Susie and John* are just two people we support who are feeling the benefits of weight reduction and more exercise through a ‘Healthy lifestyles and weight loss’ programme. The 12-week NHS programme is run by the Health Promotion Team twice a year as an online course. It gives people we support and their support teams the tools and guides to help people achieve their goals. These include easy read information plus NHS app suggestions such as the NHS Food Swap app.
Physical wellbeing is one of the topics covered in our Wheel of Engagement person-centred framework. This graphic helps support teams to consider all aspects of person-centred planning for people they support.
A new ‘Healthy lifestyles and weight loss’ course starts next month. It will cover a range of topics such portion sizes, calories, food labels, cravings, and menu planning. Participants enjoy being part of a group and picking up tips around making healthier choices. They also do some fun exercises each week, choosing the themes and music.
Staying the course
John had been steadily gaining weight over the past three years. His ‘sweet tooth’ also meant he needed a few fillings at the dentist. Following the programme last spring, he managed to lose an impressive 10kg and has continued to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Once a week, John has a gym PT session and is also following online exercise classes using equipment he’s bought himself. Dietary changes include healthy breakfasts and flavoured waters rather than fizzy pop, while a voluntary manual labour job is helping to burn further calories. John is really proud of his achievements.
Susie lives in a residential home where meals are generally prepared for her. While she has always been conscious of healthy eating, her weight had crept up. She made a personal goal to drop a dress size. The programme helped Susie lose a stone (6.5kg) through changes such as using low calorie spray, opting for chicken and cutting down on her portions. She also cut out snacks completely and increased her exercise routines.
The Health Promotion Team was able to provide a British Sign Language interpreter for Susie and her housemate to participate in the weekly meetings. She found it very helpful to do the programme with others, sharing advice and encouragement.
These lifestyle changes have brought Susie multiple benefits – she sleeps much better, feels more active, has more colour in her cheeks and generally feels happier. Her painful knee and back have also improved. She even joined in with some dancing recently, which wouldn’t have been possible previously.
Susie’s top tip: “Don’t be tempted by snacks. If you see the biscuit plate come round, say ‘No, thank you!’.”
*name has been changed to protect identity