Weight Management Information
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Body Mass Index calculator
Body Mass Index - what does yours mean?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of your weight compared to your height. It can indicate if you need to lose weight.
|Less than 18.9||Underweight|
|35 +||Severely obese|
- Some people are naturally low weight but being underweight can be a risk to health.
- If your BMI puts you in this category, have you lost weight recently? If so, you should speak to your doctor or practice nurse.
- If your weight is naturally low, you should still eat healthily and be active but try not to seek out low fat and low sugar foods unless you have been advised to do so.
- If your BMI is in the ideal range - well done. You should still aim to eat healthily and be active to maintain your weight and keep as healthy as you can.
- Try not to gain any more weight as an adult - even if you remain within the ideal weight range.
- With your BMI in this range you may benefit from making healthy lifestyle changes.
- Either losing some weight, or at least making sure you do not put any more weight on, is a good idea.
- Try to eat regular meals and cut down on fatty and sugary foods, sugary drinks and alcohol. For more help read our 'Lose Weight Feel Great' information sheet.
- If your BMI is over 30 you are more at risk of some illnesses such as heart disease and type2 diabetes. Losing 5-10% of your weight and keeping it off will help to reduce your health risks.
- The British Dietetic Association has lots of information for adults on the best ways to manage your weight.
- Teenweightwise has information for younger people and teenagers.
- Alternatively FatManSlim contains information specifically for men.
- If your BMI is over 35 your health could be severely at risk.
- If you have difficulty losing weight and keeping it off, request a referral to a Registered Dietitian from your Doctor.
- Registered Dietitians are uniquely qualified to translate scientific information about food into practical dietary advice. They adhere to strict codes of conduct set down by the Health Professionals Council. Check to see if your dietitian is registered
How big is your waist?
- Your waist measurement, as well as your weight, is important for health.
- For women your waist should be no more than 80cm(32") and for men it should be no more than 94cm(37"). If your waist is bigger than this, any reduction can be beneficial.
- Men - remember your true waist measurement may not be your trouser size. Your real waist sits halfway between your lowest rib and the top of your pelvis.
- Do you know your waist size?
- Being active is very important to maintain a healthy weight, to lose weight and to keep it off.
- All adults should try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on 5 or more days a week - moderate activity means your breathing and heart rate get a little faster and you feel warmer. Examples of moderate activity are brisk walking, swimming and cycling.
- If you have lost weight, you will probably need to do 60-90 minutes of moderate activity a day to stop you putting weight back on.
- Activity can be in one session or several sessions of 10 minutes or more
- Simply increasing the number of steps you take each day can help to improve your health. Try using a pedometer to monitor how many steps you take and aim to do more and more. Active people regularly take 10,000 steps a day but any increase is better than none. Try getting off the bus one stop early or take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Physical activity does not necessarily mean 'sport' but if you would like to check out facilities in your area visit www.sportengland.org
- Remember, being more active is worthwhile even if you don't lose weight as it can improve your health in many ways.
Want to know more about a healthy diet?
- Eating healthily is important, especially when trying to lose weight. Small changes can make a big difference
- Eat regular meals - breakfast, lunch and evening meal
- Have at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables or salad a day
- Cut down on all fats - even healthier fats like olive and vegetable oils are high in calories
- Cut down on fatty and sugary foods and drinks - reduce the number of snack foods and take-aways you have
- Eat smaller portions - fill up on vegetables and salad if you are still hungry.
- Drink less alcohol
Links for health professionals
NICE guidelines on obesity -December 2006