I haven’t blogged for so long because I have been up to my eyes in writing about vaccine production – pandemics keep science writers very busy! Here’s my favourite article, https://bioprocessintl.com/sponsored-content/process-intensification-of-viral-based-vaccines-where-are-the-bottlenecks/ where I interviewed some of the scientists who are trying to work out ways of trying to manufacture enough vaccine to protect us all against the latest unpleasant Coronavirus.
During the past few months, I have been thinking about COVID-19 and weight, as this time two years ago I lost 2 stone in weight and have only put back on 7 lbs, which is amazing considering the stress and how easy it is to shovel food in at the moment and not do any exercise. I did a modelling photo shoot the other day as the film and TV studios are beginning to open up again. This is what I look like at the moment, a bit more porky than I was two years ago but nowhere near the “you’re looking well stage” (what your friends say to you instead of bloody hell you’ve put on some beef!).
Unfortunately, SARS-COV-2 the virus that causes COVID-19 loves to attack those who are overweight. Why’s that? Here comes the science. When you’re overweight your body expresses more Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE-2) proteins in places like your lungs and gut, the SARS-COV-2 virus has a spike protein which hooks onto ACE-2 proteins as a way to get into your body’s cell. More fat = more chance of infection, that’s why being fit and not fat can protect you from this sneaky little virus.
This is why, I thought I would share my top tips on how to go about shifting that Lockdown lard, which I’m going to start doing again this week to shift my own unwanted jiggle before I get to the wearing a fat suit stage (see the picture which started me off losing weight!) that and being breathless with higher cholesterol was what started me off on a more healthy path.
- Buy a fitness tracker and use it! There are lots of different ones to choose from and I came across this nice guide written by the folks at ConsumersAdvocate.org https://www.consumersadvocate.org/fitness-tracker which tells you about the different models and what it is that they track exactly so you’ll have enough info to help you find one that suits you the best. I personally have a Fitbit Charge 2, and I love it because I didn’t realise before I used it how little I moved my big fat butt off of the seat and I was eating way more than I was moving around. Without this, I would never have known the scale of the problem I had. I’m going to start putting in the things I eat every day into my ‘phone, along with my weight loss goal (7lbs) again and this will help me to shift that Lockdown lard before it gets out of hand and I look like I’m wearing a fat suit! I’m also going to set mine to tell me when to move so that I get up off my seat and then it becomes easier to move about more and get more exercise in without realising I’m doing more exercise.
2. Look at what you’re eating/drinking and make small swaps to reduce calorie intake. For example, I’m going to swap my morning cappuccino for a skinny cappuccino with cinnamon on instead of chocolate sprinkles. I am also swapping my morning crisp snack habit which I’ve slipped back into over Lockdown for nuts and seeds, they are more protein dense so keep me feeling full for longer and they have the crunch I like.
A lot of weight gain occurs because you have made small changes to your lifestyle that you haven’t noticed – I think my morning coffee and crisp habit has probably caused the 7lbs of Lockdown lard that has sneaked on since March. It got there because the small deviations I hadn’t noticed I had made to my lifestyle. You only have to end the day with an average of 500 extra calories (i.e. 3500 calories per week) to put on a pound in weight. The upside is you only have to reduced your calories by 500 every day to lose a pound per week. This means you can eat 250 calories less and do 250 calories worth of exercise every day and you’ll lose a pound per week. How good and how easy to do is that! I know this is what I’m going to be doing over the next few weeks to shift the Lockdown lard.
The cappuccino swap will save me around 70 calories and that’s a lot towards my 250 saving for the day and it doesn’t taste any different so I’ll be going back to skinny coffee again.
3. Find the exercise that you like doing, for example, I love to dance and thankfully my Zumba class (Zumba with Annie) is available on-line live via Zoom so I can see all my friends or it can be done as an anytime class on certain days via Zin studio. I look forward to doing these classes and it burns around 250 calories every time I jiggle about in my office with Annie and co. The great thing is now anyone can try Annie’s classes so why not give them a go – I might see you there!
I also love going for walks – it’s totally free and I get to look at the great countryside (again a nice 3-mile circuit about an hour’s walk burns over 200 calories). I have seen some beautiful sunsets during my daily health walk, which has been a great bonus.
So to kick-start your Lockdown lard weight loss, in summary:
- Use a tracker
- Make small food and drink swaps
- Find and do exercise you like doing.
Good luck on your journey from fat to fit, it may save your life or prevent some serious COVID-19 complications!