Pharmacy in weight loss countdown

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AN Ulster pharmacy has pledged to help its patients lose weight in time for Christmas by giving them lifestyle advice and guidance based on their own goals, as well as monitoring their progress to ensure they are on the right track.

Glenavy Pharmacy said they would aid the local community after a poll by health website revealed that half of Northern Irelander people are overweight with an average of a stone to lose.

The weight management service is part of the national All About Health programme, which promotes healthy living all year round.

Pharmacist Anna McKinley warns how excess weight puts people at risk of developing medical problems including heart disease and diabetes.

“Small changes in diet and exercise over the coming months will make a big difference to weight loss and overall health,” she said. “It’s important that dieters realise fad diets promising dramatic results are short-lived and unhealthy.

“Anyone worried about excess weight should come to get their Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated. This will reveal if they’re a healthy weight for their height and help us work together to create a realistic weight loss plan.”

She adds: “To sustain a healthy weight loss, people should aim to lose between one to two pounds a week, so if they start now they could lose up to a stone by the time the Christmas parties start. This is realistic if they eat and drink fewer calories and increase activity levels, trying to do 30 minutes of exercise five times a week.

“We’ll also support patients over the festive period to make sure they stick to their good habits and don’t fall off the wagon.”