Welcome to the first week of our 12 Week Weight Management Programme. Let's consider what you'll need to change to manage your weight.
Your long-term wellbeing target
Let's start by thinking about what you'd like to achieve over the long term. Your first thought may be a target amount of weight to lose but it doesn't have to be. Your long-term target could be to:
- walk further before you get breathless
- reduce your waist size
- need a smaller belt hole, shirt collar or dress size
Other positive benefits could include an improved night's sleep and generally feeling better about yourself.
Every 4 weeks we'll ask you to measure how you're getting on towards meeting this target.
You can use our wellbeing target sheet (PDF, 24 KB) to record your target and track your progress.
You cannot change everything at once. Over the 12 weeks we will ask you to start making small and manageable changes to your current lifestyle. Making these changes with someone else or with support of those close to you is important to help you keep going.
Take time to consider who may be the best people to support you and how you can access this help, for example family, friends, work colleagues in person or via group chats if family and friends are not close by.
Lifestyle and behaviours
Over the next 12 weeks we'll explore the changes you may need to make to your:
- food and drink intake
- physical activity levels
- inactive time, for example watching TV, playing on computers, tablets and mobile phones
We use the term lifestyle to cover all 3 of these areas.
To lose weight you need to make changes to your current lifestyle and behaviours. For most people this means decreasing the calories taken in daily from food and drink while increasing your levels of physical activity.
Recording your lifestyle
During this programme you'll be asked to record your behaviours, especially the ones you want to change. Once you start to keep a record of these things it'll be easier for you to spot where you can make small changes. In future it will also allow you to look back to recognise how much you've achieved.
This means keeping a note in a lifestyle diary. Most people record some or all of the following:
- what they eat and drink
- the physical activity they do
- their sleep pattern
- how they're feeling
Some people record this on paper while others use Apps on their phones or tablets. There are many different Apps for keeping a note of your lifestyle, you may be using one already. Others take pictures of what they eat or the physical activity they are doing.
If you start with one form of lifestyle recording and find you don’t like it, don’t worry. It is about finding a method that works for you.
Your lifestyle diary
Keeping a lifestyle diary is about finding your current routines and habits. There's no need to share this with anyone else.
Once you've been recording for a few days you'll start to become more aware of the things you might want to change and, importantly, those you feel able to change at this point.
You can download and print a copy of our lifestyle diary or use a notebook or app.
Take a note of your current measurements for yourself, so you can review your progress later.
We recommend you weigh yourself no more than once a week. The average weight loss an adult can expect is 1 to 2lbs (0.5 - 1kg) per week.
Some other measurement suggestions:
- Waist measurement
- Collar size
- Sleep pattern
- Skin improvement
- Feeling better about yourself
- Being able to walk further without being breathless
- Being able to swim more often or further
Body mass index (BMI)
Body mass index (BMI) uses your weight and height to gauge what weight category you're in. It doesn't differentiate between males or females, or body types, so gives an approximate indicator of weight health.
You can't change everything at once. Over the next 12 weeks we'll ask you to:
- start making small and manageable changes to your current lifestyle
- set yourself 2 or 3 goals for change that are your small steps towards meeting your long term target
Recording your weekly goals
Each week the selections you make and what you write will be turned into a weekly journal. You can then save the journal to your device or print it out and keep it.
The information in the journal is held only by you, we don't save, store or have access to anything you type. If you close your browser or refresh the page what you have entered will be lost. If you would prefer you can print out our blank weekly journal (PDF, 42KB) to fill in yourself.
You can use a notebook, diary, fitness or health tracking App or any other method to record your details instead, it's up to you.
For next week
During this week you should:
- decide which method of lifestyle recording you want to use - a journal, paper diary, an App or taking photos
- try to record your food and drink intake or physical activity levels
- start to consider which of your current behaviours you feel ready to change for week 2