Imperial Health at Work
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Weight Management

In our eat-and-run, ‘no portion control’ culture, maintaining a healthy weight can feel like a challenge. But what’s even tougher is disliking what you see in the mirror and losing that weight in the first place. If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight before, you may believe that diets don’t work for you. Plenty of men and women would confess to being yo-yo dieters, but there are loads of small yet easy ways to avoid common dieting pitfalls, achieve lasting weight loss and develop a healthier relationship with food.

Finding what works for you is the key to maintaining a healthy weight, but while there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to slimming down, the following guidelines are a great place to start:

Think lifestyle change, not short-term diet. Permanent weight loss is not something that a quick-fix diet can achieve. Instead, think about weight loss as a lifestyle change – a lifelong commitment to your health and wellbeing.

Find some support. Weight loss groups like Weight Watchers are a useful starting point, as they’ll set you realistic targets and provide the emotional motivation to shed the pounds with people in a similar situation. If you don’t fancy joining a weight-loss group, then seek out support from NHS colleagues, family and friends to get the encouragement you need.

Slow and steady wins the race. Aim to lose one to two pounds a week to ensure healthy weight loss. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained and sick. When you drop a lot of weight quickly, you’re losing mostly water and muscle rather than fat – making the weight loss difficult to maintain.

Set realistic goals to keep you motivated. Short-term goals, like wanting to look slim for the summer, often don’t work as well as wanting to feel more confident or become healthier. When frustration and temptation strike, concentrate on the many benefits you’ll reap from being leaner and healthier.

Use tools that help you track your progress. Keep a food journal and weigh yourself regularly, keeping track of each pound and inch you lose. Seeing the results of your weight loss efforts in black and white, will help you stay focussed on the end result.

Find what works for you. Bear in mind that it may take some experimenting to find the right diet for your individual body. It’s important that you feel satisfied so that you can stick with it on a daily basis, so if one diet plan isn’t working for you, then try another. The team is considering introduction of Weight Watchers Classes on all hospital sites, to express your interest email wellbeing@imperial.nhs.uk.

Useful links
http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/Loseweight/Pages/Loseweighthome.aspx
http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/weight-loss-guide/Pages/weight-loss-guide.aspx