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Covid-19 and Weight Loss

Posted on January 25th 2021 by

Covid-19 and Weight Loss

LED is here to support you online whilst our centres are closed. In this 4-part series, Barnaby will be outlining how physical activity and good nutrition can support a healthy immune system whilst providing you with guidance on how to stay active during lockdown and how LED can support you online.

In July 2020 Public Health England estimated that having a BMI of 35 to 40 could increase a person’s chances of dying from Covid-19 by 40%, whilst a BMI over 40 could increase the risk by 90%! In the current UK national lockdown there is no better time to focus on simple changes that can help shed a few lbs of body fat.

Today, I am going to outline the science of weight loss, suggest my 5 top tips for weight loss and outline how LED can support your weight loss goals online.

If you’d like to contact me for further information, please email me at

Please remember to consult your GP and read our Health Commitment Statement before making significant changes to your diet. 

Weight Loss Science

The key factor that influences the success of any diet is energy balance, i.e. the balance of calories you consume and the energy you expend.

The amount of calories you consume is influenced by your daily intake of food, beverages and certain medicines. On the flip side the energy you expend may be affected by factors we can more easily alter such as physical activity and some that are not as easily altered such as thermal regulation and basal metabolism.

Negative energy balance occurs when energy intake is lower than energy expenditure. This may result from restricted intake of food, increased physical activity or a combination of both (in practice the latter appears the most effective). The result is an energy deficit that the body must overcome to function. The body utilizes stored energy in the form of glycogen, fat & muscle tissue to supply the required energy. The breakdown of bodily tissue in this manner results in weight loss.

The technology in our smart phones and tablets means we can use calorie tracking apps such as “myfitnesspal” to track the calorie intake of the food we consume. We can even synchronize our smart phone and smart watch to track your activity levels such as daily steps and heart rate levels to ensure you are in a caloric deficit. If that sounds too techy for you then do not worry, you don’t need to this!

Below I have provided my top 5 tips for helping you move more and consume less calories to help your weight loss goals.

  1. Increase fruit and vegetable intake

There are so many benefits to a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables it’s no wonder the guidelines suggest we should consume 5 portions a day! They are high in fibre and low in calories which means they will help fill you up for few calories. This makes them a great snack or dessert when dieting to lose weight.

Aim to consume 5 different colours a day. The colours in fruits and vegetables come from different micronutrients, consuming different colours will provide you with a whole range of vitamins and minerals to support your body working at its best. This includes vitamin C which can help support your immune system.

Try to consume 1 portion of each colour below every day:

  • Red: Strawberries, raspberries, cherries, red peppers, pomegranate, grapefruit, tomatoes, watermelon, red cabbage and radishes
  • Orange: Oranges, carrots, orange peppers, apricots, mango, butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and peaches
  • Yellow: Banana, yellow peppers, sweetcorn, melon and pineapple
  • Green: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale, kiwi, pears, brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, beans, cucumber and celery
  • Purple/Blue: Blueberries, grapes, beetroot, blackberries, plumbs and prunes

  1. Walk on the wild side!

Increase your activity by simply getting out for a quick walk each day. A short daily walk offers a great opportunity for you to get out in the fresh air and rest your mind away from a mobile phone or TV screen.

Walking is a low impact and low intensity activity suitable for those with joint issue which can even be made more challenging by finding a hilly route too.  

I would suggest almost everyone reading this can afford an extra 15 minute walk each day. Perhaps around a few streets near you, around your nearest park or to a local landmark and back again. This short walk might not seem like a lot but the energy you expend will start to add up and you will soon value the short break to yourself. 

  1. Increase water intake

Staying hydrated is very important for optimal health. Water promotes cardiovascular health, regulates your body temperature and helps your muscles and joints work better. 

The amount of water you consume also plays a key role in weight loss. Often we can confuse feelings of thirst with hunger which may lead to use consuming a  sugary, high fat snack instead of a simple glass of water.

I would recommend you consume a glass of water at the start of evert meal before even picking up your knife and fork and regularly between meals too. You may be surprised how much of a difference this makes.

  1. Increase protein intake

Protein isn’t just for bodybuilder and weightlifters. Protein plays many key roles in the diet from supporting our immune system to helping our muscles repair after exercise. Increasing your protein intake can be very helpful when dieting to lose weight.

Protein is very satiating compared to fat or carbohydrate, meaning we don’t need to consume a lot of protein in a meal to feel full. For example, ask yourself could you eat a bowl of chicken breast or a bowl of sweets quicker?

I would recommend consuming a palm sized portion of protein 2-3 times a day. This protein source could include:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Beans.

  1. Get active from home

As long as national lockdown restrictions apply LED are committed to supporting our members physical and mental wellbeing. Our team have put together a comprehensive live streaming programme so you can join real LED instructors for online fitness classes from your smart phone or tablet. Our live streamed classes include everything from Old Skool Aerobics to Bodybalance providing plenty of classes for you to try at home. To find out more click here.

To find out more about what we have in place to support you getting active online click here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I hope you now have a better understanding of why losing weight is important and some ideas on how to achieve this.

If you’d like to contact me for further information, please email me at

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