If your clothes are feeling snug after lockdown, you’re not alone. A survey of more than 22,000 people across 30 countries found almost one-third of respondents gained weight during the Covid pandemic.
Major contributors include stress, takeaway and working from home. Sound familiar? As you gain more freedom of movement post-lockdown, some of this extra weight may come off naturally. However, your body might need a nudge to return to its pre-lockdown weight, and it’s probably better to act now than wait until New Year’s resolutions time. Harness your inner ‘fat brake’.
One scientific theory on how the body does this is the ‘set point’ theory. It posits that whenever we deviate from our weight set point, our body activates defence mechanisms that tend to shift us back to base.
When your weight goes up, your body may react by reducing hunger and the amount of food needed to feel satisfied, possibly brought on by changing appetite hormones; increasing your propensity to be physically active, which can involve conscious activity like walking, or even subconscious activity like fidgeting; raising your metabolic rate, a change that some people exhibit more than others (you may notice feeling hot-under-the-collar if this happens to you).