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Careers / Joining Process / Food Drink and Lifestyle

Manage your weight

In the military, overweight personnel have an increased risk of injury and being medically downgraded as unfit for duty.

You should be a suitable body weight for your height. Check your Body Mass Index using an online calculator, the NHS have a good one here. Be aware that if you are very muscular then your BMI might be high but you may not be overweight.

  • Being overweight increases your risk of serious health problems (e.g. heart disease and high blood pressure) and can cause sleeping difficulties, back pain, mobility and joint problems, reduced fertility and reduced quality of life.
  • If you are overweight research shows that losing 5–10% of your body weight can have significant benefits to your health.
  • It is important to set realistic weight loss targets. At the start of your programme aim for a 5–10% weight loss over 3–6 months. Take small steps towards achieving a healthy weight. Aim to lose between 1 and 2 pounds (0.5–1 kg) a week.
  • To lose body weight you need to use more energy than you eat and drink.
  • For best results you should combine reducing energy intake from food and drink, with using more energy by being more active.
  • Aim to be active every day. You should undertake 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity a day, at least five times a week and physical activity to improve muscle strength, twice a week.

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Food, drink & lifestyle