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Frequently Asked Questions

We are unable to offer individual advice via our website, however if you have a general question, please e-mail us at enquiries@weightconcern.org.uk. We will put the responses to your questions in this section of the website.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions sent to Weight Concern:

  1. Do I need to join a gym to become more active?

    Joining a gym or attending a special exercise class are an excellent way to become more active but they are not the only way. Exercise and physical activity are not necessarily the same thing. What most of us think of as exercise (attending an aerobics class) is only one of a range of physical activities that can promote health and weight loss.

    In order to manage their weight, many people just need to increase their activity levels in their day to day routine, for example walking, rather than driving, climbing the stairs or spending less time in front of the television or computer.

  2. Where can I get advice about managing my weight other than a GP or nurse?

    You can be referred to see a dietitian at your GP practice or local hospital. Dietitians have specialist training in nutrition and they are able to provide practical dietary advice. A dietitian will be able to tailor their advice to suit your individual needs and circumstances.

    There are a number of other organisations which can provide dietary information and help, click here to find out more.

  3. How can I keep weight off once I have lost it?

    Once you have lost your desired weight it is important to keep going with the changes that you have made to your eating and activity. Remember that following a healthy eating and activity plan is a life long commitment, if you continue to eat healthily and remain active you will be able to manage your weight.

    For more dietary information click here.

  4. How do I cook my meals and family meals without making separate meals?

    Just because you want to lose weight doesn't mean you need to start preparing separate meals for yourself. Getting the whole family eating the same healthy meals will benefit everyone.

    If you are trying to lose weight it is very helpful if everyone in the family follows the same eating plan, this will provide support for you.

  5. How can I resist chocolate and sweets?

    Having sweets and chocolate in the house is very tempting and it is difficult to resist eating them. If you want to avoid eating these foods, avoid keeping them in the house and don't buy them when you go shopping. Keep alternative healthy snacks in the house instead. You may want to ask your friends and family to help you by not bringing them into the house either.

    Healthy snack ideas

    Shopping tips

  6. What is the best way to lose weight?

    Following a healthy eating pattern and increasing your levels of physical activity are the best ways to lose weight. Slow gradual weight loss of 1-2 lbs per week (0.5 kg per week) is more likely to be maintained compared with rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss is more likely to be water or muscle stores rather than actual fat.

    Target weight

    How do I start?

  7. I'm always hungry and never feel full, what should I eat?

    Foods which are calorie dense and high in fat are less satisfying and are easier to overeat. The most filling foods are those high in fibre, for example fruits, vegetables, pulses, beans and wholegrain foods. These foods are lower in calories and will make you feel fuller for longer. Try to incorporate these foods at each meal or as a snack.

    It may be that you are not hungry at all but are actually craving a food. Cravings are urges to eat, for example craving a chocolate bar or a packet or crisps. They are different from physical hunger (when your stomach is rumbling or you are getting the shakes), it is important to be able to tell the difference between the two. It is a good idea to plan in advance what activity you will use to overcome your craving, as it may be difficult to think of something on the spot.

    Urges and cravings can be seen as waves that come upon you and build up. These feelings will always subside within 15-30minutes, so distract yourself by doing something that gives you pleasure (for example by going for a walk or having a bath) until the craving has passed.

    healthy snack ideas

    Getting a healthier balance

  8. How do I tell the difference between being overweight and obese?

    The simplest way to tell if an individual is overweight or obese is to calculate their body mass index (BMI). BMI is a mathematical formula, dividing your weight in kilograms by your height squared in metres.

    To find out more about BMI and what your own BMI is, click here.

  9. I have tried diets, what else is new?

    Using the word diet implies that you "go on a diet" to lose weight and once you have lost weight you return to your old eating habits. We talk about healthy eating rather than going on a diet, by following our healthy eating and activity plan you will learn how to make lifelong changes, which will help you to manage your weight.

    How do I start?

    Shape-Up programme

  10. Does it really matter if I don't mind being fat?

    It is good that you have a positive attitude and are happy with yourself, but it is important to understand that being overweight or obese has serious health implications. It can increase your risk of developing cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and stroke. By eating a healthy diet and increasing your activity levels you can improve your health regardless of your weight.

    How do I start?

  11. With all this talk about obesity, what can I do with my children to prevent it?

    The number of children who are overweight or obese in the UK is increasing, so you are right to be concerned about your children. It is important that children learn about healthy eating and you are in a strong position to influence your child's eating. Try to reduce the amount of high calorie snack foods and drinks that your children consume, such as crisps, chocolate, biscuits and sugary drinks. You can also set a good example by cooking healthy meals for the whole family.

    Main meal ideas

  12. I am obese and qualify for surgery - what should I do if my GP won’t refer me to a specialist for bariatric surgery?

If you feel strongly that surgery is the most suitable option for you, and you know from discussion with your GP or other health professionals that you meet the guidelines for surgery, find out why you have not been recommended for this type of treatment. It may be that there are no bariatric services in your area. If so, speak to your GP about going outside of your area for surgery or contact the British Obesity Surgery Patient Association (www.bospa.org) to find out where your nearest service is.

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