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Mar 2023
Weight Management

Weight Management

What Is a Healthy Weight?

Being overweight or underweightt is associated with a risk of weight-related diseases and health issues. To reduce these risks ahealthy weight guidelinehas been developed that vary for each person and depend on factors such as age, sex, genetics, body frame, existing medical history and lifestyle habits. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of whether you're a healthy weight for your height. Although it does not measure body fat or body composition directly, research has shown BMI to be associate closely with other methods that directly measure body fat. To see if you have a healthy weight you can use a measurement called your body mass index, or BMI. This is calculated as follows:

Your weight in kilograms (kg) divided by your height in metres (m) squared

For most adults:

A BMI between 18.5 and 25 is defined as healthy.
A BMI of over 25 is defined as overweight.
A BMI of over 30 is defined as obese.

If you have any questions about your BMI, talk to a health professional like your GP, pharmacist or a dietitian.

What Causes Weight Gain?

There are many reasons for weight gain including certain medications, pregnancy and stress.However,the main factors that can contribute to excess weight gain are: eating patterns, physical activity levels, and sleep routines. It is beneficial to keep a steady weight as much as possible and control excessive weight gain over time, which is strongly associated with health risks.

  1. Diet: The quantity and quality of food in your diet has a strong impact on weight.
  2. Genes: Some people are genetically susceptible to gain weight more easily than others; however, studies suggest that eating a healthy diet, staying active can prevent the genetic predisposition to risk for obesity and its complications.
  3. Physical inactivity: Physical activity is a key element of weight control and health and has a host of other health benefits, including reducing the chances of developing heart disease, some types of cancer, and other chronic diseases.
  4. Stress: Chronic stress lead to high levels of cortisol that increase appetite and encourage unhealthy eating habits by causing cravings for“comfort foods” of highly processed high calories snack and food.
  5. Inadequate sleep: Lack of sleep creates a hormone imbalance in the body that promotes overeating and weight gain. In general, children and adults who get too little sleep tend to weigh more than those who get enough sleep.

Maintain, Don’t Gain

Overweight and obesity can have serious health concern that increases the risk of many other health conditions and strongly influence your chances of developing the following diseases and conditions:

  • Cardiovascular disease including heart attack and stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Gallstones
  • Asthma
  • Cataracts
  • Infertility
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea

That is why is important to maintaining a healthy weight.

Benefits of Weight Loss

Studies has shown a modest weight loss of 5%-10% of your current body weight is likely to produce several health benefits, it can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. It can also reduce the risk of:

  • high blood pressure
  • lower back and joint pain
  • angina (heart condition causing chest pain)
  • high blood cholesterol levels
  • fertility problems

Tips to lose weight safely:

Practical weight loss should be seen as an overall lifestyle change which involves eating a healthy balanced diet and doing plenty of physical activity.

  • Keep it slow and steady. People who lose weight gradually and steadily about 1 to 2 pounds per week are more successful at keeping weight off.
  • Setting reasonable goals. with the SMART acronym, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Start by creating short-term SMART goals and try to find a weight-loss plan which will work for you. Calorie and portion size control is an important part of a weight loss strategy, but success is likely to depend on how well you can stick to your plan
  • Develop healthy eating patterns. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping physically active is important during and after you have reached your desired weight. evidence indicates that calorie reduction remains the most effective approach for weight control. The Healthy Eating Plate model that provides balanced nutrition and portion control is a good place to start.
  • Physical activity. Exercise is one component in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing weight gain, but it also plays a key role in wellbeing and mental health There is evidence to show that people who combine regular physical activity with a healthy eating plan are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off.

Here are some tips to increase your physical activity:

  • Find a type of physical activity you enjoy, this can be anything from walking the dog, dancing, gardening, going to the gym or playing a team sport. The more you enjoy it, the more you are likely to do.
  • Exercise with a friend and use each other for motivation.
  • Try to make physical activity part of your daily routine, such as walking to work and taking the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Do not set yourself unrealistic targets; not everyone will be able to run a marathon!

Weight loss support

The NHS has a free online 12-week weight-loss plan, which includes lots of handy tips, a weight-loss forum and email support. Find out more on the NHS website.

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