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Weight Loss

Coming into summer most people become more aware of their body – it’s a good time to check- in and see if you are at a healthy weight!

Please follow this link to calculate your body mass index (BMI):  Calculator

If you are in the Healthy range – fantastic! Keep an eye out for our upcoming posts regarding exercise, alcohol and more.

If you are in the overweight or obese range – then follow closely for some info on how to reduce your weight, improve your fitness, mental health and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Benefits of being in a healthy BMI range:

-More energy

-May reverse high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes

-Good role modelling for younger generations – childhood obesity is becoming more common

-More able to engage in physical activity

Risks associated with obesity:

  • Cancer (particularly breast and womb cancer for women and bowel cancer)
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Snoring and sleep apnoea
  • Liver disease
  • More severe menopausal symptoms
  • Poorer mental health incl low self esteem
  • Joint and back pain

If videos are more your thing or you would like to learn more – watch these videos from a GP about weight loss.

Diet

This information is intended for adults – if you are under 18 or would like to speak to us regarding the health or weight of a patient under 18 then please contact us to make an appointment with one of our GP’s.

If you are trying to improve your diet – great!

Apart from weight loss, eating a balanced diet is important to ensure you get a range of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fats and carbohydrates for energy. We also need omega 3 and 6 fatty acids found in oily fish and some nuts for brain and heart health.

Most adults can calculate roughly how many calories they need a day by following this link.

In simple terms: the calories you eat or drink add up. If you don’t use these up, either by just being alive (your basal metabolic rate) or exercise then you will store these excess calories as body fat and will gain weight over time.

If you eat less than what you use in a day you will lose weight.

This takes a very long time and may not be evident on scales day to day. Body weight increases and decreases based on the foods you eat, how much water you have retained, if you have done any exercise, if there is any inflammation in the body, your menstrual cycle and even if you have had a poo or not!

So, to start:

1: Calculate your calories and work out how many you would need to reduce these by to start losing weight (to be in a deficit).

2: Start planning your meals to include WHOLE foods – not ultra-processed or ready meal type foods

  • Eat MORE things that are high in fibre (oats/wholewheat foods/fruits and veggies) and protein (dairy products, meats, fish, soy, tofu) keep you fuller for longer by taking longer to digest. These are lower in calories so you can eat more!
  • Aim to have at LEAST 5-6 portions of fruit and veg per day
  • Use a calorie counter to start with (myfitnesspal or nutracheck) to learn about portion sizes. Most people will overeat on simple things such as rice and pasta, eating 2-3 the recommended portion size.

3: Don’t cut out all treats – think of your diet like a bank account – most of us can’t buy a new car and a new house at the same time – your diet is similar – to stay within your calories you cannot usually eat a cake or sweet treat AND indulge in a take away that evening. You have to start making smart choices.

4: Don’t undo all of your hard work on the weekends. Either reduce your calories in the week to account for a meal out/take away or alcohol or make smart choices on the weekend.  

There is a lot of information on this website: https://www.healthyweightgrampian.scot.nhs.uk/nhs-services/healthy-helpings/

If you need guidance on how to change or improve your diet then please use the 12 week FREE program using that link above or click the picture.

If you are still struggling then please contact us to make an appointment. A referral to a dietician from the GP will only be able to be done once you have completed this course.

Weight loss drugs

There is a lot of media attention given to GLP-1 analogues at the present time. These mimic the effects of a hormone that gets released once we have eaten to signal to our brain that we are full.

We cannot prescribe these medications, nor do we have a service to refer into at the present time (June 2024).

BUT – by eating foods high in fibre and protein we can slow foods movement through the gut, feel fuller for longer and consume less calories – a similar effect to those medications! Orlistat is a medication that some people may use – however this is usually poorly tolerated. It works by not absorbing fat from the gut so patients usually suffer with explosive diarrhoea. It is not suitable for everyone and you will have to show a loss of body weight to continue with the medication.

Exercise

If you are unsure about whether it is safe for you to start exercising then please call to make an appointment with one of our doctors.

You DO NOT need to do any exercise to lose weight.  Exercise has so many benefits – only one of which is weight loss.

Benefits:

  • Improve your body’s ability to use up the glucose from our blood – therefore reducing risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Improved heart health and reduced blood pressure
  • Improved mental health (exercise is an endorphin)
  • Improvements in mobility and joint pain
  • Reduction in severity of menopausal symptoms
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved bone health and strength (particularly important in older age and postmenopausal women)
  • Reduction of the amount of muscle we lose yearly as we age
  • Role modelling to family, friends, children – children are more likely to be active if they see their parents being active!

You don’t need to do a lot – research has shown that the first HOUR of exercise a week has the most benefit!

Aim to increase your steps to a minimum of 6000 a day – this has been shown to reduce your risk of dying from any cause!

Whether you are a member of the gym or not – you can get some advice and exercises tailored to your needs/ability by following this link for the Physical Activity for Health Programme: http://www.moray.gov.uk/moray_standard/page_146092.html (you will have to pay a small amount if not a member of the fitlife scheme)

Free exercise is also available: Park run is a free 5 km course set up every Saturday at 9:30am in Cooper Park – you DO NOT have to run this and all abilities are welcomed. You can even start by doing a part of the course or one lap. Further info:  https://www.parkrun.org.uk/elgin/

There is also a junior park run on a Sunday 09:30am for those aged 4+. It’s great to get children involved in activity from an early age.

If being outdoors is not what you enjoy – there are plenty of free Youtube workout videos free to access on the internet. Start out by doing some low impact or low intensity exercises.

The NHS recommends at least 150 min of activity per week. That’s 30 mins 5x a week. (less if the exercise is very intense!)

The Moray Way website features a comprehensive collection of Moray ways for walking, horse riding, cycling, sailing and canoeing to help you get out in beautiful Moray. Whether you want a holiday, dog walk, to improve your fitness or are seeking adventure; there’s a route for you.

Click the picture for more info

AllTrails has 18 picturesque trails in the Elgin area. Discover hand-curated trail maps, along with reviews and photos from fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

Click the picture for more info

Moray sports centre is locally funded, not for profit charity Offering so many classes and services for anyone in the area:

Indoor cycle, body combat, body pump, physical yoga, pilates, one more rep, full body strength, LBT, barre, burn combo, boxercise, kettlebells, functional fit, rave fit, booty burn, jungle body combo, movement & mobility, upper body burn, circuits. Click the picture for more info

Moray Leisure Centre – Facilities include: pool, ice rink, classes, gym, café, child care, soft play, relaxation suite. If you haven’t been before, moray leisure centre offer a meet me at the door tour at set times. Fit life is a membership scheme that offers access to lots of the facilities at a reasonable monthly payment. Click the picture for more info