How can I lose weight and be healthier?
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- Our 10 simple weight loss tips can help you take in fewer calories and burn more energy through activity
- Keeping a healthy weight cuts your risk of cancer and other serious diseases
- Forming long-term habits will help you lose weight safely and keep it off
Keeping a healthy weight has loads of benefits, and one of the biggest is that it reduces the risk of cancer.
You won’t be surprised to hear that keeping a healthy weight boils down to three things: eating healthier foods, eating less, and getting more active.
But actually doing that can be tough. These 10 weight loss tips are simple changes based on scientific evidence and can help you make healthy habits that are easy to do every day.
The 10 Top Tips For a Healthy Weight programme was developed by Cancer Research UK and the organisation Weight Concern.
Make your changes stick
Habits are formed when you do something over and over again in the same place at the same time, like brushing your teeth.
It’s important to form long-term healthy habits, as most ‘quick fix’ or crash diets aren’t a long-term solution and most people gain back the weight they lost. The NHS recommend a safe rate of weight loss of 0.5kg to 1kg (1lb to 2lb) per week.
How can I turn the tips into habits?
- Decide on a cue: Choose a point in your daily routine where you can most easily do the tip. For example, you might decide to take the stairs instead of the lift each morning.
- Plan ahead: Making a plan increases your chances of doing something. For example, think about how to include the extra walking into your day or what meals you want to cook for the week ahead.
- Be prepared: Do you need to do anything differently, for example pack comfortable shoes?
- Track your progress: Whether it’s using your phone, a calendar or a notebook by your bed, making a note of how you’re getting on helps make your changes stick.
- Be realistic and stick with it: the sooner you build the tips into your life, the quicker you’ll start losing weight. But realistically, it can be difficult to make lots of changes all at once. Try starting with one or two until you feel confident enough to add in another.
How can I help my children keep their weight healthy?
One of the most important ways to encourage your children to lead a healthy lifestyle is to set a good example yourself. Try to get the whole family involved in healthy living.
Keep a healthier selection of food at home, make time for healthy family meals, and do activities together that everyone enjoys like walking in the park, cycling or kicking a ball around.
Beeken, R. J. et al. A brief intervention for weight control based on habit-formation theory delivered through primary care: Results from a randomised controlled trial. Int. J. Obes. 41, 246–254 (2017).
Lally, P. & Gardner, B. Promoting habit formation. Health Psychology Review 7, S137–S158 (2013).
Lally, P., Chipperfield, A. & Wardle, J. Healthy habits: Efficacy of simple advice on weight control based on a habit-formation model. Int. J. Obes. 32, 700–707 (2008). Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18071344
Thinking about losing weight?
Your GP practice, or a local support group, can also give you help and information on losing weight. For more information on healthier choices, go to the One You website from Public Health England.
For healthy food and activity tips for you and your children go to Change4Life.