Each New Year, one of the most popular resolutions is to make the upcoming year your healthiest yet! This is why losing weight and getting fit are two of the most popular undertakings for most adults. Following the festive season, you may have stumbled into the New Year with the desire to make up for recent excesses, and, let’s face it, feeling bloated, overweight and tired is no fun, and can affect your confidence.

If you are overweight, than there are lots of things you can do to improve your lifestyle and health, as long as you adopt the right attitude and approach. And we at London Doctors Clinic are here to guide you every step of the way...


It's estimated that we consume on average a whopping 7,000 calories on Christmas day, including food and drink!


What's The Difference Between Being Overweight & Obese?

In this article we talk about obesity, which is more serious than just being overweight. Being overweight or obese both imply a condition where a person has extra weight. The difference between the two conditions is determined by Body Mass Index (BMI).


What Is The Body Mass Index?

The BMI is a number calculated from the weight and height of a person, in which your weight (in kg) is divided by the square of your height (in metres), giving you a measure of your body fat. The BMI can be easily calculated using our BMI Chart (provided you have your correct height and weight values), or by your GP.

BMI = Weight (kg)/ Height (m) 2 


A BMI over 30 is considered to put you in the obese category, and knowing this number is very important, as obesity has a negative impact on your health, but is totally treatable through making achievable lifestyle adjustments.

BMI Ranges:

  • BMI of 20-25 = Normal
  • BMI of 25-30 = Overweight
  • BMI of 30+ = Obese


BMI ranges, from normal to morbidly obese 


What Is Obesity?

Obesity develops when there is an imbalance between your energy intake (calories) and your energy expenditure (activity), and it is the most common nutritional disorder in the world (approximately 1 in 4 people are obese).

Besides destroying the sufferer’s self-esteem and costing the UK economy billions of pounds per year, obesity is linked with a number of concerning medical conditions, and some of these are listed below:


Obesity puts people at risk of a plethora of other diseases, such as diabetes


Obesity: What Can Be Done?

Obesity is a leading cause of reduced life expectancy and preventable deaths worldwide. If you are concerned that you may be obese, and you want to make a change, than you have taken a great first step in reading this article!

Visiting your GP is a possible next step. At your appointment, you can explain your concerns to your Doctor, and he or she will talk to you about your health worries, calculate your BMI, and check your physical health. The GP may consider some of the following factors as part of a weight management consultation:

  • A review of your past health history
  • Your family history
  • A general physical exam
    • Possibly including blood tests
  • Calculation of your BMI
    • Using the measurements discussed above
    • Possibly measuring your waist circumference
  • An assessment for other health problems
    • For example high blood pressure or diabetes
  • Support and advice regarding lifestyle changes or treatment options


Obesity Prevention

Obesity is a condition that is can develop over a long period of time. It is hard to change some of the lifestyle behaviours which often develop as early as childhood. But there are lots of changes we can make to reduce our weight, and, with the right help and support, realistic and achievable goals can be set.

Although committing to changes in our eating habits and activity levels is a great goal for 2017, you may wish to consult your Doctor and get the all clear before you start your new lifestyle.


Top Tips For Weight Loss

Here are some basic tips to get you started:

  1. Find the reason you are eating too many calories and begin to deal with it
    • People often use food to comfort or to relieve emotional distress, or are unaware they are eating too much.
  2. Get a specially designed food plan
    • It may be helpful to seek advice from your GP or ask to be referred to a dietitian in this regard, who can give you a food plan specially designed with your particular circumstances (such as your current weight, your budget, or your daily schedule) in mind.
    • As you build your own knowledge around nutrition, you can begin to take more control over your choices.
  3. Get an activity buddy 
    • Engaging in physical activity for just 30 minutes, five time a week will be of huge benefit.
    • Meeting up with a good friend or family member for a brisk walk or jog is free, fun, strengthens relationships, and makes it more likely that you will stay on track!


It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise, especially in these cold winter months. Find a friend at a similar fitness level to you, and encourage each other to persevere!


Treatment For Obesity

Preventing obesity is obviously the preferable choice, but those who are already obese can apply of the advice outlined above. Sometimes, if dietary and activity changes are not enough, other treatment options may be considered:


A medication option to help with weight loss is called Orlistat. It may be considered in some cases. You will need to show your GP that you are motivated to lose weight, and this medication is only one part of a weight loss programme. You take a capsule of Orlistat with each meal, and it works by reducing the absorption of fat. The unabsorbed fat is passed out of the body in the stool.


Orlistat is a medication that can be prescribed to help weight loss, as part of a weight loss programme



Weight loss surgery is a major undertaking, and is considered if your obesity is significantly affecting your health, and other lifestyle adjustments or treatments have not been successful. It is usually only offered if:

  • Your BMI is greater than 40 
    • Or greater than 35 if you have a serious medical condition
  • You have type 2 diabetes as a result of your obesity
  • You have tried all the non-surgical methods for losing weight
  • You agree to follow up at a specialised obesity service
  • You are healthy enough to undergo anaesthetic and surgery

There are several types of weight loss (bariatricsurgery available, and your GP can refer you to an obesity specialist if they feel that you might be a candidate for this type of treatment. You obesity specialist will provide you with up to date, detailed information on how the surgery works, how it is carried out, your recovery afterwards, and the long term effects of this type of surgery on your life.


So if you've taken on the New Years' Resolution to fight the bulge in 2017, step one of reading this article is already complete! Book an appointment with one of our supportive GP's at any of our 8 private clinics, to commence on step two, and the rest of your journey!

By Melissa Dillon