There are so many good reasons to want to lose weight. Most people who sign up for my programmes do so because they are simply unhappy with their weight & fitness levels. They would like to feel lighter and healthier, look better, move better, run around with their kids. Now, in 2020, there’s another – major – good reason to want to lose weight: COVID-19.
As the pandemic progresses, we learn more and more about the connections between individual health and disease outcomes among those who contracted the novel Coronavirus. In May 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that hospitalisations with COVID-19 were six times higher among patients with a reported underlying condition (45.4%) compared to those without reported underlying conditions (7.6%). Deaths were 12 times higher among patients with underlying conditions (19.5%) than those without reported underlying conditions (1.6%). The two most common underlying health conditions were heart disease (32%) and diabetes (30%).[i] Heart disease and type 2 diabetes are known to be largely lifestyle-related. In the vast majority of cases, we have the power to influence our risk to develop those diseases or their progression, if we have already been diagnosed. Both heart disease and type 2 diabetes have a lot to do with what we eat and how much we move.
In the UK, two-thirds of people who fell seriously ill with COVID-19 were overweight or obese. In Italy, 99% of deaths affected patients with pre-existing conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.[ii] These three conditions, together with overweight or obesity, frequently occur in the same person at the same time. The cluster of metabolic diseases is called “metabolic syndrome”. It is linked to weakened immune function as well as more severe symptoms and complications from COVID-19.[iii] Evidence shows that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are disproportionately affected by obesity as well as COVID-19. These groups also have a higher prevalence of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.[iv]
A common underlying factor for the diseases characterising metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. When cells become insulin resistant, they can no longer hear the message of insulin, and blood sugar levels go haywire. Uncontrolled blood sugar plays a significant role in inflammation and respiratory disease. Since the novel Coronavirus affects the lungs and causes inflammation, this explains why blood sugar imbalances are highly detrimental in COVID-19 patients.
At the end of July, the government launched its “Better Health” campaign, encouraging Brits to lose weight. Public Health England advised that “by reducing your weight within a healthy range, you can help cut your risk of being critically ill with COVID-19.” To improve health and wellbeing, individuals should aim to have a BMI below 25 and above 18.5.[v] The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) should aim to have a BMI below 23 and above 18.5 to avoid health risks.[vi]
Now, that’s all well and good and very commendable. Yet, anyone who is overweight or even obese has probably tried losing weight before … and made the experience that counting calories and exercising more, expending more calories than they eat, did not yield the desired result. If you have ever tried and failed, others blamed you for not having enough willpower. Perhaps you even blamed yourself. The good news is: It’s not you. It’s not just your impression; the calorie equation really does not work.
Insulin does not just regulate blood sugar; it is also responsible for fat storage. Whether we store or burn fat has a lot to with how much sugar and refined carbohydrate we eat and how our body handles it. Unfortunately, the conventional advice of following a low-fat/ low-calorie diet inevitably leads to a diet high in carbohydrates. As fat has more than twice the calories of protein and carbohydrates, the easiest way to cut back on calories (which, we are told, matters) is to cut back on fat, resulting in a high carbohydrate intake. You’ve got to eat something after all. Yet, a diet high in carbs got us where we are in the first place.
There is a better way of losing weight that does not drive blood sugar and insulin sky-high: the low-GL approach. This way of eating has a low glycaemic load (GL), which keeps sugar and insulin at bay and allowing your body to access stored fat. So, how does this work?
I have teamed up with qualified nutritionist Debbie Gallimore to put together a 6-week Transformation Programme, starting on 9th November 2020. Debbie and I have been running online group programmes for two years and have the experience and know-how to ensure success. Together, we will coach you and a bunch of like-minded women to remove your barriers to weight loss, to find the right mindset, to embrace exercise and to make low-GL eating second nature. There will be a private, closed Facebook group for all participants, so you don’t just get our support, but also that of other women who – like you – choose to lose. Being part of a group of women going through the programme at the same time is a big boost.
Contact me on 07525790704, or email me for further information or to book your spot
Go on, join us. There has never been a better time to lose weight.