Dr Helen Webberley (GMC #3657058) is the dedicated GP for Oxford Online Pharmacy (www.oxfordonlinepharmacy.co.uk), the online dispensing arm of the Frost Pharmacy Group, which also comprises three pharmacies in Banbury and Oxford.

She explains: “May offers the perfect combination of means, motivation and opportunity for those wishing to shed a few pounds. The weather is a little warmer, so we are more inclined to venture outside and take some exercise. The rising temperature means the jumpers come off, leaving us nowhere to hide those extra pounds that might have crept on during the winter months. And, with the main summer holiday months being July and August, there are at least eight clear weeks, which means if you start now, by the time you’re ready to leave, you will be able to see a difference.

“Whatever diet regime you choose to follow, effective weight-loss is a simple balance of energy in versus energy out. If you consume more calories than you burn off then they will be stored as fat. Patients often say they can't do any exercise due to work, family, bad knees, stress etc. But ANY physical movement can have a positive impact in terms of burning calories.

“While there can, undoubtedly, be medical reasons for weight gain, on the whole the medical profession doesn’t really attribute weight gain to metabolism, hormone imbalance or big bones alone – it is still dependent on calorie in-take. The simple fact is that if you do have a slow metabolism, or if you are inactive due to health reasons, you need even less 'energy in'.

“People don’t realise that it takes many years for the weight to creep on which is why losing it can also take time. Set realistic goals, a target of half a pound a week, or even one pound a month will make sure you feel slimmer for this summer, and fantastic for next summer.”

While following a healthy diet and exercise plan will deliver the best results, there are some simple day-to-day lifestyle changes you can make which will have a positive impact on your weight-loss:

1. Be calorie aware

Weight gain isn’t just about calories but being aware of how many calories you are consuming can help you to make a healthier choice – stuck between a cup of tea or a hot chocolate? Compare the calories!

2. Don’t put it in your trolley!

Replace unhealthy snacks with a healthier alternative. If it’s not in the cupboard then you and the kids won't be able to eat it. Don't buy it and it won't be there to tempt you

3. ANY exercise is good.

Walk faster, use the stairs, park further away, raise and lower your arms ten times every hour, it all adds up.

4. Put less on your plate.

Eat when you are hungry and slow down. Listen to your body and stop when you are feeling slightly full

5. It's never too big a task.

Even if you have a lot of weight to lose, losing just a few pounds can give you the essential motivation to become the new, healthy you. If you have more to lose, it comes off quicker too!

ENDS

Notes to editors;

Supporting stats taken from Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, England 2015. Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)

  • Levels of obesity in adult men almost doubled between 1993 (13.2%) and 2013 (26%)

  • Levels of obesity in adult women rose dramatically from 16.4% in 1993 to 23.8% in 2013

  • The proportions during this period that were overweight, including obese, increased from 57.6 per cent to 67.1 per cent in men and from 48.6 per cent to 57.2 per cent in women

  • In 2013/14 there were 9,325 Finished Admission Episodes (FAEs) in NHS hospitals with a primary diagnosis of obesity. This is over five times as high as ten years ago in 2003/04 (1,711)

  • Drug items dispensed for treating obesity in 2013 (563,000) rose by 44 per cent from 2012 (392,000)

  • The proportion of adults with a normal BMI between 1993 and 2013 decreased from 41.0 per cent to 31.2 per cent among men and from 49.5 per cent to 40.8 per cent among women.

The most common method of measuring obesity is the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight measurement (in kilograms) by the square of their height (in metres).

Case study and interviews available on request.

For more information contact: Aby Hawker at Falcon PR, abyhawker@falconpr.co.uk, 07795593706

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