – maybe clothes, a theatre trip, a holiday away…..?

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