Have you put on weight over lockdown? You aren’t alone! A survey of 5000 people, conducted by Public Health England, reported that 41% had put on weight since the first lockdown in March 2020, with an average weight gain of 4.1kg (just over ½ stone) and 21% putting on 7kg (1 stone) or more. So, what caused these weight gains? For almost half of these people (46%), it was the snacking and comfort eating that caused the weight to creep on.
Contributing to this, was the decrease in physical activity levels that happened for many of us over lockdown. Alongside not being able to undertake our usual exercise such as gym sessions, swimming and fitness classes, our daily physical activities such as walking to work or school, walking to the shops and wandering around the office disappeared.
All of these changes combined resulted in weight increase.
If this happened to you, why not start to make some small but simple changes to get your weight coming off again?
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Aim to have plenty of fruit and veg
Fruit and veg are low in energy as well as providing us with lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre (which will help us feel full up). Aim to have at least five portions each day and remember frozen and tinned (in water or fruit juice) fruit and veg are excellent options.
2. Eat regular meals during the day
Eating regularly will help to maintain your energy levels so you are less likely to want to snack. Don’t skip meals and try to have breakfast as this will really help with staving off hunger later in the day.
3. Plan your meals
By planning your meals, you will be able to make sure that you have the right foods in to help you eat healthily. If this task seems overwhelming, start planning for one or two days when you struggle to eat healthily e.g. you get home late from work and don’t usually feel like cooking so will order a takeaway so plan a meal that is quick to cook or prepare one the day before.
4. Eat slowly
If you rush your food, you bypass the response system in the body that tells the brain that you are full and have had enough to eat. Try to eat slowly – chew your food well and enjoy the taste.
5. Get moving
Being physically active will help with weight loss as well as having other health benefits. Try to move more during the day. Aim to get up and walk about every 30- 40 minutes if you can. Schedule in some time to do some exercise. This can be broken down into 3 x 10 minute sessions during the day if you find it difficult to fit in 30 minutes at a time.
All these little changes will help – be consistent and you will see results!