Support to manage your weight
There are lots of useful tips, advice and support for helping you to manage a healthy weight
Managing stress cravings
Important to understand
Some people crave certain types of food – e.g. sweet foods, comfort food – whilst others don’t
Some people crave food when stressed and others don’t
Our relationships and food-related behaviours differ
What we eat may be influenced by our mood, so when mood is low, this may lead to over-eating or in some instances, over-eating of certain types of food
From an early age, we develop positive (and negative) associations with food. These may be influenced by our family and friends, or through TV and social media.
What is emotional eating?
We don’t always eat just to satisfy physical hunger. Many of us also turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or to reward ourselves. And when we do, we tend to reach for junk food, sweets, and other comforting but unhealthy foods.
Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—to fill emotional needs, rather than your stomach. Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems. In fact, it usually makes you feel worse. Afterward, not only does the original emotional issue remain, but you also feel guilty for overeating.
There is a useful guide available here on help.org – Emotional Eating and How to Stop It
Before you can break free from the cycle of emotional eating, you first need to learn how to distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. This can be trickier than it sounds, especially if you regularly use food to deal with your feelings.
Emotional hunger can be powerful, so it’s easy to mistake it for physical hunger. But there are clues you can look for to help you tell physical and emotional hunger apart.
Advice for families
The smallest of changes can have a big impact on how you feel, how you think about weight, and how you can maintain a healthy weight.
Start with small changes as a family and build on those changes over time. Making smaller changes fit into your family life makes that change easier for you and your family until it becomes the norm.
These changes are for the long term, so it is important that they fit into your life but also you learn to enjoy them.
It will be tricky at first but as you become used the change you put in place it will become normal.
- Think about the way your family works now with food and exercise.
- Think about how you really feel about making changes
- What healthy changes could be made but are not too onerous for the person who orders and cooks the food.
- Could you change the way the food is cooked e.g. oven rather than fry?
- Could you add extra vegetables to the meal?
- Could you use smaller plates as this can with portion sizes?
- Can you all drink more water?
- Do you all have time to take part in physical activity, from walking to classes to team sports to using YouTube videos for a home workout?
- Maybe have a think about what physical activity did or does give you enjoyment, how can you on your own or you and your family fit this into your busy schedule?
Whatever healthy change or changes you make, make sure you are consistent.
Consistency and regularity, while it sounds boring, not only creates a habit, but it will have the greatest effect on your weight and your wellbeing, and at least as your healthy change becomes consistent your mind and body will want to do more of it and that makes it easier to keep doing it.
NHS Adult Weight Management
The NHS Digital Weight Management Programme Supports adults living with obesity who also have a diagnosis of diabetes, hypertension, or both, to manage their weight and improve their health. It is a 12-week online behavioural and lifestyle programme that people can access via a smartphone or computer with internet access.
To start your journey to a healthier life, you need to speak to your GP or a local Pharmacist who can refer you to the programme.
To access the programme, you must be;
- Over 18
- Have a BMI of 30+. The BMI threshold will be lowered to 275 for people from Black, Asian, and ethnic minority backgrounds, as we know people from these backgrounds are at an increased risk of conditions like Type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI.
- You must have diabetes, high blood pressure or both
- You must have a smartphone, tablet, or computer with internet access
If you do not have diabetes or high blood pressure, you may still benefit from the NHS Better Health programme.
NHS Better Health
NHS Better Health is a great place to start any health journey.
A thousand-mile journey begins with the first step and this page has lots of small tools and tips to help you get where you want to go. It is a great way to kickstart your health. You will find information not only on losing weight but also on getting active, stopping smoking, and alcohol, mental health and more.
You will be able to access a range of great apps to download onto your phone to help you make the changes to your lifestyle you need to be the best version of yourself.
NHS Weight loss App
Keep track of your eating habits, and develop a healthier, more active lifestyle with this easy-to-follow weight-loss plan.
Follow 12 informative weekly NHS guides to help you towards maintaining a balanced diet, and use the daily diary to monitor what you’re eating and keep to a recommended calorie target.
We’ll help you work out what a healthy weight is for you by using our in-app BMI calculator and help you set a healthy calorie target that’s right for you.
NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP)
Preventing type 2 diabetes
Whilst type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2 and there are currently two million people in England at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. For people living with type 2 diabetes, the risk of dying in hospital with COVID-19 is also twice that of people who don’t have the condition.
As well as the human cost, type 2 diabetes treatment accounts for around 10% of the annual NHS budget.
Need help to manage your weight?
Get support local to you
If you wish to make a referral into the Feel Good Suffolk service, your Feel Good Suffolk Advisor can support you to access information contained on this website or community assistance local to you.
They can also advise you on the eligibility criteria for more intensive levels of support around managing a healthy weight, stopping smoking and being more active.