A weight loss champion lost just over 3 stone (20kg) in a year thanks to one to one support from Be Well Tameside.
Nina Phythian, 55, from Denton, has a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol, but now feels healthier than ever.
She has shared her weight loss story to help highlight the new NHS Better Health campaign, supported by Tameside Council, which forms part of the government’s new obesity strategy to get the nation fit and healthy, protect themselves against COVID-19 and protect the NHS.
She said: “I used Be Well Tameside, as I needed help, support and guidance to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes due to being diagnosed pre-diabetic and to reduce my cholesterol levels. I had no real understanding of the sugar content in a lot of the foods I was eating. I had never used the colour codes on food and drink labels. I never seemed to lose any weight as I thought I was eating healthy.”
Understanding pre-diabetes and adopting a healthier lifestyle to help her blood glucose levels to be in normal range, has made a big impact on Nina. She now understands how to identify the nutritional information on food labels and what to look for using the colour codes at a glance. Knowing what is low, medium or high in fats, sugars, saturated fats and salt has helped her enormously.
She continued: “I didn’t realise how many calories I was consuming by having a few bottles of wine at the weekend or when I was socialising. I am more aware of the calories and sugar content in alcohol and the recommended 14 units maximum per week.
“I didn’t realise my portions were sometimes double the recommendation, especially with my carbohydrates. By switching to wholegrain carbohydrates instead of cutting them out, to cut down in order to lower my blood glucose levels (re: Pre-diabetic) and increase my diet with healthy fats, nuts, seeds, oily fish and protein, has helped.”
Understanding that polyunsaturated fats won't raise her blood cholesterol, Nina now eats enough portions of protein and healthy fats in her daily meals, enabling good breaks during the day where her glucose and insulin gets a break to help lower her cholesterol.
Her life has changed completely and she hasn’t looked back since. She’s joined PureGym in Denton, which she attends five days a week, doing a class or a session which has helped her physically and mentally. She is no longer in the pre-diabetic range, her BMI has reduced significantly and she feels healthier, knowing she’s eating better and exercising more.
Nina added: ““People are starting to notice and say how well I look, which is a great confidence boost. This is all down to the total support and encouragement I’ve received from Be Well Tameside. I will continue to make this a lifestyle change, losing weight and staying healthy. I feel 10 years younger.”
Gaining weight is often a gradual process that takes place over a number of years and modern life doesn’t always make it easy. But this extra weight causes pressure to build up around vital organs, making it harder for the body to fight against diseases like cancer, heart disease and now COVID-19.
Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Population Health, Councillor Eleanor Wills said: “This is another fabulous story of someone who’s recognised the need to lose weight in order to have a healthier lifestyle. With hard work and professional help and support that’s available in Tameside it goes to show what can be achieved. I have always been overweight and have been very obese in my younger years. Thankfully I have managed to lose over 5 stones and kept that off for 9 years now. Although I’m still overweight the loss of 5 stone in weight has meant I’m much more mobile and enjoy being able to keep up with my 3 children. Nina is a true inspiration and proof that we can all improve our health and well-being with the right support.”
If you live, work or have a GP in Tameside and would like support on how to lose weight get in touch with Be Well Tameside, part of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, on: 0161 716 2000, email: email@example.com or website: www.penninecare.nhs.uk/bewelltameside
Alternatively, visit the NHS website for a variety of tools and apps available to make healthier food choices, become more active and prevent future weight gain. Visit https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/