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Do I need to lose weight?

Wondering whether you need to lose weight? It can sometimes be difficult to understand what a “healthy body weight” is but it’s important to recognise when it’s time to make healthier changes to your lifestyle to prevent developing any health issues. 

In this article, we’ll share some common signs to look for which may suggest you are overweight and highlight how you can get the support you need to get your body fighting fit. 

Signs that you may need to lose weight

1. Exercising can be challenging 

If you find that just completing low-impact workouts is exhausting, you could be overweight. Having little energy or being left breathless following exercise can make being active and losing weight a daunting task, but the way forward is to do both of these things (safely). 

2. You have high blood pressure or high cholesterol

If your doctor has informed you that you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, this can be an indication that you’re overweight. Having high blood pressure means that your body is working extra hard to supply your body with oxygen and this can lead to other health conditions such as heart disease. High cholesterol can also lead to health complications, but exercise and dieting are effective in reducing these risks. 

3. Your BMI has suggested that you are overweight

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and it’s a tool which indicates what your healthy weight range should be based on factors such as your height, age, gender, ethnic group and the amount of activity you engage in each week. 

If your BMI suggests that you're overweight, you can look into dieting and exercising more. That said, it’s worth nothing that a BMI calculator isn’t totally accurate, as your weight can be higher due to having more muscle mass. If you are concerned about your BMI, consult your GP or a healthcare professional for advice. 

Find out your BMI with this BMI calculator.

4. You suffer from sleep apnea or poor sleep

Those who are overweight are more likely to snore or experience disrupted sleep (NHS). Knowing whether you snore can be difficult (unless you have a very tired partner who hears you!) However, signs that you do snore include feeling tired throughout the day or waking up throughout the night. If you are concerned that you may suffer from sleep apnoea (a condition where your breathing stops and starts whilst sleeping), you should consult your GP as this can be serious. 

5. Your joints are often aching

Even just walking short distances can leave you feeling worse for wear when you’re overweight as excess weight can put more pressure on your joints. 

6. You have type 2 diabetes or are pre-diabetic

You may already be aware if you’re prediabetic or have type 2 diabetes but if you aren’t, signs of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Being very thirsty
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Experiencing fatigue
  • Having blurred vision
  • Experiencing increased hunger
  • Wounds take a long time to heal

If those signs are something you’ve noticed, you should consult your GP. The good news is that you can improve these conditions by losing weight as it’s the excess fat on your body which affects your organs. 

7. You’ve recently gained a lot of weight

If you’ve noticed that you’ve been gaining weight then it could be time to take action before you gain too much. Ask yourself whether you’ve made any lifestyle changes that could have impacted this (such as exercising less or snacking more often). 

8. You have sore feet

If after the end of each day you notice that your feet feel sore or you experience pain, this could be a sign that you’re carrying too much weight. The heavier you are, the more pressure you’re putting on your feet, which can lead to discomfort.  

9. You suffer from heart palpitations

As a result of increased blood pressure, you may experience heart palpitations. These are more noticeable, irregular heartbeats which can feel like a pounding in your chest or even a “fluttering” of the heart. These are typically harmless, however, they can indicate that you have high blood pressure which is often caused by being overweight. 

10. You often experience low mood 

If you’re overeating and not exercising enough, you may experience signs of depression. For example, you may be feeling bad about yourself or be struggling to take care of yourself (i.e. showering) or other responsibilities (such as cleaning the house). 

As reported by the mental health charity Mind, there is strong evidence to suggest that there is a link between obesity and poor mental health in adults and teenagers. Therefore, if you are noticing that you’re experiencing low mood, this could be an indication that you are overweight. 

In order to try and combat low mood and deal with stress, you should try to be more active as this can really enhance your wellbeing, helping to give you more energy, increase your alertness and help you to think more positively. 

If you’re experiencing any of the above, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with your GP. We’re here to offer our advice and support should you wish to start losing weight in a safe and effective way. 

How do I lose weight? 

If you’ve decided that it’s likely you do need to lose weight, here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Eat regularly and snack less
  2. Ensure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
  3. Be more active to burn calories - why not try these easy home exercises to lose weight to get you started?
  4. Drink lots of water, especially if you’re being more active
  5. Check food labels so that you’re aware of their contents
  6. Drink less alcohol - alcohol can contain lots of calories leading to weight gain, learn why.

Remember, it may be a good idea to consult a health advisor before attempting to lose weight to ensure that you do so safely. You can also check out our blog on unhealthy ways to lose weight which you should avoid at all costs!

Think you may need to lose weight?

If you live in Dorset and you think you may need to lose weight to maintain good health, we’re here to help. Our friendly team of health advisors and coaches can offer you support and guidance each step of the way, so you can learn about simple ways to get active and how to make manageable diet changes to reach your weight loss goals. 

Simply register or have a chat with us today to find out more about the services we offer.

You may even be eligible for three-months of support from your local Slimming World or WW group. Find out more about our weight-loss voucher scheme here.


I drank too much alcohol and had unhealthy eating habits. Pastry is such a bad thing, it's all those pies, pasties and sausage rolls!

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How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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