During lockdown, the highlight of most of our days is reaching for our favourite snacks to cheer ourselves up. It’s understandable that the number on the scale is going up and up when we are moving less but eating more. Let’s face it – with no one to impress, nothing to do, and no jeans to fit into, it’s easy to pile on the pounds. But how do you lose weight in lockdown? Express.co.uk talks you through the NHS advice.
The NHS weight loss guide will have you whipped into shape in 12 weeks.
There is no secret to losing weight, all you have to do is make better food choices and move more.
Ditch those fad diets, weight-loss teas, and Instagram fitness plans and listen to the NHS advice.
And guess what? It’s totally free. This means you have no excuses, even when there’s a pandemic going on.
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Why should I lose weight?
According to the NHS, if you’re overweight or obese, losing weight can reduce your risk of some potentially serious health problems.
The site says: “Most people who need to lose weight can get health benefits from losing even a small amount (about 5%) of their weight if they keep it off.”
If you’re overweight or obese, you have a higher risk of:
• high blood pressure
• heart disease
• type 2 diabetes
• some types of cancer
• back pain
On top of that, let’s not forget that coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms and complications in people with obesity-related conditions.
How do I know if I am too fat?
The ideal BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9, so if you have a BMI of 25 to 29.9 you are considered overweight.
If your BMI tops this and reaches anywhere between 30 and 39.9, you are obese.
If you are obese or overweight, you need to lose weight for your own good.
If your BMI is less than 24.9, you probably don’t need to lose weight so ask your GP first.
You should also consult your GP for more information about BMI and weight-loss if you are pregnant, or if you think your child needs to lose weight.
Find out if you need to lose weight using the BMI healthy weight calculator.
Keep in mind that the NHS 12 week diet and exercise plan is intended for use by healthy adults with a BMI of 25 and over, so don’t try this if you are underweight.
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Stick to a calorie limit
All you have to do is make sure you don’t overeat, and the weight will fall off.
If you religiously follow the plan, you could lose between one and two pounds a week.
If you were already overweight, this plan could help you get back on track and you could shed a stone with two months of hard work.
To help you understand the boundaries, the NHS can tell you exactly how many calories you need to eat.
The plan description says: “The plan is designed to help you lose weight at a safe rate of 0.5kg to 1kg (1lb to 2lb) each week by sticking to a daily calorie allowance.
“For most men, this means sticking to a calorie limit of no more than 1,900kcal a day, and 1,400kcal for most women.
“If you find it hard sticking to the calorie limit, use our BMI calculator to get your own personal weight loss calorie allowance.
“If you go over your limit one day, do not worry: it simply means you’ll have to reduce your calorie intake on the following days.”
Find out your personal calorie limit here https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator/.
Losing weight is all about balance, and you have to make your diet realistic.
If you are too strict, you won’t be able to carry this on for the rest of your life.
This means the weight you lost will come straight back as soon as you cheat.
Allow yourself to have treats, but make up for the binge in the following days.
It explains: “For example, if you’re a woman and you have 1,700kcal on Tuesday, that’s 300kcal more than your daily calorie allowance of 1,400kcal.
“To stay on track, you’d need to cut out an extra 300kcal from your remaining calorie intake over the rest of the week.
“To lose weight, the average person should reduce their daily calorie intake by 600kcal.”
Boost your metabolism
We’ve all used the classic line, “I’m fat because my metabolism is slow”.
But is this true? Does having a slow metabolism make you gain weight? Yes, partly.
A slow metabolism means your body digests food and burns calories slower but is possible to speed it up.
The NHS says: “Metabolism describes all the chemical processes that go on continuously inside your body to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food.”
In order to speed up your metabolism, you need to eat more protein, drink more water, and get at least eight hours of sleep a night.
If you want to find out more about boosting your metabolism, you can find out the ins and outs here.
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