Top tips on getting fit and losing excess weight in 2020


The Public Health Agency (PHA) is taking the opportunity during Obesity Awareness Week to offer top tips on healthier eating and becoming more active.

The Health Survey (NI) 2017/18 shows 64% of adults were either overweight (37%) or obese (27%).

Caroline Bloomfield, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Senior Manager at the PHA, said: “At this time of the year, following Christmas, many people will be looking at how they can become healthier and fitter, how they can lose a bit of weight and get more active.

“Having a waistline of 37 inches or more for a man and 32 inches or more for a woman can put you at a greater risk of developing a number of serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, some cancers and type 2 diabetes. Your health could be at greater risk if you’re storing a lot of fat around your waist. We store excess body fat under the skin but also around our vital organs in the abdomen, and having a large amount of tummy fat could make you more likely to develop heart problems or type 2 diabetes.”

Top tips to make a difference this New Year:

  • Cut out the snacks – research has shown that eating as little as 100 calories more than the body needs each day could add up to 10lbs of weight gain in a year.
  • Cook healthier food – the Choose to Live Better website has over 80 easy to cook healthy recipes to help us on our way. All the recipes are low in fat, salt and sugar and provide the right sized portions.
  • Get more active – this is a great way to manage our weight. A simple way to get started is to walk. By fitting more steps in to our everyday routine we can start to feel the benefits.

“Many people don’t realise how much they are eating over the course of the day,” said Caroline.

“100 calories can be as little as an extra slice of bread, an extra three sweets, or an extra forkful of spaghetti. Snacks, nibbles and second helpings are things we tuck into without even thinking, but every extra bit that goes in, ends up going on.

“By being mindful of what we eat, cooking healthier and cutting out the extras, we can help reduce the risk of putting on the pounds.”

“Getting more active is a great way to manage our weight and by fitting more steps in to our everyday routine we can start to feel the benefits.

“For example, taking small steps such as getting off the bus one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way or taking the stairs at work rather than the lift can make a big difference,” said Caroline.

“By taking simple steps to move more, we can help manage our weight as well as boosting our mental health and reducing stress and anxiety. Many of us probably made New Year’s resolutions to eat better and be more active, so these tips are a great way to get started on the path to living healthier lives.”

For more information on choosing healthier food options, cooking healthy recipes and getting more active, visit