• Ben Yates

I'm desperate to lose weight to be healthy and a better mummy to her children

Updated: Feb 3

Yesterday a I received a message from a lady who has reached the point where enough is enough.

I won't reveal her actual name, let's call her Claire.

In her eyes, her weight and unhealthy lifestyle are affecting her ability to be a good mum.

Claire first realised that her weight was becoming a problem during the first lockdown.

Claire found herself out of breath and aching after playing with her kids in the back garden.

As the months have passed, Claire has gained further weight and has found herself making excuses not to play any active games with her children.

Claire's worried not only about the damage she's doing to her health but also potential long term damage to her children's futures because they are spending more and more time on their games consoles.

Claire knows that she needs to change her lifestyle and has spent the last few months reading about other peoples success stories - so much so that she's even more confused by the barrage of information.

When I asked her how she feels, she replied: "Overweight, unhappy, tired all of the time, mardy, judgemental and jealous of others that have lost weight, and I'm slowly finding myself withdrawing from doing things I used to like."

Claire has a limited budget, three children, 15kg to lose and the restrictions of lockdown 3 to work around.

Claire's contacted me for advice and to help her get started.

What do I need to do to lose weight?

Here are the two things I've asked her to do:

Walking for weight loss

According to her step tracker, she averages around 5,000 steps a day during this lockdown.

I've explained that a vital part of reaching your ideal body goal is being active.

And, the simplest, most accessible way to increase your activity level is to walk, but it's often the most neglected.

The biggest source of your daily calorie burn is non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) - the energy you burn doing things like walking, cleaning and gardening.

The more you move, the more calories you burn.

So, I've set Claire a daily goal of doubling her step count.

I'm often asked if you can lose weight by walking an hour a day

The simple answer is yes.

I've asked Claire to schedule a 1-hour walk every day, either on her own whilst her husband is at home with the kids, or as a family.

The 1-hour walk is in addition to her average step count.

I don't want her to get up at 7 am, smash her walk out before breakfast and then sit around for the rest of the day.

Claire asked if she should exercise as well as adding in the 1-hour walks?

It's worth noting that just because you're not out of breath and dripping with sweat doesn't mean that your activity doesn't count.

The opposite counts.