The NHS Eatwell Guide shows how much of each food group we should eat for a balanced diet. This includes a healthy balance of fruit and vegetables, protein (e.g. fish, meat, beans), carbohydrate (e.g. rice, pasta, bread), dairy or dairy alternatives, healthy fats (e.g. olive oil) and fluids (e.g. water).
What are the benefits of exercise?
- Weight loss
- Reduces your risk of developing chronic diseases (e.g. high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers)
- Prevent mental health problems
- Boost wellbeing and mood
- Improve muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness
- Improve bone health
How much exercise should I do?
We recommend either:
- at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (e.g. cycling, brisk walking) every week
- 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (e.g. running, football, aerobics)
And, strength exercises on two or more days of the week that work all the major muscles.
How can I become active?
There are different types of activity which can suit anyone – from working parents to older adults (over 65 years) and children. The amount of activity you need to do each week depends on your age.
Some tips to get active and stay active:
- Track your activity
- Workout with friends, share your achievements
- Build up a routine
- Do sports/activities that you actually enjoy
What is BMI?
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) will identify whether you are overweight or obese. If your BMI is over 25 you are at risk of having:
- Low energy
- Breathing problems
- Increased sweating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Back and joint pains
You could also develop:
- Strokes and heart disease
- Sleep apnoea
- Fertility problems or erectile dysfunction
- Fatty liver and gallstones
- Chronic kidney disease
- Low mood
- Type-2 diabetes
- High cholesterol and high blood pressure
How to lose weight
Your weight depends upon the balance between how much energy (calories) you take in (from food and drink) and how much energy you use in day to day living (including physical activity).
If you eat fewer calories than you use, you lose weight, as your body uses stored fat as energy instead. You can lose weight by changing your diet, increasing your activity levels, or both.
Other factors like genetics and other medical problems e.g. an underactive thyroid gland should be taken into account when trying to lose weight. Speak to your doctor for more advice.
There are many sources of publicly available information on managing your alcohol consumption. We recommend speaking to a GP for advice on how to start.