NHS Lothian

Manage your weight

2 min read

If your body mass index is in the overweight category or above, and youre not pregnant, you may wish to try this online 12week weight management programmehttps://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/12-week-weight-management-programme 

If you have diabetes, you’ll find lots of helpful advice and information about healthy lifestyles and food psychology on the following websites: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/www.mydiabetesmyway.scot.nhs.uk and www.gestationaldiabetes.co.uk 

Whilst there’s often a focus on weight, it’s also important to think about your overall health and to try to make small, realistic lifestyle changes you can keep up in the long term. For example, focusing on gradually increasing your physical activity, eating regularly, or increasing how many vegetables you eat can be good for your health, even if your weight doesn’t change. Unless theres a clear medical reason not to eat certain foods, try not to label foods as being either good or bad, and instead aim for a balanced diet that includes a wide range of foods. More information on how to lose weight safely can be found here: https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/food-and-nutrition/healthy-eating-and-weight-loss/how-to-lose-weight-safely 

If you’ve grown up with a “waste not, want not” messageyou may feel that you need to finish what’s on your plate. This can lead you to eat more than you need. It’s a common habit that won’t change overnight, but you can learn to be more aware of these habits and slowly shift them over time, learning to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. One of the key strategies for this is called mindful eating, which you might have heard of. It involves slowing down to notice the smell, taste and texture of your food whilst you eat. Some people find that they get more enjoyment from food when they eat mindfully, and this can make it easier to stop eating when they’ve had enough. You can find more on mindful eating here: https://www.healthyweightgrampian.scot.nhs.uk/psychological-support/our-relationship-with-food/mindful-eating/   

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people’s eating habits, especially as routines have had to change and our usual enjoyable activities may no longer be available. If this applies to you, it’s not your fault. This is a challenging situation that affects each of us in different ways. It might be a good time to return to old hobbies or to try one or two new activities at hometo manage boredom or to relax, even if it isn’t quite the same as what you like doing best. Going for short walks for even 5 minutes can be a great way of getting some fresh air and looking after your mental health as well as your physical health. Try to set realistic goals, rather than aiming for a particular amount of activity or a certain number on the scales. And if youve a bad day, be gentle with yourself and choose one small step that you could take to get yourself back on track.  


Some useful books include: 

The Compassionate Mind Approach to Beating Overeating: Ken Goss

Overcoming Weight Problems: Grace and Gauntlett-Gilbert 

Understanding Your Eating: How to Eat and Not Worry About It: Julia Buckroyd 

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food: Susan Albers  

Overcoming Binge Eating: Dr. Christopher G. Fairburn  

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