Maintaining your optimal weight whilst in lockdown can seem difficult when we can’t go to gyms or classes. Add to that the temptation of lockdown snacking and feeling stressed over how unknown the future can seem for all of us, and the weight can creep up. An optimal weight is one that feels healthy and also works for you, and it is possible to maintain it with just a few adjustments to your routine.
“Don’t Be a Fatty in Your Fifties” Says Boris
Lockdown has reminded us how easy it is to let your middle spread and it can make you more vulnerable as Boris told the press his excess weight had played a major part in his inability to cope with the virus. He said he once weighed 17 stones at 5ft.9in which put his Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35. As well as being more vulnerable to coronavirus, like all those with a high BMI there is a severe risk of further health problems too, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and respiratory problems.
Obesity is a National Crisis
Obesity in the England has doubled since 1993 and it is worse in the over 45 age range, with 36% of 45-64 being overweight according to the The Health Survey. Stored fat and the impact of obesity has got more headlines in the pandemic, which is a big issue we need to address given the majority of adults in the UK are overweight and excess weight could increase severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Stored fat leads to high levels of inflammation, which can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system. It’s also possible that fat stored around the middle of the body could make the lungs less efficient in the face of a viral infection. The evidence on obesity and COVID-19 is new and still emerging and the picture will become clearer in the coming days and weeks.
Maintaining A Healthy Weight in Lockdown
Midlife spread is a common problem and when we’re stuck indoors feeling stressed we can end up falling into an unhealthy diet. However, being at home can also be a good opportunity to cultivate healthy habits and a greater awareness of good nutrition and the importance of physical activity. Little changes make a big difference!
- Set a new active daily routine
Making slight changes to add more activity into your routine will help. Try to start the day with some activity to get your metabolism going, this could be a walk, run, or short workout. Why not try to do a minimum of 10,000 steps at day – run up and down stairs, do more gardening or spring cleaning? Plan your days, get up early, schedule in walks, breaks, stretches, The key is to try and be more active.
- Keep a track of your progress
It is helps to stay on track if you log your activity and calories from food or check in with friends. This allows you to see the overall trends, log steps, calories and progress. Use a trackers on your phone such as MyFitness Pal or use a watch like a Fitbit.
- Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep stabilises your mood and helps keep your metabolism healthy which will support your weight loss.
- Schedule regular eating habits
It is easier to maintain and get to your optimal weight when you stick to a consistent schedule. This could include intermittent fasting, followed by healthy lunch and early dinner. Planning in regular healthy snacks also helps you avoid binge eating when you are hungry.
- Plan your shopping trips
With less trips to the shops it is more important to plan your shopping. Stock up on like fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and long life items like dry lentils and beans. Try to buy less snacks like crisps, having them in the house will just be tempting!
- Have alcohol free days
Alcohol sales have boomed in lockdown. It is easy to get into the habit of drinking every day, a habit which is filled with calories and the added demon that you are likely to snack more when you drink. So, try setting some boundaries and make sure you have drink free days.
- Be kind to yourself
Being healthy in lockdown is tougher than ever, so be kind. It is ok to have days when you eat more or skip a workout. The key is to recognise it was just one day and get back on track – remind yourself and never forget to celebrate the great progress you are making and that being a healthy weight is not about how you look but boosting your immunity and mood.