Healthy Diet and Healthy Weight

Whether you're trying to lose weight, get in shape or just live a healthier life, eating well has lots of benefits. From improving your health to saving you money, there are lots of reasons to eat well.

If you eat too many foods that are high in fat and sugar, and you're not as active as you should be, you're more likely to put on weight.

You can still enjoy the foods you love, by making some small changes and food swaps to help you cut back. Switching from dairy products that are full fat and high in sugar to ones that are low fat and have less sugar can really help.

Very Brief Intervention

Ask

How important is it for you to eat healthily?

Empathise that it is not always easy to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day but we can all try and cut down on fat, salt and sugar whenever we can.

Eating healthily and the right amount can help you feel your best, stop you gaining weight and lower your risks of getting some diseases.

When it comes to watching your weight, it's not just food you need to watch out for as some drinks can also be high in calories.

How would you most like to improve what you eat, if you could?

If the answer indicates a desire for a more nutritious diet, they can be signposted to the 'Eat Well' information on the NHS website

Do you check the labels on food packaging when you are out shopping to help you make healthier choices?

What types of drinks do you have in a typical day?

Assist

Explain that some food manufactures and supermarkets display nutritional information on packed foods and this can be useful when comparing different food products

Front-of-pack labels, such as the label in the above image, usually give a quick guide to: 

  • energy 
  • fat content 
  • saturated fat content 
  • sugars content 
  • salt content

Some front-of-pack nutrition labels use red, amber and green colour coding

Colour-coded nutritional information, as shown in the image above, tells you at a glance if the food has high, medium or low amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt 

  • red means high 
  • amber means medium 
  • green means low 

In short, the more green on the label, the healthier the choice. If you buy a food that has all or mostly green on the label

Explain that the Eatwell guide below shows how much of what you eat overall should come from each food group

  

A balanced diet contains foods from all the five major food groups. The Eatwell Guide encourages us to: 

  • Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. 
  • For potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates; choose wholegrain versions where possible. 
  • For dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks); choose lower fat and lower sugar options.
  • Eat more beans, pulses and fish. Eat less red and processed meat. 
  • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and use in small amounts. 
  • If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.

Act

Self Care

The NHS Better Health website has a range of resources, tips and apps available to help with weight management and encourage a nutritious diet.  

NHS Digital Weight Management Programme

A GP or pharmacist can refer a person to the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme if the individual comes into the following category: 

  • They are aged 18 or over.
  • They have a BMI greater than 30. (The BMI threshold will be lowered to 27.5 for people from black, Asian, and ethnic minority backgrounds, as we know people from these ethnic backgrounds are at an increased risk of conditions such as Type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI.)
  • They have diabetes, high blood pressure, or both.
  • They have a smartphone, tablet, or computer with internet access.

Local Support and Contact Details