THE GOVERNMENT’S fight against fat has continued as it reveals that close to 50 per cent of Brits have put on half a stone during Covid lockdowns.
In order to help us shift the pounds, the NHS and Public Health England (PHE) have improved their ‘Better Health Campaign’ as they claim their app can help you lose a stone in just weeks.
New data has revealed that many of us have gained weight during the coronavirus lockdownsCredit: Getty – Contributor
The latest instalment of the campaign will focus on encouraging Brits to lose any excess weight they may have gained.
Recipe tutorials, help with booze and advice on how to get fit will all feature on the app.
Celebrities such as TV presenter and actress Linda Robson have also backed the campaign, after she revealed she had also piled on the pounds during lockdown.
A study conducted by PHE found that those who said they put on weight, reported gaining at least half a stone.
Around one in five reported putting on a stone or more. In adults aged 35-65 years old, the average weight gain for those who put on weight is over 10lbs.
This is compared to data from users of the NHS Weight Loss Plan, who reported a loss of almost a stone over 12 weeks.
Around 89 per cent of people who have gained weight in the last 18 months want to introduce new healthy habits into their routine this summer, the data showed.
For many people, the Covid lockdowns have meant a more sedentary lifestyle.
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said that the pandemic has been “hugely challenging for everyone” and has upended daily routines.
Working from home means no commuting, whether that’s walking, cycling or catching a train – all great opportunities to up how active you are.
Spending more time at home has also meant it’s easy to walk over to the fridge to get a snack.
Close to 50 per cent of the 5,000 adults who were surveyed said snacking and comfort eating had been the main contributor to weight gain during the 18 months of lockdowns.
But it’s clear that Brits want to banish their bad habits as over 50 per cent of participants said they felt optimistic about making the necessary changes to lose weight, while 57 per cent said they would be happy to receive more advice on how to implement these changes.
Churchill said as people get back to normal life, they also need to adopt a healthy lifestyle that works for them.
She added: “The brilliant Better Health campaign returns today and provides a wide range of tools – including an easy to use phone app – to support people, whether that’s losing weight, sharing healthier recipes or motivating people to be more active.
The NHS 12-step plan to help you lose weight
FROM faddy diets to dodgy detoxes – most of us have heard it all before when it comes to weight loss.
But burning fat can be easy and mostly free.
In fact, the NHS has a whole load of medically-approved tips for weight loss and shedding body fat once and for all…
- Don’t skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry.
- Eat regular meals
Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.
- Eat plenty of fruit and veg
Fruit and veg are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – 3 essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.
- Get more active
Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing lots of health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you cannot lose through diet alone.
- Drink lots of water
People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.
- Eat high fibre foods
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils.
- Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan.
- Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
- Don’t ban foods
Do not ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There’s no reason you cannot enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.
- Don’t stock junk food
To avoid temptation, do not stock junk food – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice.
- Cut down on alcohol
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.
- Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.
“Our new Office for Health Promotion is going to keep building on the success of this campaign, helping people to make lifestyle choices that improves both their mental and physical health.”
In July last year it was revealed that Weight Watchers and Slimming World would be prescribed to Brits free on the NHS after Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to tackle obesity.
Data also showed that if all Bris lost just 5lbs then the NHS could save £100 million a year.
PHE is now also working with local authorities to provide weight management support to those who need it.
This will sit alongside the app and other initiatives such as money off Weight Watches and Slimming World so that Brits have the best chance of being the healthiest they can be.
Help with getting active, cutting out booze and meal preparation are also part of the app.
Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist, Public Health England added: “It is not a surprise to see so many people reporting weight gain.
“We know how hard it can be to lose weight and keep it off – so, we are providing a range of support options to help motivate people and help them maintain a healthy weight.
“It’s never too late to make changes to help improve your health.
“Visit the Better Health website for ideas and support that is right for you and you can seek support from your local weight management service.”