Maintaining a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your overall health. This is because being overweight increases your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

Being a healthy weight has many health benefits and simple changes to what and how much you eat, combined with your level of physical activity can really help. Eating a balanced diet or aiming to lose weight can be challenging, but you don’t necessarily have to give up the things you love.

Calorie intake

As we get older our energy requirements reduce. This is due to changes in the way our body is made up which means we burn energy slower. We may also become less active or mobile. We need to change the amount of food we eat to make allowance for that

  • If you are a fit and healthy 35-44 year old female you need to consume 360 fewer calories a day compared to when you were 18 yrs old. If you are male that’s nearly 530 fewer calories a day.
  • If you are a fit and healthy 65-75 year old female you need to consume nearly 270 fewer calories a day compared to when you were 35-44 years old. If you are male that’s nearly 340 fewer calories a day.

A few extra calories each day add up and can lead to gradual weight gain over time. For ideas on how to lose weight well and exercise more, see the link to the NHS 12 week weight loss programme.

NHS Healthy Weight Loss Plan

Body Mass Index

In South Gloucestershire an estimated 63% of the adult population are overweight or obese.  You may have heard the term ‘BMI’ (or Body Mass Index) which is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. A brief explanation of BMI weight ranges is below:

  • under 18.5 – you’re in the underweight range
  • between 18.5 and 24.9 – you’re in the healthy weight range
  • between 25 and 29.9 – you’re in the overweight range
  • between 30 and 39.9 – you’re in the obese range

For most adults an ideal BMI is in the 18.5 – 24.9 range.

For further information and to check your BMI, use the Healthy weight calculator on the NHS website. If you are concerned about your weight and need some guidance or help to achieve a healthy weight, speak to your GP.

Healthy Weight Calculator

Diabetes

Around three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active.

One You South Gloucestershire diabetes page

Useful resources and information