Sorting the fact from the fiction

When we begin to look into how we could go about losing weight we can come across a wide range of information and advice on how to go about it. But how do we know which advice to follow and what the best way to lose weight is?

The first step is to think about who is giving this advice. Stick to advice from a health professional, a nutritionist or dietitian and put aside tips from celebrities or those who don’t have qualifications to give the advice.

Also think about what the advice is asking you to do. Do you have to restrict foods or cut out food groups? Will the plan leave you feeling hungry? If so, then this might not be a healthy way to lose weight or one that you can sustain long term.

Be wary of diets which say you will lose weight quickly. Quick weight loss is often a result of doing something extreme or not doing it in a healthy way. Quite often this weight loss isn’t sustained in the long term. The guidelines recommend that losing 1 or 2 lbs per week (0.5 - 1 kg) is the best rate of weight loss.

The NHS has put together 10 weight loss myths to help you work out the facts from the fiction.

1 - A radical exercise regime is the only way to lose weight

2 - Healthier foods are more expensive

3 - Carbs make you put on weight

4 - Starving myself is the only way to lose weight

5 - Some foods speed up your metabolism

6 - All slimming pills are safe to use for weight loss

7 - Foods labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘reduced fat’ are always the healthiest choice

8 - Cutting out all snacks can help you lose weight

9 - Drinking water helps you lose weight

10 - Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight

So, what is the best approach to losing weight? NHS Better Health recommends making ‘small, simple changes to what and how much you are eating and drinking’ to help lose the pounds. Try to make changes that you can keep up in the long term, so you keep the weight off you have lost. The British Dietetic Association recommends the following:

  1. Set two to three clear, well-defined, measurable goals, and action plans.

  2. Monitor yourself.

  3. Aim for three regular, balanced meals a day.

  4. Aim for half your plate to be vegetables/salad and divide the other half between protein and carbohydrate.

  5. Eat slowly, concentrate, and enjoy your food.

  6. Be more physically active.

  7. Accept that life circumstances can throw up challenges and are part of lifestyle change and keep positive.

  8. Get support to help you along your journey.

So, ask yourself first of all ‘Is now the right time for me to begin my weight loss journey?’ If the answer is yes then get in touch with us to see how we can support you.

By registering with Live Well Stay Well, you can gain access to advice and support on how to reach and maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, become more physically active, quit smoking and live a healthier lifestyle. Click the register button to find out more.

Sorting the fact from the fiction