Tackling Obesity To Achieve Weight Loss Success During COVID-19

Research shows us that people who are obese have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, and suffering long-term complications with the virus.

It has been stated that tackling obesity in the UK is one of the greatest long-term health challenges this country faces. Currently, around 1 in 3 children leaving primary school, and 2 in 3 adults, are overweight.

In this blog we explore why there is a need for government intervention to tackle obesity, but how this often falls short of delivering the outcomes desired, as weight is complex, and requires a more personalised treatment focus.

Tackling Obesity Scheme

The Government’s role is to set and influence public health agenda using campaigns, policies, and other schemes. Over the years, there have been many attempts to tackle the UK’s rising obesity rates, such as the calorie reduction strategy in 2018 and the sugar tax in 2016.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has prompted a new strategy to tackle obesity. The plan will see new restrictions on high fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS) food, such as no HFSS food TV ads before 9 pm and no buy-one-get-one-free deals on HFSS products. The launch of the scheme follows recent data highlighting the increased risk of hospitalisation, severe symptoms, advanced levels of treatment such as mechanical ventilation or admission to Intensive Care Units, and death from COVID-19 for those who are overweight or obese.

It is widely known that being overweight or obese increases health risk, shown by an estimated £6.1 billion cost to the NHS each year for treating overweight and obesity-related conditions. However, serious health risks associated with COVID-19 and obesity has triggered fear and motivation for many people to take action about their weight.

Weight Is Complex

While it is great to see steps for change being made by the Government, there are some holes in this strategy.

Weight is complex. Weight-loss, weight-gain, weight-maintenance, and your relationship with your weight are not always as simple as overeating. We recognise your weight and relationship with food can be a result of past or current life events, and has strong associations with both your mental or physical health.

If you have been stuck in a cycle of weight loss attempts and failure, the thought of successful and sustainable weight loss can seem like an impossible mountain to climb. This cycle can reinforce negative beliefs about your self-worth and your ability to lose weight. This cycle can also heighten existing health-related stress and anxiety brought on by COVID-19. These feelings can lead to using food as emotional support and further weight gain.

Our Experience

With over 14 years of experience working with weight-related issues, we respect that you have your own personal story. We work with you to make sense of the patterns that you present with weight, food, eating, and your body.

Knowing what to eat and when to eat, seems more confusing than ever before. This is because the messages from our family during our childhood can get mixed up with messages from our peer groups and the influences of society. We call this ‘food scripting’ one of several psychological factors that influence obesity. Everyone has unique and different childhoods that contribute significantly to the way we eat today. But they are out of date and need resolving.

During our therapy breakthrough days and psychotherapy sessions, we address deep changes needed in how we see ourselves and how we interact with our current environment. We bring to your awareness the factors that got you stuck and look for the ones that are now maintaining the vicious cycle you are in with your body and food.

We also address factors that support and distract you from achieving weight loss success. We will look into the five main aspects of your lifestyle, including:

  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Sleep
  • Stress management
  • Relationships and social life

Through adopting a healthy lifestyle, we can significantly reduce the risk of obesity-related health conditions and focus on sustainable weight loss.

We will make it very clear the areas we believe treatment needs to focus on, and support you in acquiring new self-management skills and updating aspects of your personality, so you can achieve your weight loss and life goals.

We support you in changing the way you ‘turn up’ to achieve weight loss, so you get a different and better outcome.

How We Can Help

We offer counselling & psychotherapy for those with weight issues, disordered eating, eating disorders, and negative body image. Our specialist team is qualified and experienced in working with all weight-related health conditions.

We support clients with anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues that may be maintaining your eating behaviour, as well as other mental health conditions that you may be struggling with.

We also provide nutrition consultations where you will work with our experienced nutrition team to prepare and plan for lifestyle changes needed to reach your goals. Our nutritional therapist, functional medicine practitioner, and dietitians all have a wealth of experience in working with weight loss, weight management, eating disorder recovery, and health conditions that are related to eating, weight, and your body.