Gained a few pounds while we've been locked inside? Here's how you can lose weight during lockdown...
Have you put on weight during lockdown? You certainly aren’t alone! Almost half of Brits say they have put on weight since lockdown began in March, with more than 16% gaining five pounds or more in the first six weeks, according to research by The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan (opens in new tab).
So with lockdown easing fairly quickly now, you might be wanting to lose those unwanted pounds, and it doesn’t need to be difficult. Follow these simple expert tips and watch the pounds melt off.
How to lose weight during lockdown
Walk as much as possible
Rumble Gym instructor Ella Rose Corby recommends walking as much as possible. ‘A brisk 20 to 30 minute walk does wonders if done every day,’ she says. Plus, whilst you’re walking, Ella says you should try and tilt your pelvis under slightly to activate your glutes and deep abdominal muscles—this can help with how to lose belly fat and also help lower your biological age.
You might already be familiar with the importance of caring for your gut (opens in new tab) but it could help keep you slim.
Ella explains that taking a probiotic (opens in new tab) could help with any inflammation in the gut. ‘There are hundreds of good bacteria in the gut that aid digestion. To keep the healthy living environment and ultimately help the nutrients get into your body, a probiotic can help keep the equilibrium, therefore keeping the pounds off.’
READ MORE: 5 diet myths that are sabotaging your weight loss (opens in new tab)
Drink more water
Hydration is key! Ella recommends jazzing up plain water with mint and lemon or even cucumber slices. Aim for two to three litres a day to potentially stave off food cravings. ‘Sometimes we think we are hungry when actually we are just dehydrated,’ says Ella.
Watch your portions
It might be tempting to pile the plate high, however, Ella recommends keeping portion sizes small and eating more regularly, perhaps every two to three hours. By doing this, you shouldn’t ever get too hungry, and will be unlikely to dish up big portions of food.
Personal trainer and Woman & Home’s health & fitness Editor, Lucy Gornal adds that if you are going to pile the plate, pile it with vegetables. ‘These are lower in calories yet your body will think you’re eating a tonne of food. It’s a nifty mind trick! Plus, vegetables provide a lot of nutrients to help boost your health.’
Get up every hour
Lucy advises setting an alarm to get up every hour. ‘It’s easy to sit down and get comfy but to help boost weight loss, we need to increase our movement throughout the day. Every hour, get up and walk around the house or do a quick routine of 20 squats, 10 lunges and 5 press ups.’
Couch to carpet
Instead of sitting down all night on the cough, get on the floor and enjoy a little stretch. Ella explains, ‘A few cat/cop, hip flexor stretches and downward dogs will really help your posture, release tension and ease lower back pains. If you’re in pain, you might be more inclined to skip a day of exercise or not work out at all.
‘Your body needs to stretch in order for your muscles to work at their optimum capacity. This can also aid sleep; winding your mind down and getting enough sleep a night ultimately helps with weight loss.’
Need some stretching inspiration? Check out videos on YouTube!
Bored of running and cycling and not seeing any weight loss benefits?
Ella reveals that it might be time to re think your workout schedule. Although there isn’t a set workout that’s best for weight loss, Ella explains that she loves a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. ‘Even a simple 15-20 minute bodyweight circuit will help burn calories,’ she adds. Plus, you might find it more enjoyable, which will encourage you to keep on going!
Try intermittent fasting (IF)
Lucy explains that IF involves going without food for an extended period of time to unknowingly cut your calories. ‘You could stop eating at say, 9pm and not eat again until lunchtime the next day. After a few days you’ll quickly get used to not having breakfast, and many IF supporters claim that it helps with mental clarity, too! ‘It’s not for everyone though, so try it for a week and see how you feel’, adds Lucy.
Tell your family
‘Let your family and friends know that you’re trying to lose weight. It will hold you accountable, plus, they’ll be less likely to offer you calorific grub which could hinder your weight loss efforts,’ says Lucy.
Lucy Gornall is the former Health & Fitness editor at Future and a personal trainer specializing in pre and post-natal exercise.
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