Healthy weight and top tips to prevent obesity
This page contains top tips on diet, activity and healthy weight.
- Diet tips
- Physical activity tips
- Information, advice and support
- Getting more active
- Healthy eating
- Getting to a healthy weight
- Further information and support
A healthy balanced diet gives you all the nutrients and fuel you need – not too much and not too little.
- Keep to a routine - aim to eat at similar times every day and have some breakfast - avoiding breakfast has been linked to weight gain. Try to avoid sugary cereals. You can check this by looking at the nutritional label that is colour coded on the cereal packaging
- Make it 5 A DAY - eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Aim for one third of your daily diet consisting of fruit and veg
- Trim the fat - choose lower or reduced fat foods. Use butter or high fat spreads sparingly. Cut fat off meat. Grill rather than fry foods. Drain fat off cooked mince before you add other ingredients
- Pack a healthy snack - swap sweets or crisps for healthier options such as fruit, carrot sticks, pumpkin / sunflower seeds
- Caution with your portion - you’ll eat less food than usual if you change to slightly smaller plate sizes. We tend to want to fill plates whatever size they are
- Think about your drink - choose water or sugar-free tea, coffee or squash. Unsweetened fruit juices contain natural sugars so one glass a day (200ml) is enough. Alcohol is surprisingly high in calories – a pint of lager has the calories of a medium size sausage roll
- Watch the hidden sugar - some foods are very high in sugar (e.g. some breakfast cereals).
Look at the label: per 100 gram column - ‘carbohydrate: of which sugars’ – if it says 45g then 45% of the food is sugar. Buy tinned fruit in natural juice not syrup
- Don’t buy blind - some ‘low fat’ foods may be high in sugar or salt. Check the fat, sugar and salt content on the label. Some are colour coded
– green (go for it); amber (take care); red (stop and think)
- Focus on your food - enjoy every mouthful, you’ll eat slower as well. Avoid eating on the go or watching TV – both make it easy to eat a lot without even noticing (or enjoying it fully).
Physical activity tips
A healthy level of physical activity gives you the fitness and flexibility to do the things you want to do.
- Up on your feet - aim to reduce the time you spend sitting or not moving (besides sleeping!). If you sit a lot, getting up for ten minutes out of every hour will help keep you healthy. Take the stairs instead of the lift and walk instead of taking the car are very simple ways to increase time on your feet.
- Walk off calories & weight - aim for 10,000 steps a day. Cheap and easily bought pedometers can count your steps and keep you on track
- Go for 150 - in an average week adults are recommended to do a total of 150 minutes of moderate activity over at least 5 days. This could be in bouts of 10 minutes or more e.g. three lots of 10 minutes a day for 5 days. Children and young people need at least twice as much
Moderate activity for adults includes: brisk walking; using the hoover; painting & decorating; gardening; cycling; or sports like golf and badminton
- Go for 75? - you can get the same benefit as 150 minutes of moderate activity by doing 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity over a week (or a mixture of the two)
Vigorous activity includes: aerobics; strenuous dancing; fast cycling; swimming; running; fast sports
- De-stress your Mind and Body - activities like Pilates, Yoga or Tai Chi can help to reduce stress while improving flexibility, concentration levels and sleep patterns
- Build it up - increasing your current level of activity is best done gradually over a few months. This will let your body adjust to the change
- Make it enjoyable - you are less likely to keep activities going if you don’t like them, so find things you can get some real enjoyment from doing – maybe get some friends to join you.
More food/activity tips for the whole family:
UK Physical Activity Guidelines for all ages:
Information, advice and support
Getting more active
- Find your nearest leisure centre: Wiltshire Council - tel: 0300 456 0100 http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure
- Active Wiltshire online - find activities; keep a record of your progress; keep a food diary; and more http://www.activewiltshire.org.uk/
- Active Health (Physical Activity on Referral Scheme) – ask any Wiltshire GP if you qualify for ‘Active Health’ www.wiltshire.gov.uk/activehealth. There can be a range of medical reasons for referral to Active health, and a range of exercise programmes available across the county in Leisure Centres and other local facilities at a reduced rate.
