Last updated on 16 June 2023

Click here to download a PDF copy of the Lifestyle Prescriptions.

Lifestyle Prescriptions were developed by the Health Promotion Board to assist healthcare professionals, in particular, primary care physicians, in providing concise lifestyle advice to patients without restricting the physician's individual clinical judgement.

When healthcare professionals present patients with various options for managing their lifestyles, patients feel more confident in participating in the care process because they trust their doctors and the treatment they are receiving.

The recommendations are based on the best available evidence at the time of development, drawing references from the MOH's Clinical Practice Guidelines and Care Protocols for diabetes, hypertension and lipid disorders. They seek to highlight lifestyle recommendations specific to the medical condition, in addition to those for individuals with no chronic conditions.​

Lifestyle prescriptions are presented under the lifestyle domains of: nutrition and healthy eating, physical activity, weight management, mental well-being and smoking. To facilitate recall, we have approached lifestyle prescriptions from the perspective of:

Quantity: How much should I eat or do?

Quality: What types of food and activity should I eat or do?

Timing: When should I eat or carry out the activity?

We have also included a model to guide how doctors might fit lifestyle prescriptions​ into their busy practice to better support their patients.

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List of Abbreviations used 

The following table provides a summary of lifestyle prescriptions (LPs). Use hyperlinks to navigate to the subsections for more details. The list of LPs for each category is presented such that t​he prior recommendations apply to that category too.

​For example, the LPs for ‘Type 2 Diabetic at Risk of Hypoglycaemia’ patients include prior prescriptions for ‘No Chronic Conditions’, ‘Pre-Diabetic’ and ‘Diabetic’ patients.​

​Patient Category
Nutrition & Healthy E​ating​​
Physical Activity​
We​ight Management
Mental Well-Being
​​​ Quality

​​ No Chronic ​​​Conditions
Use my Healthy Plate
  • Substitute 20% of refined carbs with wholegrains
  • Choose lean protein, fresh produce and healthier oils and fats
  • Reduce salt and sugar intake
  • Increase soluble fibre intake

For older adults, include protein as part of every meal​
  • Aim for 150-300 mins of mod-intensity aerobic exercise per week (able to speak in short sentences but not sing) ​
  • Include strength training exercises at least 2 days per week
  • Limit sedentary time

​​​BMI 23:
  • Reduce weight by 5% to 10% over 6 to 12 months ​

Following BMI Cont​rol Care Protocol​:

Green segment

  • Encourage self-directed activiti​es

Orange segment

  • Well-controlled chronic diseases: Consider referral to structured community programmes
  • Poorly-controlled chronic diseases*: Refer to PCN for support on controlling chronic condition

Red segment

  • Consider referral to tertiary weight management ​programmes​​

​​Note: These BMI values are based on Asian cut-offs.

*Individuals who have either not reached their individualised treatment targets or have established complications of their chronic condition(s).
  • ​​​​Manage stress
  • Aim for 7 hours of sleep each day
  • Practise mindfulness
  • Consult healthcare team if they experience anxiety or depression
  • (For Hypertension) Manage psychosocial triggers ​​

  • Substitute 50% of refined carbs with wholegrains
  • Pair wholegrains with proteins and vegs

​​ Include post-meal activity
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Reduce carb portion
Consider meal timing and spacing
  • ​Perform exercise pre-participation assessment
  • Avoid certain exercises for certain complications
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus at Risk of Hypoglycaemia​
Exercise caution if drinking alcohol
Keep carb portion constant
Eat regular meals
  • Gradually increase PA levels
  • Stop exercising if blood glucose is low and follow 15/15 rule 
Check blood glucose levels before and after exercising
High-Normal Blood Pressure​
Use lower sodium alternatives

Include DASH diet components
Limit sodium intake to 2,000mg per day (about 1 tsp of salt)
  • Perform exercise pre-participation assessment
  • Take caution​ when lifting heavy weights
  • Gradually increase PA levels

Intermediate Risk of 10-Year Coronary Artery Disease
Choose healthier fats

Limit saturated fat and trans fat as well as cholesterol intake
Gradually increase PA levels

​​​ High–Very High Risk of 10-Year Coronary Artery Disease​
Consult healthcare team for condition-specific dietary requirements
Perform exercise pre-participation assessment

​For patients who smoke, advise them to quit smoking.

Access BMI Control Care Protocol​ for the weight management programmes.

Recommendations for 'No Chron​ic Conditions'​ apply.

Access BMI Control Care Protocol​ for the weight management programmes.

Recommendations for 'Pre-Diabetes' apply.

For more patient resources, refer to the National Diabetes Reference Materials​.

Access BMI Control Care Protocol​ for the weight management programmes.

Recommendations​ for 'Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus' apply.

For more patient resources, refer to the National Diabetes Reference Materials​.

Access BMI Control Care Protocol​ for the weight management programmes.

Recommendatio​ns for 'No Chronic Conditions'​ apply.

Access BMI Control Care Protocol​ for the weight management programmes.​

​​​​Recommendations for 'High-Normal BP'​ apply.

Access BMI Control Care Protocol​ for the weight management programmes.​

Adapted fro​m the 5As model by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the 4As Model offers a patient-centered approach to how healthcare professionals might engage patients. Healthcare professionals can adapt the model to suit the situation.

For example, if you are already familiar with your patient’s needs, you could skip ‘Ask’ and go straight to ‘Assess’ to understand their progress before proceeding with ‘Advise’ and ‘Assist’. 

Healthcare professionals can use the Lifestyle Prescriptions Patient Education Resource​​ to aid lifestyle prescribing.

See an example of the 4As applied to Diabetes .