NHS Better Health has teamed up with weight loss groups to provide special offers.
- WW (Weight Watchers): free one-month trial
- MAN v FAT: register for 50p, get 50% off your first month
- GetSlim: £15 for a three-month membership
- Slimming World: six weeks for cost of five, £20 off a three-month online membership
- Second Nature: 12-week online programme, £20 off the first month
For more information, visit the nhs.uk/better-health/lose-weight website.
The dangers of being overweight are well known, triggering conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
However, the pandemic has given us a wake-up call to get healthy. There is help out there, much of it free.
Here are five top tips to get you started…
1 SET WEIGHT LOSS GOALS
Get on the scales to find out what you weigh and then state how much you want to lose. A healthy rate of weight loss is one to four pounds per week. Losing weight at a slow and steady pace gives you the best chance of maintaining your progress long term. Keeping a record of your progress helps you stay motivated.
2 MAKE HEALTHIER FOOD CHOICES
Eat fewer foods high in calories, fat, salt and sugar and swap them for something healthier, including more fruit and vegetables. Five a day includes green vegetables, fruit including canned and salad. Read the nutritional information when checking for calorie, fat, salt and sugar content on pre-packed foods. Easy swaps include whole milk for semi or skimmed milk and white breads, bagels and muffins for wholegrain varieties.
Choose leaner cuts of meat and swap the frying pan for the grill when cooking meat.
3 PLAN YOUR MEALS
Pick a method that best fits your routine and, if appropriate, allows for family meals.
You may decide to batch cook all of your meals so you can easily grab individual portions. Alternatively, you may prefer to cook daily.
4 TREAT YOURSELF
You don’t have to miss out completely on the foods and drinks you love, just have them less often and in smaller amounts.
5 GET ACTIVE
Aim for 20 minutes a day. This includes everything from running and cycling to walking and even dancing around your kitchen counts!
Faith, hope and ‘confidence’ of slimmer
Within three years Oxfordshire mum Faith Roots shed eight stone, dropping eight dress sizes.
She ditched sweets and cakes, put her diabetes in remission and found love.
Back in February 2017 she was out of breath after a ten-minute walk. Now she runs 5k a day.
The transformation started when she joined a Slimming World group. Faith (pictured before and after her transformation) explained: “I weighed 17st 13lbs. I felt so unwell because of my weight. I had type two diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, back pain and collapsed ankles.”
Her Slimming World consultant helped her plan meals and kept her motivated. Today, Faith inspires others in her group. And, single for 27 years, she is now in a relationship. “Losing weight gave me the confidence I needed. I can’t believe the difference physically. I never realised my personality would change too.
“I feel healthy and vibrant,” added the 64 year-old.