Frequently Asked Questions

What determines my weight?

There are a number of factors that contribute towards your weight, for example;

  • Hereditary factors
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Lack of exercise
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle

Is mt weight harming my health?

In order to assess if your weight may be damaging to your health start by calculating your body mass index (BMI) to assess whether you are the right weight for your height and sex.

  • A Healthy bodyweight range is defined as a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9
  • A BMI below 18.5 is underweight
  • Between 25 and 30 is overweight
  • A BMI of 30 or more is classified as obese

Please note your BMI is only an indication of total bodyweight and tells little about the proportion of muscle to fat mass

What problems can obesity cause?

Psychologically, being overweight can affect your body image and damage self-esteem. In some cases this can cause social anxiety and depression.

Common physical problems include:

  • Difficulties breathing
  • Difficulties walking or running
  • Increased sweating
  • Pain in the knees and back
  • Skin conditions

The following medical conditions are also more common in obese people than in those of normal weight:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diseases related to hardening of the arteries such as heart attacks and strokes (cardio vascular disease)
  • Type 2 diabetes

These conditions are often known as obesity-related.

How does dieting and exercise help?

Your body needs a certain amount of energy (calories) each day. Excess energy is stored as fat. The more active you are, the more calories your body needs.

By eating less than your body needs and exercising more, you force your body to use its existing fat stores for energy.

By burning excess fat, you lose weight. Abdominal or central obesity (apple shapes) is particularly responsive to exercise.

Every human body needs exercise to stay healthy.

Ideally we should all aim for at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week (ideally 30+ minutes at least 5 days a week).

This is exercise intense enough to leave you feeling out of breath and raise your pulse rate up to 65 to 80 per cent of maximum.

If you combine this amount of exercise with a healthy diet, you should steadily lose weight down to a healthy level.

What determines my weight?

There are a number of factors that contribute towards your weight, for example;

  • Hereditary factors
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Lack of exercise
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle

What tips are there to achieve healthy weight loss?

Top Tips for healthy weight loss

  • 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 e.g. 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 the GP first if they are unaccustomed to exercise and have any medical problems
  • Give up smoking
  • Drink alcohol sensibly i.e. no more than 2-3 units a day for men and 1-2 units a day for women
What is my BMI?
Your Body Mass Index or BMI is a good way for yourself or your GP to check if you’re a healthy weight for your height and gender.

For adults BMI is used to measure if you’re a healthy weight for your height meaning the calculation used takes into account that all people are different shapes and sizes.

Calculating your BMI

To calculate your BMI, you'll need to know your weight in kilos and your height in metres, then follow the example below:

Step One: Multiply your height in metres by itself, eg 1.7x1.7= 2.89

Step Two: Divide your weight in Kilos by this figure, e.g 80 ÷ 2.89 = 27.7

Step Three: For this example 27.7 is your BMI

How much exercise should I do?

The current general recommendation is that adults should all be doing a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise. Moderate exercise is defined as activity that makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath; for example a brisk walk. These minutes do not need to be done in one go but should be in a minimum of 10 minute blocks

One way to achieve the required moderate exercise is to do five, 30 minute sessions every week.

If you have any medical conditions or are over 65 years then you should speak to your GP before starting a new exercise regimen as not all activities may be appropriate.