- Active Travel – find public transport, walking and cycling routes: www.connectingwiltshire.co.uk
- Walking, cycling and running– Wiltshire Council Health and physical Activity team - tel: 01380 734890 http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-cycling-walking-and-running
- Get Wiltshire Walking - Free walking groups across Wiltshire with a trained walk leader: https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder/get-wiltshire-walking
- Bikeability - Wiltshire Council cycle training for children and adults - tel: 01225 701970 http://www.connectingwiltshire.co.uk/cycle/getting-started/training/
- Exercise for older people - Wiltshire Council sessions – tel: 0782 560 9331 www.wiltshire.gov.uk/strengthandbalanceclasses or Age UK Wiltshire – tel: 01380 727767
- Countryside events in Wiltshire – get active in our great outdoors. Wiltshire Council team – tel: 01225 718647 http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/communityandliving/countryside.htm
- Free swimming for children (under 16) in council pools during school holidays
- Free 3 months family swimming offer (with overweight child age 4-11) – ask your school nurse (Community Child Health – tel: 01722 425154)
- Plain Fit and LEAP – healthy lifestyle and fitness; Shrewton / Amesbury area – GUL Charity – tel: 01980 621712 http://www.god-unlimited.org/ (click on ‘Therapy' and 'Weight management programmes’)
- Breastfeeding – the best start in life – support and advice helpline (national) – tel: 0300 100 0212 Find your nearest Breastfeeding Welcome venues: http://www.breastfeedingwelcomescheme.org.uk/
- Start4Life: national information service for parents – sign up to weekly emails and videos for help and advice on nutrition during pregnancy, birth and parenthood. tel: 0300 123 4567 https://www.nhs.uk/InformationServiceForParents/pages/signup.aspx
- First Steps Nutrition Trust: expert advice on feeding children – tel: 07590 289182 http://www.firststepsnutrition.org/news.html
- Healthy Start: – helps with the cost of basic essential foods for low-income families, encouraging breastfeeding and healthy eating. Also free vitamins to all qualifying pregnant women and mothers with children under four. Tel: 0845 607 6823 http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk
- Top 10 nutrition tips – Wiltshire Council advice on healthy feeding of children up to 5 years http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/child-care-nutrition
- Children’s Centre courses: your local Children’s Centre may run healthy living and cooking courses such as ABC Cook or HEY! Find your nearest centre and contact details: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/findmynearest.htm
- Change4Life – advice on healthy ‘smart swaps’, recipes and much more – tel: 0300 123 4567 http://www.nhs.uk/change4life
- Family learning courses – Wiltshire Council free courses for parents / carers and children: Fun with food and Exploring Food with Play – tel: 01225 713183 email: Learning@wiltshire.gov.uk http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/family-learning
- NHS Healthy eating advice: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/healthy-eating/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx
- Eating well family recipes: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_eating_kids
- The Eatwell Guide: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/goodfood/pages/the-eatwell-guide.aspx
Getting to a healthy weight
- The Healthy weight for Life e-toolkit holds tips and services for each stage of the life course. This is produced by Public Health professionals in Wiltshire.
- Health Trainers – from Wiltshire Council can support you in making lifestyle changes - your GP can refer you or you can phone 0300 003 4566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Health Trainers work on a one-to-one basis to support healthy eating, increasing physical activity, reducing or stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and emotional wellbeing.
- For support managing your weight and preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes, you can access the National Diabetes Prevention Programme. 'Healthier You Bath, NE Somerset, Swindon & Wiltshire' is a nine-month behaviour change programme that helps supports those at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Participants receive support to change their lifestyle in a friendly and supportive group environment. Reed Momenta is delivering the programme to people in Bath, Swindon, NE Somerset & Wiltshire, largely referred by primary care, at a range of community venues. Speak to your GP for more information about being referred to the programme.
- Slimming on Referral – if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is above 30 (check at www.nhs.uk/bmi) you may qualify for free attendance at a local Slimming World or Weight Watchers group - ask your GP
- Managing your weight course – Lift Psychology Swindon – check availability – tel: 01793 836836 http://lift-swindon.awp.nhs.uk/physical-health/lifestyle-changes/
- Healthy Me - healthy lifestyle course for families with overweight child age 7-11 years old http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-weight-management - If you are interested please email email@example.com or call 01225 716674
- Talking to children about weight – Weight Concern Charity tel: 0207 679 1853 www.weightconcern.org.uk/node/134
Further information and support
- Health Trainers – from Wiltshire Council can support you in making lifestyle changes - your GP can refer you or you can phone 0300 003 4566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Health Matters - health advice and information in twelve of Wiltshire’s libraries. Weekly, fortnightly or monthly two-hour drop-in sessions to chat with a health trainer – Wiltshire Libraries – tel: 01225 713727 http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/healthmatters
- Wiltshire Healthy Schools – information about how teachers and schools can support children’s health: http://www.wiltshirehealthyschools.org/
- Family Information Service - information and signposting service for parents /carers about services and facilities in Wiltshire: tel 0300 003 4573 or go to: http://www.wiltshirefis.org.uk/
- This leaflet is available electronically at:
Page updated 2nd October 2017