It is not good to be either overweight or underweight. Eating too much can make you overweight, which can lead to health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Not eating as much food as your body needs can also affect your health.
Many people in the UK are heavier than the recommended weight for their height. And unfortunately, certain types of treatment for cancer, such as hormonal therapies or steroids, can lead to weight gain.
Losing weight can be difficult, but trying to keep to a healthy weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing cancer. Being overweight increases the risk of many types of cancer, including bowel, kidney, womb and gullet (oesophagus) cancer. Women who are overweight and have been through the menopause are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
There is also evidence that women who have breast cancer after the menopause may be able to reduce their risk of the cancer coming back by keeping to a healthy body weight after treatment. Being overweight may also increase the chances of complications if you need surgery.
Try to keep your weight within the normal range for your height. Your GP can advise you on your ideal weight. If you are concerned about your weight, get in touch with your GP or a dietitian for advice and support. Dietitians can give you advice about healthier food choices that are lower in calories but still make you feel full. Fruit and vegetables are better foods to fill yourself up with than unhealthier snacks such as biscuits and cake.
Be patient with yourself. Losing weight is a gradual process. It is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet to make sure you get all the nutrients you need to keep your body healthy. It is reasonable to aim to lose about 0.5 to 1kg (1lb to 2lbs) a week.
Top tips for keeping to a healthy weight:
- Only eat as much food as you need, according to how active you are. You may need to discuss this with a dietitian.
- Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, and less fat and sugar.
- Try to be more physically active.
We have information about different ways to keep active.