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Diet plans, weight loss and healthy eating: what might work best for me?
Before you begin on your weight loss journey and set your own personal target, you may want to check your BMI (Body Max Index) to make sure that your goal is set within a healthy weight range for your height. BMI is a good place to start, although it doesn’t differentiate between the amount of fat or muscle someone might have, it can tell you if you should consider losing weight or gaining weight. If you are interested in further insights alongside your BMI, your Body Fat Percentage is a good place to start, which can be found out by using body analysis scales.
Do I need to diet to lose weight?
In order to lose weight successfully you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns as energy, as well as pair healthy eating with regular exercise. However it’s best to view your plans for weight loss as a lifestyle change, rather than a diet. The changes that you decide to make now should not be something that you can only keep up for a short time; instead they should have an impact on the rest of your life and become part of a healthy daily routine.
If you treat food and exercise changes as a diet or plan you might find that you lose motivation or resent your choices, especially if they are too restrictive or unrealistic. Instead set realistic goals, such as aiming to be a bit more active each day, for example take the stairs not the lift or get off the bus a stop earlier. These seemingly small changes, paired with healthy eating could help you to lose weight as well as feel fitter.
If your aim is weight loss, one change you could implement is to plan your meals in advance, perhaps create a weekly meal plan. A healthy diet plan could help you to lose weight and make sure that you are eating the right amount of calories, basing your meals on starchy carbohydrates as well as your five a day.
What is the best diet for weight loss?
There aren’t any particular diet plans or meal plans that you should follow, however it is important that you eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet. Include all of the food groups and don’t cut anything from your diet, the key is moderation and eating the occasional treat. Aiming to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is a great place to start, you could swap your mid-morning biscuits for an apple or your lunchtime packet of crisps for a fresh fruit salad.
The NHS have created a 12 week weight loss plan, filled with advice, tips and a diet meal plan to help you lose weight. Follow the simple steps within the guide and learn about different food groups, portion sizes and how you can stay motivated throughout your weight loss journey. Download your free weight loss
Top tips for healthy weight loss
Instead of implementing a diet for your weight loss, you should instead aim to eat healthily, get more active and look after your overall health.
Read our weight loss tips for inspiration and a place to start:
- Eat more fruit and vegetables - The general recommendation is that people should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day but people with high blood pressure should aim to eat at least seven portions
- Reduce saturated fat intake - Choose lean cuts of meat and avoid frying foods
- Eat more fish - General advice is to eat at least two portions of fish a week including one portion of oily fish such as salmon or mackerel. Some people with heart problems may be advised to eat more than this
- Eat less salt - Remember it is not just the salt we add to our food; many processed foods have a high salt content
- Do more exercise - People should start slowly and speak to their GP first if they are unaccustomed to exercise and have any medical problems
- Give up smoking – We have a dedicated stop smoking service that could help you quit with support and advice
- Drink alcohol sensibly - No more than 2-3 units a day for men and 1-2 units a day for women and try to have at least two alcohol free days a week.
Is there a quick weight loss diet I can try?
If you’re looking for a fast way to lose weight there are diets and plans that you can follow, however these are only meant to be used for short periods of time. There are a variety of weight loss shakes and meal replacements that help you to decrease your calorie intake by swopping the meals you eat with low calorie alternatives.
Before embarking on a fast weight loss diet you should bear in mind that usually with fad or crash diets people lose weight quickly but once they finish the diet the weight is put back on again. This type of dieting can be harmful to your health, whereas gradual weight loss is more maintainable and safer.
We recommend the NHS weight loss plan as the best exercise and diet plan that you can follow, as it covers everything to do with living a healthy lifestyle. From breakfast ideas to free exercise activities, the guide contains everything you need to reach your weight loss goals.
Women who are looking to lose weight and follow a weight loss diet, can also follow the recommendations made by the NHS in their weight loss plan. The only difference that women will find to men when trying to lose weight is that they should consume fewer calories. When planning your new diet and meals, with the aim to lose weight, women should eat 1,400kcals a day*, whereas men should eat 1,900kcals a day.
There are five major food groups* that you should include in your diet plan if you’re trying to lose weight, these are:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Lean sources of protein such as eggs, tofu, nuts and meat
- Starchy carbohydrates including wholegrain pasta, rice, bread and potatoes
- Dairy or dairy alternatives
- Fats and sugars such as butter, cooking oils and junk food which are best not to have too often