Your weight is determined by the balance between what you eat and drink and how active you are. The energy that your food provides and the energy you use up walking, running or even sitting still, is measured in calories.
- You put on weight if you consume more calories than you use up
- You lose weight if you use up more calories than you consume
- You maintain your weight if you balance the calories you consume with the calories you use up.
This means that if you are trying to lose weight you can do it by changing your diet, your levels of physical activity or both.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably keen to see, and feel, a difference quickly.
It can be tempting to put your trust in one of the countless schemes that promise rapid, easy weight loss.
Unfortunately, even if these fad diets do help you to lose weight, you’re unlikely to maintain a healthy weight in the months and years afterwards.
If you’re visualising a future in which you’ve shed your excess weight, the best choice is to make healthy changes to your diet and levels of physical activity that lead to a safe, steady rate of weight loss, and that last a lifetime.
It is important for our health that we have a balanced diet which includes all main food groups in quantities that are appropriate to our sex, age, weight and level of daily activity.
Even before you decide to go on a sustainable diet on which you control the amount of calories to take in daily, it is very useful to start looking at the portion size of everything you eat and drink. In the last 30 years, portions sizes of what we eat both inside and outside the home have increased considerably, and just reducing our portions a bit will have a positive impact on our weight.
If you would like further information, please consult the 'helpful links' section on this page.
A USA study showed in 2010 mothers with younger children spent nearly 14 hours less a week on physical activity than in 1965, using nearly 1,600 less calories a week. Instead, more time was spent on things like watching TV or using smartphones.