This week we will look at how to make healthier food choices when eating at cafes, restaurants and on the go.
Welcome back to week 3 of our 12 Week Weight Management Programme. Hopefully you’re starting to see the benefit of the small changes you’re making.
How did you get on last week? Were you able to use any of the handy measures we taught you?
Over the last 2 weeks we’ve looked at:
It’s time to look at situations when it can be hard to reduce your calories and keep to your weekly goals. We call these tricky situations, they’re a part of life. You can consider different options for ways to handle their effects on your weight management goals.
Eating outside the home is part of all our lives, don’t try and avoid it completely. We have some suggestions on how to eat out and still keep your calorie intake lower than before:
You can also have a go at the ‘Say no to upsizing game’ and consider your portion size when eating out. (The daily calorie intake mentioned on this page is for people not trying to manage their weight so it’s higher than our suggestions.)
Sometimes you need to grab something to eat on the go. Like eating out, you don’t need to avoid this completely. Be aware and make choices about what you have.
When choosing food on the go:
People have told us that one of the things that helped them manage their weight was learning to read food labels.
Start looking at the labels of all your bought food to help you better understand what you’re eating. Start by concentrating on reading the calorie content. We’ll return to food labelling in week 5.
There are many reasons to be careful about the amount of alcohol you drink. Health is one of these but so is the number of calories in alcoholic drinks and mixers.
Both men and women are advised to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week to keep the risks to their health low. Current recommendations also suggest that it’s safer and healthier to spread out your drinking over at least 3 days in a week. If you are looking to reduce your alcohol intake, a good way to do this is having several alcohol free days each week.
These figures are an illustrative guide, the exact percentages and calories will vary by brand and will be listed on the labelling.
If you have concerns about the number of units you’re drinking in a week then contact your health professional. You can also find help and support on NHS Inform.
We’ve talked each week about increasing your level of physical activity. If you’ve not started to do this yet, don’t worry. This week you could give some time to consider what kinds of physical activity you could do.
Increasing your level of physical activity helps weight loss by:
Research tells us being physically active is a vital aspect of managing your weight. Keeping up an increased level of physical activity going after the 12 weeks will help you maintain any weight loss.
Aiming for around 10,000 steps a day while trying to lose weight is about right. Don’t worry if you aren’t at that level, the important thing is to increase your number of steps over these 12 weeks and beyond.
There are lots of different wearable devices, such as watches, activity trackers, and apps on phones, that count the number of steps you’re taking in a day.
There are many reasons we put off or avoid physical activity. Some common reasons people have given include:
All of these reasons are barriers to physical activity and, while understandable, can be overcome with coping strategies.
If you have a physical disabilities finding an activity that works for you is key. There are some ideas that you could try to increase your physical activity levels.
If you feel you’ve not been doing much physical activity then start by doing some gentle activities such as:
One popular programme, Football Fans In Training, links supporters around the country with their local football club for support.
You may be using this programme as you have little free time or have caring duties. Consider ways to exercise at home such as using online activity or yoga classes.
We’ve looked at why and how to record lifestyle in week 1. If you haven’t started recording yet, then this week is a good time to start and get yourself into the habit.
It’s time to set new goals for next week. You may feel that you’ve met all the goals from last week, met part of them or not met them at all. The most important thing is to learn what it was that got in the way of you being able to meet them.
If you found it hard to meet the goals you set last week then consider how you could make them achievable this week. For example, if you set, ‘I’ll walk for 30 minutes 3 days a week’, then set a new target of doing it 2 days a week, or walking for 15 minutes.
Could you fit in the walking in your current day such as walk the kids to school or get off the bus 2 stops earlier and walk to work from there?
You may also consider that last week was a difficult week to meet this particular target. You may feel more confident that you can keep and meet the same target this week.
If you achieved your goals, then you could keep to the same ones this week or make them more challenging. In our example above you could walk for 30 minutes, 4 days a week or walk for 45 minutes, 3 days a week.
Remember that we know that setting goals and aiming to follow them is useful in managing to change behaviours and your weight.
When setting your weekly goals you should:
You may need to keep your targets the same as last week, review them and make them more achievable or build on them. If you don’t meet your goals every day, that’s ok. It’s important to keep returning to what you’ve written down. We’ll review them next week.
Your can use our goal-setting tool to record your goals for the week, or print out our blank weekly journal (PDF, 42KB) to fill in yourself.
During this week you should:
18 May 2020