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Ask the Doc: 'I've gained weight in lockdown and feel a little uncomfortable'

By Philip Murray

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Motivation has been an issue for many during lockdown.
Motivation has been an issue for many during lockdown.

Q. I've gained some weight during lockdown and feel a little uncomfortable. I'd like to lose a little weight but I'm lacking in motivation. Where do I start?

A. If you're keen to lose small amounts of weight safely, the best approach is to make small changes. Eat three regular, balanced meals a day and try to have meals at planned times. Only include snacks if you're physically hungry. Meal planning is extremely helpful when it comes to losing weight, as well as substituting high-calorie food for healthier alternatives:

Instead of crisps and dips grab crunchy peppers and carrots and dip them in some low-fat hummus.

Swap your chocolate bar for a handful of unsalted nuts.

Switch your high-calorie coffee - such as a latte or mocha - for a lower calorie Americano.

NHS Inform features a 12-week weight management programme which includes tools to measure your targets, recipe ideas, food diaries, and lots of other tools to help you stay motivated. It's free to register and is a great way to keep yourself accountable and make sure you stick to your goals. Visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/12-week-weight-management-programme for more info.

Q. I am a mother to two young women, one in her 20s and the other in her teens, and I myself am facing the menopause. We each seem to be facing different 'women's issues'- is there a resource that we can all visit for info on things like contraceptives, period issues, etc?

A. The different stages in a woman's life present varying health challenges. NHS inform has lots of resources to help you at all stages of life, whether you're looking for advice, information, local support, or ideas for improving your wellbeing. Visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/womens-health for a comprehensive list of lots of common issues, information on symptoms, and what to do next. This covers topics like puberty, sexual health, contraception, periods and menopause.

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