Keeping your weight within a healthy range isn’t just about living longer, it’s also about your quality of life – or how well you feel. People who are a healthy weight have a lower risk of:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some types of cancer
- Kidney disease
- Back pain
- Knee pain
- Breathing problems
- Sleep problems
- Gall bladder disease
- Fatty liver disease
Your healthy weight range
Being a healthy weight can be a challenge, but the benefits are huge. Benefits in terms of staying well, feeling better about yourself, having more energy, and being able to do all those little things that gradually get taken away by an expanding waistline.
If you are overweight at the moment, there are lots of other benefits of losing weight that might help to get you motivated.
To find out if you’re a healthy weight for your height, work out your body mass index (BMI).
You can easily check your BMI by using this BMI calculator. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy.
The BMI calculator can also be used to check if your child is a healthy weight.
How to lose weight
You’ve probably heard the basic formula for managing weight before. It’s about balancing the energy (kilojoules/calories) you consume through food and drinks, with the energy that you burn off through keeping your body alive and physically active.
To lose weight, consume less energy than you burn off. The main ways to do this are:
- Choose healthier foods
- Eat a bit less of most things (except non-starchy vegetables and fruit)
- Move more
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.”Oprah Winfrey
The Melon Programme is a 16 week programme for patients with a desire to improve their health and lose weight. The programme was created for patients with a BMI 30 and above OR HbA1c 40 and above OR CVR above 15%.
How does it work?
Once a patient is invited and activated to the 16 week programme they will have access to coaches and an online community where they will be able to talk to people with similar health issues also on a journey for better health and wellbeing as well as access to coaches for advice and information.
Patients are provided with digital scales and a measuring tape upon activation and can input measurement data onto their profile to track their progress. Coaches will work with patients to establish some health goals and help patients reach those goals through regular interaction.
The programme offers patients a convenient way to communicate, track health goals, gives patients access to coaches and provides a platform to participate in conversation with peers in similar health situations.
Silverstream Health Centre are part of a DHB funded Pilot for this programme, which allows out patients to access the programme free of charge until the end of 2018 (usual cost is $120 per patient).
More information here.
Eating a balanced diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.
This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Most people in NZ eat and drink too many calories, too much fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.
- If you mostly eat foods from the heart healthy food groups, you can reduce your kilojoule intake.
- Eat mindfully, and enjoy your food rather than obsessing about calories or nutrients.
- Using your hands can be a simple way to see how much food you should be eating.
- Set yourself up to win by using subtle strategies like using smaller sized dinner plates, and sitting down at the table to eat.
- Don’t fall for fad diets, quick fixes, or miracle cures. They don’t work long term. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.
- Fill up on non-starchy veges.
- Keep alcohol for the weekend and make weekdays an alcohol free zone.
- Eat fewer and smaller amounts of treat foods.
- Eat mindfully, so that you can truly savour the food you eat. When you eat mindfully you are less likely to over eat.
- Eat regular meals with the right amount of food, so you feel satisfied, not full.
Ensure you are keeping yourself active
Regular physical activity is an important part of living well. People who lead an active lifestyle are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop serious illnesses and health conditions.
There is overwhelming evidence proving that we should all be more physically active. It’s crucial if you want to live a healthy, fulfilling life into old age. The easiest way of becoming more active is to make physical activity part of your everyday life. There are simple ways of achieving a more active lifestyle and the more you do, the better.
Activities for beginners
Doing more physical activity may seem daunting at first, often it’s the thought of going to the gym or taking up a new sport. You may want to start off slowly or exercise by yourself or at home first to build up your confidence. Begin to plan how you can build exercise into your daily routine.
Great exercises for beginners include:
- tai chi, pilates or yoga