Dr. Phelan By General Practitioner Published:

It’s the time of year where many healthy eating resolutions have been dropped by the wayside as old habits return. Although it’s easy to have fallen off the wagon, it can be just as easy to get back on and restore your motivation! Here are my top tips for sustainable healthy eating this year.

Keep active 
Weight gain is down to a simple equation – when we consume more calories than we burn, we gain weight. So, regular physical activity will helpyou lose weight and lower your risk of developing a serious illness like diabetes, cancer or heart disease. You can discuss options that work best for you with your doctor.

Ditch the junk
Sweets, crisps, takeaways, fizzy drinks and processed foods are all high in processed fats and tend to spike your blood sugar, which in turn leads you to reaching for another snack. As you begin to cut back on these types of foods your cravings will also reduce!

Watch the booze
As Dry January wrapped up, many people will have noticed a tightening of their belts as well from abstaining from alcohol. Because alcohol contains a lot of hidden calories it’s important to keep an eye on what you are drinking and try to stick to the recommended limits of 14 units of alcohol a week (for men and women). Try using a drinking app to monitor how much alcohol you are consuming each week.

Portion it up
It’s easy to let portions of food get a bit out of control – consider using a smaller plate or weighing ingredients like pasta before cooking rather than guessing the amount. It’s a great idea as well to portion out the amount you want to eat rather than snacking directly from the packet.

Weight loss medicines

If you’ve made changes to your diet and levels of exercise but are still having no luck and you have a high body mass index (30 or more), your doctor may consider prescribing you medications such as Orlistat or Saxenda. However these are not ‘magic’ treatments and should be used in conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet.

For more help, visit the NHS website (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/) for tips and resources, or talk to your doctor to get advice on the healthy way to lose weight.