Advice and help for adults to be a healthy weight
Find out what healthy weight is, available support if you’re under or overweight, how low mood, stress or sleep can affect your weight, and free weight management schemes to support you in Southwark or online.
How much we weigh is influenced by:
- what and how much we eat
- how physically active we are
- our stress levels
- how well we sleep
- our genetics
Weight gain can also be linked to a medical reason. Find out about the nine medical reasons for putting on weight.
If you're overweight and would like to make a change, there's a range of support available to help you achieve a healthy weight.
Check your weight and body mass index (BMI)
Start by checking your body mass index or BMI. This is a calculation that doctors use to see whether you are underweight, a healthy weight, or overweight. It takes into account:
- how tall you are
- how much you weigh
It's important to take weight into account. If three people all weighed 10 stone (63.5kg), someone who is:
- 5ft (152cm) would be overweight
- 5ft 9 (175cm) and would be a healthy weight
- 6ft 2 (189cm) would be underweight
Check your waist measurement
Where you store extra weight can also affect your health. Carrying extra weight around your middle can also increase the risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases and Type 2 diabetes. Measuring your waist is a good way to check you're not carrying too much fat around your stomach.
Speak to your GP if you're worried about your waist measurement.
Support if you are overweight
Southwark’s weight management services
Healthy Lifestyle hub
This free service provides support to all residents who would like to make positive changes but need a little bit of help to get going. They provide support to motivate you, as well as access to a range of services.
If you need help with motivation, call the Healthy Lifestyle Hub and they can help you to become and stay physically active.
WW weight loss programme
WW (previously Weight Watchers) is a weight loss programme that can help you to lose weight and move more.
If you're over 18 and:
- a resident
- work in Southwark
- are a Southwark Council employee
Guy’s and St Thomas’ (GSTT) 12 week weight loss programme
This online programme is a 12 week online group programme for people aged 18 or over who are registered with a GP in Southwark. The programme includes information and support to change physical activity behaviour and to eat more healthily.
Support if your BMI is over 40
There are two service options: Balance and Fast.
To be eligible, you must:
- live in Southwark or be registered with a GP in Southwark
- have BMI above 40 (or above 35 if you have type 2 diabetes)
Balance programme: this includes nutrition education alongside mindful eating, goal setting, psychology and physical activity. There are 12 group sessions over the course of a year.
Fast programme: this is a 12-month total meal replacement programme. It includes nutrition education, mindful eating, setting goals, psychology and physical activity. There are 15 group sessions in the first year.
You can find out more from the Guy’s and St Thomas’ healthy weight programmes or talk to your GP for a referral.
Apps and online support that could help you lose weight
Free online help to lose weight:
- the 12 week NHS Weight Loss Plan app for people 18+ to help you start healthier eating habits, be more active, and start losing weight
- Better Health provides tips, tools and special offers to help you lose weight
- NHS 12 top tips to help you lose weight
The NHS also approves the 12 week weight loss app Second Nature. You may need to pay for the app. You'll work with a dedicated health coach to increase your activity levels, create balanced meals, tackle negative thought patterns and learn how to deal with setbacks. Plus you’ll get the support of a peer group.
Support if you are underweight
Being underweight can be harmful to your health. If you're concerned about yourself or someone else, talk to your GP. Find advice for underweight adults.
Try Southwark’s digital health and wellbeing coach
The Southwark digital health and wellbeing coach can help you consider ways to make a positive change, like losing weight.
The digital coach will never tell you what to do. Instead, it supports you to think about how you might want to make positive changes to your life.
The coach was created by health experts and Southwark residents who wanted to make improvements to their health and wellbeing.
Page last updated: 13 September 2023