Managing your weight

If you are overweight you have a higher risk of diabetes, complications associated with diabetes as well as other health conditions such as heart disease, osteo-arthritis and some cancers. 

Weight management is the first line treatment for type 2 diabetes and is recommended for those at high risk of diabetes to try to prevent the onset of diabetes.

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the main ways of finding out if your weight is putting your health at risk.

The table below is for guideline purposes only and dependent upon ethnic origin.

BMI of up to (White Adult )     

BMI of less than (Asian Adult)

Weight Category






Healthy Weight









Morbidly Obese

Work out your BMI with the risk calculator:

You are also at risk if your waist measurement is:

Asian men greater than 90cm or (35 inches)

European and Black men greater than 94cm or (37 inches)

Women, Asian, Black and European Greater than 80cm or (31.5 inches) 

Research has shown that 5-10% body weight loss can significantly improve your health.

Losing weight is not easy and requires life long changes that are realistic and sustainable.Weight is a balance between energy consumed and the energy used. To lose weight it recommended to eat less calories and increase activity to try to achieve a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit of 600 calories/day will put you on line to lose 1-1 ½ lb/week.

A good place to start when trying to reduce calories, is to look at overall portion sizes.  By using a smaller plate size can help to reduce portions.  Also think about the amount of the different food groups on your plate.  If you are trying to lose weight, half of your plate should be vegetables

Here is some guidance to help you to achieve a daily calorie deficit. (Taken from the NICE guidelines for the prevention of obesity)

  • Base meals on starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta, choosing wholegrain where possible.
  • Eat plenty of fibre-rich foods - such as oats, beans, peas, lentils, grains, seeds, fruit and vegetables, as well as wholegrain bread, and brown rice and pasta.
  • Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day, in place of foods higher in fat and calories.
  • Eat a low-fat diet and avoid increasing your fat and/or calorie intake.
  • Eat as little as possible of fried foods; drinks and confectionery high in added sugars; other food and drinks high in fat and sugar, such as some take-away and fast foods
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Watch the portion size of meals and snacks, and how often you are eating.
  • For adults, minimise the calories you take in from alcohol.


  • Make enjoyable activities - such as walking, cycling, swimming, aerobics and gardening - part of everyday life.
  • Minimise sedentary activities, such as sitting for long periods watching television, at a computer or playing video games.
  • Build activity into the working day - for example, take the stairs instead of the lift, take a walk at lunchtime.

Here are some hints and tips that can help to change behaviours towards foods:

  • Plan meals in advance and only eat at planned times.
  • Do nothing else whilst eating (minimise distractions)
  • Do not shop when hungry
  • Plan activities in advance
  • Chew slowly and take your time over food
  • Plan to say no to second helpings or only cook the amount of food you will eat.

Many people find the support from slimming clubs useful. Nationally recognised slimming clubs that are based on evidenced based practice include Weight Watchers and Slimming World.

Keeping Track

A diary is a great way to keep track of foods and drinks consumed through the day.

Weight loss apps for smart phones and tablets can also help you to monitor your calorie intake and track your weight loss. Some free ones include My Fitness Pal, Calorie Counter, Shape Up Club, My Plate Calorie Tracker.


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