Losing weight after the Christmas and New Year excess is certainly not as easy as putting it on!  The healthiest way to lose weight is to do it gradually by introducing lifestyle changes that are achievable and sustainable, so that the weight loss may be maintained in the longer term. Generally speaking if weight is lost very rapidly it tends to be put back on quicker too.

Your body uses food for energy.  When we eat more food that we use up during a day’s activities, we store the excess energy as fat and gain weight.  Conversely, if we use up more energy throughout our daily activities than we eat we will lose weight.  

Weight loss supplements

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a term you will hear used increasingly when weight loss is discussed.  BMI is a good indication of whether you need to lose weight. BMI is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared.  A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25.  If you have a BMI over 25 you are overweight, and over 30 is obese.  The measurement can be inaccurate for those with a particularly muscular frame.  Another useful method is to measure around your waist. People with very fat waists (94cm or more in men and 80cm or more in women) are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems. Your pharmacist can check your BMI and give advice on measurements.

An ideal weight loss should be between 1- 2lb per week.  The best way to achieve this is to reduce the amount of calories you eat and increase your activity.   This can be achieved by eating between 300 to 500 calories less each day.  Some simple tips for reducing your calories include:

Swapping full fat milk for semi-skimmed or skimmed
Cutting out sweets, crisps and replacing these snacks with healthy alternatives
Don’t add sugar to tea, coffee or cereals
Reduce portion size
Reduce alcohol intake
Do not skip meals especially breakfast
Increasing gradually the amount of exercise you take will help burn up calories.  You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity five times per week.  Find something you enjoy doing and which is easy for you in terms of location and cost, that way you are more likely to stick to it.  Even simple measures like taking the stairs instead of a lift or getting off the bus a stop early will all have an effect if done regularly.

There are a wide variety of supplements available to buy that may be used as a short term boost to aid weight loss.  Products such as Trim Excell and Maxi Slim contain caffeine and amino acids that may help boost metabolism and help burn off fat.

XLS – Medical Fat binder tablets are a natural weight loss aid that is clinically proven to help you lose up to three times more weight than dieting and exercise alone. Unlike some other weight loss aids, it’s also gentle on your digestive system, leaving you with no known harmful side effects. XLS – Medical Fat Binder is clinically proven to bind dietary fats before it replenishes the body with fat-soluble vitamins. A recent study showed that XLS started to work in three days and that you should notice a measureable difference within four weeks!

Gordons Chemists is the largest independently owned retail pharmacy chain in Northern Ireland.  Established in 1980, Gordons now has 49 pharmacies here and also 9 in Scotland. 

Products described are available at most pharmacies and Gordons Chemists does not endorse any individual product.  Always consult your pharmacist in relation to your individual symptoms.


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