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Weight loss during lockdown - "I just don't have the time!"

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

So, let's talk about the elephant in the room (no offence intended). This is the huge factor which people aren't talking about enough. Obesity. People have always been and will always be sensitive about their bodies. Generally speaking, we don't like to be told that we're "getting a bit chubby". It's also worth mentioning that we're all motivated by different things, attitudes and feedback so we can't therefore expect one coach/PT/nutritionist to be equally successful with all of their clients. (read my article on motivation)

Almost half the UK population says that they've put on weight since lockdown began according to a survey of 2,254 UK residents aged 16-75 by King’s College London in partnership with Ipsos MORI,

conducted on 20-22 May. We also know that obese people are at a much higher risk of dying from the corona virus than people who are a healthy weight. If you put that together with the fact that nearly 30% of adults in the UK are obese (we're leaving children out of this for now although my concern for the health of the younger generations are very real, regardless of Covid!), you've got a recipe for disaster.

According to a yet to be peer-reviewed study of the electronic health records of 17 million adult NHS patients, the risk of a coronavirus-related hospital death increases from between 1.5 to 2 times for people with a body mass index of 30, which is the lowest level of clinically defined obesity, to more than 2 for those with a BMI of 40 or more. This is a frightening statistic so why isn't more being done about it? Obesity was a problem before COVID-19 kicked in. Heart disease, diabetes and cancer are just a few of the things that you're at an increased risk of getting, if you're overweight. According to the head of NHS England, more money is being spent dealing with the health impact of obesity than is spent on the fire and police services combined! Now add the corona virus pandemic into the mix and just think about that for a moment.

Yet somehow, even though these facts and statistics are not hard to find, the first food outlets to reopen in the UK were mostly clearly in the business of providing fast food with an often unhealthy calorific density - I'm not naming names but you know who they are - whilst smaller food outlets that promote healthy eating are left to go bust with ever diminishing support. I won't get political here as there really is no need and you likely don't need me to tell you any of this because the information is everywhere.

As you are probably aware by now, I help with people who work from home. If you have a read of one of my recent articles #wfh? you might get a bit more of in idea about why I chose to do this. But let's go back to a time before the pandemic, when people who don't work from home and have regular working hours were going about their daily lives. Be honest, if you had a 9-5 job or something similar, how many times have you used the excuse (sorry, I know excuse is basically a swear word in this context) that you'd work out more if you "just had the time". It surely isn't possible to stay healthy when you have a job to go to everyday and, hey, weekends are your time off. Then suddenly Covid reared its ugly head and perhaps you were furloughed. Suddenly, you're not working, you're at home and you've got more time on your hands. Obviously things get more complicated if you have children because it's become your responsibility to homeschool them (and now we realise what an incredible job our teachers do everyday with 30 odd kids in one go...).

At the beginning of all this did you think "I'm going to use this time to get healthy"? and the more pressing question is "did I?". Now you see where the dilemma occurs for people who work from home all year round. It is genuinely challenging trying to juggle your work and your health, day to day. But day to day is how we get healthier. We don't get healthy by trying a particular trend for one or even two weeks. We don't get healthier by crash dieting and only eating salads for a month because the chances are, you'll get to the 10 week tipping point (click to read the article) and be back to your old ways again, wondering why you even bothered.

I chose "I just don't have the time" to be the title of this article because we've all said it and we've all heard other people come out with it too, when talking about their journey to becoming a healthier version of themselves. But my theory is that it's not the time, it's the energy. Our days are made up of thousands of decisions from what to wear in the morning to what you're going to eat and everything in between and we know that every decision you make takes up a little bit of energy. The bigger the decision, the more energy you use but pennies always add up to pounds and the same concept applies to decision making. The little decisions you make throughout the day deplete your energy reserves and leave less and less left over every time. So how can we take decisions out of our day? Well, you could go to the extremes as Steve Jobs famously did with changing his wardrobe to only black outfits, removing the need to make a clothing choice everyday. I'm not suggesting you go quite this far but planning ahead has the same effect. If you sit down at the beginning of the week and spend 15 or 20 minutes planning what you're going to eat on which days of the week, you eliminate the need to make those decisions at breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday, for an entire week. Imagine how much time, energy and money you can save just by taking this small decision at the beginning of your week! This also allows you to know precisely what you need on your shopping list and can have it delivered or do your shopping in one go, with no further need to visit the shops for at least another seven days.

So my message to you is to urge you to think about optimising your decisions when it comes to your health and I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised when you realise that you do have the energy to go for a nice long walk, or set to and do a workout.

If you need help with planning your meals, or would like the task to be taken off your hands entirely, get in touch and I will create a completely personalised, weekly meal plan for you based on all of your dietary requirements and preferences.

Take care everybody.


#wfh #covid19 #coronavirus #obesity #highrisk #statistics #motivation #decisions

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