Healthy weight loss
You can lose weight by making small changes to your diet and lifestyle.
It is best to lose weight gradually - you are more likely to keep it off by doing it this way.
How do I know if I need to lose weight?
You can find out if you are carrying extra weight by calculating your body mass index (BMI). Your BMI uses your height and weight to work out if you are a healthy weight.
Having a BMI in the overweight or obese category puts you at an increased risk of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
- Normal or healthy weight – a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9.
- Overweight – a BMI of 25 to 29.9.
- Obese – a BMI of 30 or more.
You can also check your waist measurement to make sure you are not carrying too much weight around your middle. Having too much fat around your middle can increase your risk of health problems.
How to measure your waist
Find your waist
- With your finger, feel the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hipbones; your waist lays between these 2 points, normally where the bellybutton is.
Measure your waist
- Wrap the measuring tape around your bare skin or a light t-shirt.
- Make sure the tape is snug, but does not compress your skin.
- Relax, exhale and measure your waist.
Healthy waist measurement
- Men = Less than 94 centimetres (37 inches)
- Women = Less than 80 centimetres (32 inches)
How can I lose weight safely?
- Start by aiming to lose 5-10% of your current body weight.
- Aim to lose around 0.5kg (1lb) per week.
- This gradual weight loss can be achieved by eating fewer calories than you normally eat each day and being more active.
Why should I aim to lose 5 or 10% of my weight, this seems like a small amount?
Losing just 5-10% of your weight has lots of health benefits. You can see improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars. This can lower your risk of developing:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- certain cancers.