Health & wellbeing

5 tips to help lower BMI

Building healthy habits, like eating healthily and being more active, can help you lower your Body Mass Index (BMI).
Published 5 July, 2022

BMI - otherwise known as body mass index - is a simple measure of weight in relation to height. Use our BMI calculator to check your BMI.

If your BMI is too high, a good initial goal to aim for is losing 10% of your body weight. Even if that’s not enough to push you into a healthy weight range, it’s a great start, with research showing it’s enough to deliver health benefits, like lowering risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Here are some steps you can take towards lowering your BMI or maintaining a healthy BMI.

1. Lower your BMI with WeightWatchers

The WW programme encourages members to focus on realistic weight-loss goals and provides the skills and techniques to help you achieve them.

Stepping on the scales may seem daunting, but once you know your weight, you’re in a good place to make an action plan for success. The PersonalPoints programme offers a safe and sustainable way to lose weight, at a rate of around 1-2lb per week, without having to count calories or go hungry. You can choose from two different plans - Digital and Unlimited Workshops + Digital membership. Each one offers something a bit different, so there’s bound to be one that fits in with your lifestyle.

2. Eat healthily

Make sure you eat a good balance of fruit, vegetables, starchy foods and proteins, with a smaller amount of high fat or high sugar foods.

Fibre

  • Be sure to fill up on fibre. Eating plenty of fibre is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
  • Foods high in fibre include plant foods like wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts.

Protein

  • Protein is another filling nutrient, important for keeping our bones and muscles healthy.
  • You can find protein in animal sources such as fish, meat, dairy and eggs, or plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, beans and pulses.

Fat

  • Try swapping some of the saturated fats you eat with unsaturated fats.
  • Foods high in saturated fat include chocolate, cake, biscuits, crisps and other cheese. Unsaturated fats can be found in olive oils and spreads, avocados, nuts, salmon and mackerel.

3. Think about portion sizes

Keeping an eye on your portion sizes can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI. The most accurate way to measure portion sizes is to weigh out your food. If you are trying to lose weight, you may need smaller portions.

Tracking what you are eating using the WW app can help you be mindful of whether you're gaining, losing, or maintaining your weight and helps you see your progress more clearly.

4. Move more

When you’re busy, finding time for exercise can feel like a challenge. However, even short bursts of activity can help you improve your health. Simple things such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, or going for a walk at lunchtime are a good place to start.

Plan how you can fit an activity you enjoy into your routine regularly - this could be walking the dog, taking a pilates class or going for a swim. Active hobbies such as gardening or DIY can also be great exercise. Why not sign up to something new? If there’s a fitness class or team sport you’ve considered trying, now’s the time!

5. Set and achieve goals

Research proves that setting goals and going in pursuit of them is linked to increased happiness.

Make sure to mark your achievements! Each time you make a small lifestyle change aimed at reaching your goal of lowering your BMI, reward yourself with a little treat - it could be anything from a new item of clothing to seeing a new movie at the cinema, or even a relaxing bubble bath.