Weight Gain through lockdown
By Nur Choudhury MPharm (Ind. Prescriber)
Many significant changes have been noticed in the eating patterns of people during this lockdown. As a consequence of staying home all day many people are munching more. Although binge eating doesn’t often trigger health complications, overeating over a long period might raise your chance of obesity, particularly if you have a BMI of 25 or higher.
What are the risks of binge eating?
Although maintaining a diet with healthy components like fats, sodium, sugars are beneficial for the body, consuming too much can increase the likelihood of obesity and cause serious health problems including heart attacks, high blood pressure, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
What should be done during this lockdown to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
In case you are working from home, you may notice that somewhat adjusting your schedule will help to avoid unnecessary snacking and binge eating. For instance, in the event that you find that you, for the most part, nibble more before lunch, it may help if you had a well-portioned and satisfying breakfast every morning. Feeling fulfilled after a meal can help with decreasing the desire for snacking.
Our eating patterns are often tied to our feelings and behaviours; these emotions can lead us to overeating or under eating. So we need to keep a check on our mental health, by staying busy and meditating. In the event, you find yourself free and looking for ways to kill time then look for some new hobbies. Participating in fun events like reading, painting, and learning any new instrument can keep the mind active and promotes mental wellbeing. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the likelihood that gyms and swimming pools are still not fully accessible yet, people find themselves less interested during lockdown. Thankfully, certain personal trainers send patients advice about what they should do at home to stay active and healthy through the pandemic. Although it might not be a replacement for your gym membership, these ideas will help you kill time most efficiently.
We are all in the middle of a global pandemic and surrounded by a degree of anxiety and uncertainty. Meaning the concept of diet and exercise, regulating what we consume, and how we carry our bodies should all be at the top of our agenda in achieving happiness and wellbeing by improving our bodies.
How to lose lockdown weight?
In case you are looking to lose lock down weight, here are some tips
Tip 1: Intermittent fasting;
This type of routine includes restricting the eating period for eight hours and keeping the fast for 16 hours. It is also known as 16:8 intermittent fasting. This technique is quite simple as for most of the hours, that’s 7-9 you would be sleeping.
While following this technique it should be kept in mind that it is not compulsory to have breakfast in the morning. Since the word “break-fast” actually means breaking the fast, so it can be consumed at any time. When fasting at 16:8, usually people do tend to have breakfast before 11 am–1 pm, because this gives time with friends or relatives to have an evening meal within the time frame. You may also structure the 8-hours according to your schedule and situations. You might, for starters, do:
- Breakfast at 8 am before work, accompanied by a second meal until 4 pm
- Have breakfast at 11 am, followed by a meal before 6 pm
- Grab breakfast at 1 pm and then dinner until 9 pm
Tip 2: keeping yourself hydrated
As hunger and thirst are controlled by the same part of the brain, you may go for a snack when you really should be reaching for a glass of water instead. So before heading towards the snack drawer, have a cold glass of water; if the hunger goes down after 10 minutes, the chances are that you were just dehydrated.
According to numerous studies over the years, to stay fully hydrated, you should consume at least two litres of water each day. In case you are not a fan of plain water then add a few chunks of your favourite fruits to add more flavours. You can also add a slice of lime and cucumber. If you want to keep a check on your drinking habits, you can buy a reusable water bottle and refill it once a day.
Tip 3: Taking a good amount of rest
Has lockdown well and truly mucked up your sleeping pattern? Whether it’s due to a lack of routine or an increase in anxiety, you’re not alone on this one either. But sleep plays a huge role in your mental and physical health, so it’s time to get back on track. Most of us need around 8 hours to function at our best, but you might need slightly less or slightly more.
Even if you’re not back at work yet, try to go to sleep and wake up at consistent times every day. It might be hard to get back into the groove at first, but your body will soon find its natural rhythm. Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening and try to put your phone or laptop down at least an hour before bed.
If you’re working from home, you may find that slightly changing your routine could help you to overcome overeating and excessive snacking. For example, if you find that you usually snack more before lunch, it might help you to make a satisfying and fulfilling breakfast each morning.
Unfortunately for some, not everyone can work from home during lockdown, and many have found themselves furloughed, with nothing to do during working hours. Boredom can often lead to overeating, so it’s important to keep your mind active whilst still eating a balanced diet. The way we eat is often tied to our emotions and behaviours, so keeping your mind active and healthy is important in all aspects of health, as it can help you to avoid under or overeating.
If you are still finding it difficult to lose stubborn weight despite these suggestions, then why not see if you can benefit from medical treatments currently available for weight loss.
One popular weight loss medication is an anti-diabetic drug called Saxenda (drug name “Liraglutide”). This is often referred to as “The skinny pen”.
Saxenda has been clinically proven to help with weight loss in obese people, with some studies even suggesting that it may delay or prevent the development of type-2 diabetes.
Although Saxenda isn’t routinely available on the NHS, guidelines state that if a patient hasn’t lost 5% of their initial starting weight by the end of 12 weeks of using Saxenda, treatment should be discontinued. This provides hope for many obese people that are struggling to lose weight naturally, as a 5-10% reduction in body weight has been proven to reduce weight-related complications, something that’s particularly important during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Someone with a BMI greater then 30 may be able to reduce their BMI by 2-4 points as a result of using Saxenda. This is the equivalent of losing around 5-10% of their body weight. For example, a person that is 5’7 and weighs 230lb would have a BMI of 35. If that person loses 5% of their initial starting weight, their new BMI would be 33, and if they lose 10%, it would fall again to 31. If a loss of at least 5% can be achieved within the first 12 weeks of starting Saxenda, it provides a promising outlook for individuals wanting to continue with the treatment.
But how does it work?
Saxenda contains liraglutide as the active ingredient, which works by mimicking a hormone that our bodies produce naturally after we’ve eaten. This hormone signals to our brain that we’re satisfied and don’t need any more food. Because Saxenda emulates this hormone, it can reduce appetite, meaning that you feel fuller sooner, and for longer. This is ideal for those that already eat a balanced diet, or have introduced intermittent fasting into their lifestyle.
As Saxenda causes you to feel satisfied and fuller for longer, it may also help you to reduce how much you snack, as cravings between meal times may be reduced, and can even make intermittent fasting a lot easier to stick to.
Is Saxenda suitable for me?
Saxenda might not be suitable for everyone. It’s a prescription medication that helps with weight loss in people with a BMI of over 30 (or over 27 with a weight-related health condition).
Saxenda is suitable for you if your BMI falls into either of the categories above, and if you want to start losing weight.
(It is important to remember that those with an eating disorder shouldn’t take weight-loss medications, as they may worsen some of the thoughts and feelings surrounding food. However, if you want to reduce your portion sizes, Saxenda is an ideal treatment.)
If you feel that you may benefit from losing weight, why not visit us at www.accessdoctor.co.uk and see if we can help.
Complete our quick online health check and one of our doctors will decide which type of treatment would be best for you.