Lifestyle and weight management

Today’s lifestyle is hectic. From running around after the kids: ferrying them to and from football practise to busy work schedules that often eat into home life. It’s difficult to strike the work-life balance we are all desperate for – and more frequently it’s our health that’s suffering.

Is your lifestyle affecting your weight control?

Can you recount when you last took a lunch break away from your desk, or didn’t grab a snack in between meetings? It can be easier to pick that unhealthy snack as a quick fix. And, if we’re hungry we tend to crave high-sugar and high-fat foods that are no good for our waistline.

In 2016 the Health Survey for England found that 26.2% of adults in England were obese and a further 35.2% were overweight, making 61.4% who are overweight or obese. Men were also more like to be overweight or obese compared with women.

The survey also found a whopping 70% of over 45-year-olds are overweight or obese and the age group most likely to be overweight is aged between 55-64.

So, if you’re picking the foods packed with sugar because they’re quick and easy, chances are you will struggle to maintain your ideal weight.

What are the health risks?

Being overweight can increase your risk of many health problems, including:

  • diabetes
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • heart disease and strokes
  • deep vein thrombosis
  • menstrual abnormalities
  • osteoarthritis
  • endometrial, breast and colon cancer
  • respiratory problems
  • sleep apnea
  • kidney disease
  • pregnancy problems; high blood sugar during pregnancy and increased risk for C-section
  • stress incontinence
  • erectile dysfunction

How do I know if I’m overweight?

Being overweight or obese doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual process than can spiral out of control, even if you think you’re just putting on the odd pound or two here and there.

Your BMI is a good way to know whether you’re at a healthy weight or are overweight. It measures your weight in relation to your height and gives a score to help you understand which category you fall into:

healthy weight: BMI of 18.5 to 24.9

overweight: BMI of 25 to 29.9

obesity: BMI of 30 or higher

Another way of checking if you’re not at your ideal weight is to measure your waist size. Women with a waist size of over 35 inches and men with a waist size of over 40 inches may have a higher chance of developing obesity-related diseases such as osteoarthritis.

How can you achieve your ideal weight?

Leading a busy lifestyle doesn’t have to impact on your ideal weight. Getting the right balance and understanding your body as well as your mind can all help make sure you’re at a healthy weight.

Here are our top weight management tips:

  • measure – take measurements before you start any weight loss programs. You can chart your success from this.
  • DNA testing – this can help you understand how your genetics affect the way your body responds to different food groups.
  • 20 minutes exercise per day – you don’t even need to go to the gym, taking a brisk walk at lunch time could be all you need.  
  • get 7-9 hours’ sleep every night – sometimes easier said than done, but fitness tracking devices can help you understand how well you’re doing.
  • eat breakfast – porridge is perfect to keep hunger pangs away until lunchtime and will stop you reaching for the biscuit tin.
  • mindfulness to ease stress – stress can be the most common reason people overeat. Look after your mental health, it’s so important and affects your whole body.
  • social support – weight loss programs are great to give you ongoing support and give you the motivation you need.

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