Whether they’re looking to shed a few extra pounds gained over the Christmas and New Year holidays or are determined to kick start a long-term lifestyle change, people often choose January as the time when they decide to lose weight.
However, setting out to lose weight and actually losing it are two different things, and customers may need a bit of support and encouragement to achieve their goals. The good news is that you should be able to provide both of these by finding out about the weight management products and services that are available and passing on your knowledge.
According to the British Nutrition Foundation, the average woman needs to consume about 2,000 calories a day, while the average man needs about 2,500. Calories are crucial when it comes to weight management because the body uses them for fuel (energy) and if a person regularly eats more calories than they need, they won’t use this fuel. It will simply be stored as fat, and the person will gain weight. Many weight loss products therefore focus on limiting the number of calories consumed each day.
Meal replacement products contain between 200 and 400 calories per serving. They come in a variety of formats, from snack bars and noodles to powders that are made up into drinks or soups. They are usually high in protein and other nutrients and can be eaten instead of one or two main meals a day, according to pack instructions.
They are not intended to be a total replacement for other meals, however, and customers must ensure that they obtain a good balance of other nutritious foods each day. Reputable brands come with instructions for safe and healthy use.
Fat binders (or fat blockers) are designed to bind to the fat in food, helping it to pass through the body. They therefore eliminate the calories associated with fatty foods such as sausages, butter and cheese.
Working in a similar way to fat blockers, carb or starch blockers stop us absorbing starches so that they pass through the body undigested. They can be a useful way of losing the calories associated with starch, which is found in high amounts in foods like bread and pasta.
There is evidence to suggest that certain substances can help people lose weight when taken in supplement form. Of particular interest at the moment are:
If your pharmacy offers a weight management service, now is the ideal time to advertise it. You can do this cheaply by utilising your window to make an attractive display and by printing posters and flyers for use inside the shop. You can also signpost customers to local support groups like Weight Watchers and Slimming World, which offer a supportive environment and healthy eating and exercise plans. Find clubs in your area via NHS Choices.
Fat contains more than double the number of calories per gram than carbohydrates and proteins