National Obesity Week

Many of us will resurface from the festive season a few pounds heavier with New Year Resolutions to “get healthy”.
For some who are steering towards, or struggling with, obesity (carrying an excessive amount of weight) this is a real priority as it is associated with many health complications and health risks. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancers such as bowel cancer and breast cancer
  • Digestive problems
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psychological problems, such as low self-esteem, depression and anxiety

If you want to do something about obesity, there are many ways to work towards a healthier weight, the most important of which is through making dietary changes. We’re not talking about ‘crash dieting’, but sensibly reducing your daily calorie intake, for example taking in less carbohydrates & amp; saturated fat, increasing fibre and ensuring adequate protein. Ultimately, if you make sure your healthy meals are delicious you will find it easier to continue to enjoy them throughout the year!

Sometimes it also helps to shake-up our usual eating habits and the dishes we make, perhaps taking the opportunity to challenge ourselves to consider different approaches.  In January some people find it helpful to sign up for monthly programmes such as “Dry January”, limiting alcohol which is loaded with calories, or “Veganuary”, exploring plant-based alternatives to processed or fatty animal products.  There are many resources where you can access online support & inspiration to encourage you to try your hand at a new healthier lifestyle, developing good habits which you can naturally incorporate into the coming year.

Exercise and physical activity also play a significant part in the success of your weight loss / maintenance attempts.
Even small changes – such as going for a short walk when permitted – can help to get the body moving and burn calories.  Cancer Relief’s volunteer personal trainer, Kyrone from KW Fitness gives this advice “Getting exercise isn’t just about going to the gym or joining an exercise class. A lot of people get bored of exercising or give up when they become unwell because they only do it through one form (such as lifting weights or jogging) but this doesn’t have to be the case. Exercise can come in many other forms and in many other environments, especially under current restrictions, such as going for a walk through nature, going for a bike ride, hiking, all within current restrictions, doing yoga in the comfort of your home or walking your dog. All types of movement have their benefits and changing the routine keeps things fresh, which could be the key to results!”

Finally, remember that stress and bad sleep patterns can play a factor in why we turn to comfort food so keeping on top of your stress levels and maintaining a healthy routine, even in current difficult circumstances is important. It really is all about self-care; look after your health by being gentle and kind to yourself.

At Cancer Relief, we appreciate how important it is for people to maximise their feeling of wellbeing, whatever this means for you. If you think you may be obese or concerned about your weight, your best option is to discuss this with your GP before you start any serious diet changes or exercise.   If you’re experiencing cancer related symptoms, having or recovering from treatment or caring for someone with cancer, even small changes can go a long way to promote healthy living.  For support in exploring this, contact our professional, experienced nurses on 20042392 or to have a chat about how to maintain a healthy weight this National Obesity Week.