Almost 30% of adults in mid-Wales gained weight during the pandemic but help is on hand to help lose those extra pounds

Twenty-eight percent of adults in mid Wales have gained weight during the pandemic, a YouGov survey suggests, with the average gain being 5.25kg (almost a stone).

Over a third of adults in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire (39%) have said that they are generally less healthy now, than before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sarah Jones from Carmarthenshire, a self-employed mum of two who works from home, is one of those who gained almost a stone in weight during the last lockdown. She had previously lost four stone with the assistance of a local slimming club and was disappointed to have put almost a stone of that loss back on during lockdown. She said, “Due to Covid-19 my slimming club had to stop meeting so I didn’t have the routine of weekly weigh-ins. During the summer of 2020 the group moved online and were supportive of each other. That support seemed to wane around Christmas time however when another lockdown was announced. All of us just seemed to post on the group images of the unhealthy snacks we were eating! Thankfully, I’m back on track now and slowly losing those extra pounds once again by making healthy eating choices again and doing more exercise.”

18-24 year olds have eaten more unhealthy during lockdown than any other age group in Wales, according to the YouGov Poll, with a staggering 65% admitting to rewarding or cheering themselves up by making unhealthy food choices.

Help is on hand for those looking to lose their lockdown weight according to Beca Lyne-Pirkis, the Healthy Weight Cymru ambassador. She said, “It’s not always easy to exercise regularly and eat healthily and many have found recent lockdowns especially tricky. Even small changes, however, can make a big difference to your health and can make you feel better too. There is lots of information and advice on how to take more exercise, eat better and improve your wellbeing on the NHS 111 Wales Living Well website.”

There are a number of simple and easy-to-achieve lifestyle choices you can make to improve your health and wellbeing including being active and eating well. Just making a few small changes can make a big difference.

Free advice on how to take the first steps to a healthier diet is available from Healthy Weight Cymru on Facebook or Twitter. Top Tips include:

  • To eat a balanced diet aim to cut down on foods that are high in fat and sugar and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • Don’t forget that alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down alcohol can help control your weight.
  • It’s important to get five portions of fruit and veg a day but don’t forget fresh, canned, dried, juiced and frozen fruit and veg all count – an adult portion of fruit or vegetables is 80g.
  • It takes time for our brains to register we’re full, so try to eat more slowly, so your body has time to realise it’s full.
  • Always eat breakfast, even if you’re trying to lose weight; because by having a healthy breakfast in the morning you are less likely to want to snack before lunch.
  • Eating distractedly, such as in front of the TV, means you are likely to eat more without noticing or even enjoying it, so swap the TV for the table.
  • Don’t let yourself get thirsty – we need to drink between six – eight glasses of fluids every day to prevent dehydration; this is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat.
  • Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks because they are high in added sugars and calories, which can lead to weight gain and are also bad for teeth.

Further advice on how to eat well is available on the Hywel Dda website. Visit: https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/covid-19-information/preparing-for-treatment-lifestyle-advice-for-cancer-patients/treatment-preparation-folder-cancer/eating-well/

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