Eating

Eating well and choosing right

Deciding what to eat and drink has a big impact on our overall health, weight and the way we feel. The right food, the right portion sizes and the right balance makes a big difference.

Calculate your
Body Mass Index

Entering your details gives an indication of whether you’re a healthy weight, and if not, how over or underweight you are. BMI isn’t perfect, but it’s a useful guide to get you started.

ft
in
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Are you overweight
or underweight

Underweight

Being underweight can be just as harmful to your health as being overweight. You might not be getting all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function. This can mean a lack of energy, always feeling tired, and a weakened immune system.

Learn more about undereating, and get help overcoming an eating disorder.

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General Advice

The key to healthy eating is a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Don’t try and be too strict with your diet, as you’re more likely to end up failing.

Make sure you have the right portion sizes on your plate, and try to avoid snacking in between meals. Focus on eating well most of the time, and don’t worry about the occasional treat. See our top tips below on choosing the right food to help you with a healthy diet.

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Overweight

If you are overweight or obese, you’re putting your body and your health at serious risk. You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain kinds of cancer.

Being overweight can affect your mental health as well, and could lead to you feeling depressed. But if you want to lose weight, there is lots of support available, including tips on dieting correctly and exercising more.

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Be aware of what you eat and drink

We all need to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. It should include all the essential vitamins, minerals and energy that fuels our body. But we also need to be careful about the amounts we’re eating and drinking, and make healthy swaps where possible.

Making sure you drink enough

When we’re focused on what we eat, it’s easy to overlook what we’re drinking. Most us don’t drink as much water as we should, and this can affect our health by causing headaches, tiredness and mood swings. Drinking more water helps you focus, and can stop you feeling hungry too. You should aim for at least 6-8 glasses of day, which is about the same as a 2-litre bottle.

6 - 8 glasses per day.

Understanding Food Labels

The labels on food are designed to help you make the right choices, but you need to understand what they mean. The traffic light system indicates how much of your daily recommended amount is in the suggested serving size. Watch out for foods that are high in saturated fat, total fat, salt, and sugar, and try and choose an alternative. Be careful of the recommended portion size too, as these can often be misleading.

ABC

This is the size
of the serving

This is the percentage
of how much each
serving contributes to
your daily
recommended intake.

This is the amount
of grams contained
in each serving

Eating healthy on a budget

There are lots of great ways to eat healthy, even if you’re on a tight budget. Frozen veg and tins of fish or pulses are cheap and good for you, and you can also find tips on making your food go further. Learn how to make your own tasty, healthy meals on a budget with these free cooking classes.

What is Body Mass Index (BMI?)

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a quick and simple way to calculate your weight in relation to your height, to determine if you are underweight, overweight, or at a healthy weight.

A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25. Below this, and you may be underweight, above it, and you’re in danger of being overweight. If you have a BMI of 35 or more, you’re at serious risk of obesity, and should speak to a doctor for help and support.


Your BMI might not always be entirely accurate, as it’s only an estimation and is affected by:
  • Being pregnant, or recently having given birth
  • Being of muscular or athletic build
  • Being under 18

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MyCity Health can point you in the right direction with the information, advice and support, you need on common health issues and lifestyle challenges.