48 percent of people say they put their weight on a new poll after the lockdown. But in a time of heightened tension, it is important to have ‘self-compassion,’ say the experts. Here are their ideas on how to improve your fitness.
People continuously check about their waistlines on social media, while polls examine how much weight we’re losing in the lockout. Over the past few months, it has been difficult to avoid the study of whether our shifting diet – due to food supply and lifestyle changes – has had an effect on our weight.
The issue was answered by the latest King’s College London and Ipsos MORI survey of 2,254 people. 48 per cent of respondents said they had weighted during the lockdown, the same proportion said they were more stressed or upset than normal, and 29 per cent said they had drank more alcohol. But with the fear so many people are feeling, should we be too anxious about the amount on the scales?
Is it such a huge problem to add weight?
“People have a high level of anxiety and stress, and some people will eat more to help them deal with it,” says nutritionist Priya Tew. And she warns that worrying over a slight amount of weight gain would only add to that fear.
“I know that people’s mental wellbeing is very fragile right now, and they don’t really have access to things that will normally support. And we have to bear in mind that we don’t make them feel bad or more nervous,” she adds.
If you’re worried with your diet, it will help you focus on fitness and wellness rather than on your scales.
How do you handle your diet in a safe way?
“Focus on what you can add to, rather than remove from, your diet,” Priya says. “Instead of dieting and making yourself feel negative, plan something like eating an extra portion of fruit every day so that you have something positive to reach for. If you don’t try to do so, it’s not the end of the planet.”
“You should reflect on ‘Am I having my servings of fruit and vegetables every day? Am I going to gettin
Priya suggests beginning with some minor improvements. “Instead of saying ‘there are 10 things I need to improve,’ concentrate on the simple things you can do right now that have been helpful in the past, and then you’ll start to feel like you’ve done more with just a little change.
“When you say, ‘I should not eat that chocolate cake’, it makes you want the cake more. Then if you avoid it, you might end up having something else to ‘make up’ for the food you’ve not eaten. Food isn’t a reward or a punishment. It’s something to nourish us… as well as being super delicious.”
Adjust your standards for exercise
Like Priya, Zanna feels that the secret to becoming less worried about the current world is self-compassion. “People ought to be kind to themselves. We’re in a global pandemic, so don’t place too much demands on yourself and your workout schedule – that’s just going to have a negative effect on you. Set new targets that are gentler and more applicable of the present condition.
An avid fitness enthusiast, she’s taking the time to discover new workouts she loves. “I started running, something I had never done properly before, and now I love it. I started to do pilates, too – I’ve seen a lot of videos online and checked them out.”
Zanna hopes that people can make the most of the free content and tools accessible and create real-time fitness videos focused on strength level.
If you’re struggling with a negative self-image, what can you do?
“People have tried to carry on as if things are normal. But there is nothing about this situation that is normal”,