OK here we go again with another drive to get the nation fit and lose weight.
I really look forward to hearing how the Prime Minister intends to do this. I read he’s:
“Considering cutting out ‘buy one get one free’ in supermarkets, more bariatric surgery, together with diet advice and exercise plans.”
Will it work? Well the bariatric surgery may, but ‘telling’ the nation what they should do, won’t.
Losing weight and getting fit has to be a complete lifestyle change. While diets may help one lose some weight temporarily, lifestyle change is the key to long-term weight maintenance and health.
A diet consists of temporarily changing your eating habits to promote a certain outcome, usually weight loss, before returning to your previous eating habits. Whereas, a lifestyle change consists of adopting healthy overall habits that promote long-term weight control and health.
In addition, diets focus on food intake, while lifestyle changes incorporate what you eat along with other factors that affect weight and health, such as physical activity. Where weight loss is concerned, a diet provides a temporary solution and singular approach to the long term health issues that we face here in the UK.
Can you imagine how difficult it would be weighing, possibly, 130kg (approx 20st) and being told you have to lose at least 50kg… many of us find a couple of kilos hard to shed. Where would you start?
It takes courage to even admit that one is ‘obese’, with many spending months, perhaps years, contemplating the fact, knowing full well the extra weight will eventually lead to ill health.
I would also ask the PM to look at why people become obese. In my experience, it can be caused by boredom and unhappiness, as a result turning to food as a form of comfort.
Lack of money is also a contributing factor, healthy food can be expensive, but not when one compares it to fast food meals. Here again, this is where we need a lifestyle change, more emphasis on home cooking, which I think actually has been happening during lockdown, but then we need to look at portion control.
This is not going to be a quick fix, it has to be a nation's lifestyle change.
If the PM wants to put money into getting the nation healthy, let's start from the very beginning by getting regular PE sessions back onto school timetables. Get some qualified Fitness Coaches into the playground for an hour three times a week, making fitness fun, and a further hour educating the children on healthy foods, and the effect eating healthily has on their bodies - children are smart and very receptive.
Why not have two free afternoon clubs a week, doing what used to be called Domestic Science, cooking sessions where the children could then take the meal home.
Make it easier to access a Fitness Coach who has a knowledge of psychological behaviour and nutrition, a Coach who helps to build confidence. Many of my clients would initially never go into a gym, having a lack of confidence and feeling intimidated, but in need of more than online programmes.
There has to be positive motivation for people to start a lifestyle change, and strangely, it could be the fear of Covid-19, knowing that the fitter and healthier one is, the greater the chance of survival if there’s a second wave