What is Nutrition and Hydration Week?
This week, 12-18 March, is Nutrition and Hydration Week. As a Trust, this week provides an opportunity for us to raise awareness and celebrate the work our colleagues do in supporting our service users to eat and drink well. This plays a vital role in both the mental and physical health of our service users.
Many of our service users and colleagues struggle with their weight, for a whole variety of reasons. The information below can be used either for yourself, or someone you care for or support, to help with weight loss efforts.
Carly Atkinson is a specialist dietitian, working for the Trust with people with mental health issues and learning disabilities. Here, she shares some of the most effective weight loss strategies.
Most effective weight loss strategies
According to NICE the most effective weight loss strategies will include:
- Ensuring realistic targets for weight loss (i.e. no more than 0.5-1.0kg per week)
- Tailoring dietary changes to individual food preferences and allowing for a flexible and individual approach to reducing calorie intake
- Diets that have a 600 kcal/day deficit (that is, they contain 600 kcal less than the person needs to stay the same weight) or that reduce calories by lowering the fat content (low-fat diets), in combination with expert support and intensive follow‑up, are recommended for sustainable weight loss
- Not using unduly restrictive and nutritionally unbalanced diets, because they are ineffective in the long term and can be harmful
- Social support – encouraging the person’s partner or family to support any weight management programme
- Self monitoring of behaviour and progress – weekly weigh-ins, food diaries etc.
- Goal setting – identifying and documenting your goals
- Slowing the rate of eating and developing mindfulness around food and mealtimes
- Problem solving around the times when you go off track
- Praising successes – however small – at every opportunity to encourage the person through the difficult process of changing established behaviour
For more information about Nutrition and Hydration Week, visit https://nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk/