Healthy weight

How to get to and stick to a healthy weight.
A woman and child preparing food together.
How do I know what a healthy weight is for me?

A good place to start is measuring your waist size and finding out your body mass index (BMI). These results can be used as a guide to check if it looks like you need to gain or lose any weight to be healthier.

Weight loss guide

If you need to lose weight, the NHS have a free, 12 week diet and exercise plan available online to help you.

A close up photo of someone's hands as they chop up coriander.
Healthy eating

A balanced diet is key to reaching and sticking to a healthy weight.

hands holding a cup of herbal tea.
What if I'm underweight?
A man jogging down a residential road.
Exercise

Adults aged 19 to 64 should aim to be physically active every day[1].

The NHS recommends we do:

  • strengthening activities that work all major muscles in the body on at least 2 days a week

  • at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week

  • or at least 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week[1].

These guidelines are also suitable for disabled adults, pregnant women and new mothers[1].

Healthy weight and COVID-19

Research has shown that people with obesity are at greater risk of catching coronavirus than people who are a healthy weight[2]. Obesity can result in a weakened immune response, which makes it more difficult to fight the virus. People with obesity are also at a greater risk of having to go into hospital, and then into intensive care due to coronavirus than people who are a healthy weight[2].

Find out more about how being overweight or obese relates to coronavirus on the British Heart Foundation website.

Where can I get further support and information?

As well as talking to your pharmacist or GP, there are a number of charities and organisations offering support and information.

More topics

Managing diabetes

Resources to help people living with diabetes.

Stop smoking

Support and information to help you stop smoking.

Managing high blood pressure

Resources to help people living with high blood pressure.

Published

April 2021

Next review

April 2022

Reviewed by

Gill Stone MRPharmS

References

  1. 1.

    Exercise. nhs.uk. Published April 26, 2018. Accessed March 1, 2021.

    https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/
  2. 2.

    Popkin BM, Du S, Green WD, et al. Individuals with obesity and COVID-19: A global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships. Obes Rev. 2020;21(11):e13128. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.13128