What is the best advice for losing weight?
Overwhelmed by weight-loss advice? Read on for 3 fad-free tips to reaching a healthy weight. Better yet, why not get professional weight-loss advice from your pharmacist for free?
Whether it’s from Instagram, the news, magazines, your mum, or even a cereal box, we face weight-loss advice at every turn. But fads, crash diets or ‘magic cures’ can often do more harm than good. So let’s cut through the noise with these 3 simple steps towards reaching a healthy weight:
Go back to basics
Form new habits
Ask for help if you need it
1. Go back to basics
Calories = energy.
And when we don’t burn off as much energy (or calories) as we consume, the excess energy gets stored as fat and we gain weight. When we burn more energy (calories) than we consume, we lose weight.
If you’re screaming, “Yes thanks a lot, I know that. How does it help?”– we hear you. And there is practical advice on the way. But sometimes, when faced with so much noise about weight-loss (“glycaemic indexes!” “intermittent fasting!” “ketosis!”) it can be helpful to step back, take a breath and go back to one simple truth: To stay a healthy weight, the energy that goes into your body (in the form of calories) must be balanced with the energy that goes out again.
Food is more than just calories, and it’s essential to consider the overall nutritional value of the food we eat. It’s also worth remembering that “energy” is more than just exercise: our body burns energy to stay alive – even when we’re sleeping.
But at the simplest level, weight loss (and gain) is all about this ‘energy balance’. With this in mind, let’s move on to the killer question – how to adjust this balance to reach a healthy weight.
Step 2. Form new habits
It’s time to think about your everyday life. What’s your routine? How could you better balance the calories you consume with the energy you use? Choose some small, realistic ways to eat fewer calories, and move a little more. For example, can you:
Get off the bus/train one stop earlier and walk?
Switch fizzy drink and juice for water?
Always take the stairs?
Cut out snacking between breakfast and lunch?
Research shows that it takes about 12 weeks on average to form new habits. So once you’ve kept to a small change for 12 weeks, you won’t even have to think about it anymore, it will just be a normal part of your life.
These small, sneaky changes to your everyday habits can start tipping the scales in your favour (pun intended, sorry). Slowly, you’ll adjust to a lifestyle that helps you reach a healthy weight and stay there – without the constant merry-go-round of “diets”.
The NHS offers a free 12-week programme for healthy weight-loss: Find it here
Step 3. Ask for help if you need it
As good a rule for weight management as it is for life – when it feels like you’re getting nowhere, struggling with motivation, or overthinking things, it’s time to talk.
Your family or friends can help you stay on track or even join you in new habits. And the medical community are also on hand if you want more practical help – did you know your pharmacist can offer advice as well as prescribe products to help?
After all, why listen to a Z-list celebrity or wade through 1,040,000,000 Google search results when you can get science-backed advice for free?
PharmaDoctor can help you connect with your local pharmacist who can give you professional advice and help you get to your healthy weight.