Lockdown has seen us baking banana bread, tie-dying the life out of our old tees and joggers and rediscovering the joy of simple pleasures like jigsaw puzzles. Lockdown has also seen some of us put on weight due moving less and our newly adopted unhealthy eating habits.
It’s not exactly surprising – we’ve been cooped up at home with snacks on standby and rewarding ourselves for a hard day of home-schooling/working/looking after kids/all of the above with a chilled glass of rosé, a bar of chocolate and everything else in between. Plus, pandemic stress eating is a real thing. As we enter the new year, it’s a good time to start transitioning your eating habits back to a healthy diet.
We sat down with our GP Dr Priyanka to discuss weight gain during lockdown and safe ways to combat it.
Dr Priyanka said “As a GP, I have noticed a lot of patients have been gaining weight since the pandemic began in March 2020.
For many, it has been a change in lifestyle – they’re now working from home, so no longer walking to work/public transport. Also many are not getting out and about as much at the weekends as they could be afraid of contracting the virus. For other patients, many are turning to food as a comfort during these difficult times.”
Gaining weight can lead to obesity which can mean you are more at risk of several dangerous and potentially deadly diseases including:
How to combat weight gain:
Dr Priyanka suggests “eating a balanced and reduced calorie diet – the quickest way to lose any unwanted weight is to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and reduce your calorie intake. Avoid food such as crisps, biscuits and sweets which are full of empty calories.
Take up a form of exercise (at least 2.5-5 hours per week) – It’s important for your overall health to do some form of exercise for at least 2.5-5 hours per week. Try fast walking, jogging, running, sports etc.
If you work at home – try to get out on your lunch break – Sitting for prolonged periods of time is not healthy. Get out on your lunch break for a swift walk or jog.
Walk where possible, instead of driving – It’s easy this time of year to jump in the car instead of walking, but try to walk whenever you can to burn off some calories
Eat slowly during mealtimes – Eat slowly and deliberately. When we rush to eat, our body can’t tell us quickly enough that it’s full. It’s also important to not sit in front of the TV as you can easily miss the signals that your body is full.”
How to implement these changes?
“By gently transitioning your body and introducing the above into your lifestyle will help combat weight gain. If you are concerned/want more information on how to combat weight gain, speak to your GP.”
If you’re concerned about your weight, you should consult with your GP. At Pall Mall Medical, we offer private GP appointments, call 03300 58 44 55 or click here to book.