5 March 2021

Are You Suffering From ‘Lockdown Belly’?

Lockdown Belly

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If you are, you are not alone. A recent survey showed that a third of the population gained half a stone or more in the initial eight weeks of the first lockdown. One in 20 said they had put on so much weight they were too ‘scared’ to even step onto the scales. This comes at a time when we are being urged to lose five pounds to save the NHS money and help to reduce the risk of dying from coronavirus. Unsurprisingly, the reasons for this weight gain appear to be an increase in snacking and alcohol consumption and a decrease in physical activity.

As the countdown to the gyms re-opening has begun, people’s minds are now turning to losing this additional weight, which, in principle, should be relatively straight forward. However, it has become increasingly difficult due to the vast amount of conflicting advice now presented in the media, much of which has little, if any, scientific basis, and the influence of often unrealistically lean celebrities telling us how we could have a body like theirs if we follow a particular diet and exercise regime. Often these images have been manipulated, and even if a person has actually achieved a certain physique for a film role or photo shoot, they are rarely able to maintain such a condition in the long-term.

These mixed and misleading messages can lead to confusion regarding how much body fat we should have for good health, what we should eat and what is the most effective form of fat burning exercise. For example, is high intensity interval training more effective than traditional cardio? Can abdominal exercises spot reduce belly fat? Is a low carbohydrate, high protein diet best or is fasting more effective?

Fortunately, exercise, diet and fat loss have been the subject of a considerable amount of rigorous scientific research, which provides the basis of this series of articles that will help you to achieve healthy levels of body fat using the most effective and appropriate evidence based approaches.

In the first part of this series, we will look at why we get fatter. Is it all in our genes? Or is it due to hormones or the fault of our environment?

Lockdown Belly – What does the science say? Click below to find out