It’s time to start talking fitness and nutrition as one and stop talking about them as separate entities. Anna Langridge from 1FitLife provides an insight into how these two markets should further merge.
According to NHS Digital, Health for England, three-quarters of us aged 45-74 are overweight or obese in England*. A frightening statistic especially with all the support out there from both the fitness and weight loss sectors encouraging us to change.
Exercise alone is unlikely to help you lose weight, your eating habits also need to be addressed to achieve a healthy weight loss and overall health. Many find success through weight loss companies, although the costs can start escalating if you are also paying for a gym at the same time.
Personally, I think there are so many mixed messages and noise out there on how to lose weight, get fit and healthy, and people have now just switched off to it all. They are confused and demoralised.
What I find frustrating is when the media talks about weight loss it tends to be about food, while if the media mentions fitness it tends to be about intense workouts and gyms. But we all know it’s a combination of both that holds the recipe for success.
Weight loss programmes do focus their communications around the overall health benefits of losing weight and rightly so. Although more often than not, if you ask someone why they want to lose weight it’s because they want to feel more confident, wear a smaller clothes size and not feel held back by their weight. Being overweight can significantly affect a person’s self-esteem. The main way to achieve a weight loss goal is through a combination of healthy eating and exercise.
When I train people with a weight problem, they tend to not have the confidence to get started in a gym environment. Clients say they feel uncomfortable at the gym; they don’t know where to start, they might not know how to use the equipment and they worry about whether they’ll fit in. They’re concerned they won’t be able to do exercises correctly or keep up, that they’ll get too hot and sweaty, feel exposed or self-conscious, and that it’s going to hurt. These people tend to prefer someone to train them in the privacy of their own home but they are also demotivated and breaking their current habits is a significant hurdle. Remember though, any habit can be broken if the person is driven enough to make changes to their lifestyle.
If people are overweight and very unfit, the thought of having to put on workout gear and set foot in a gym is unrealistic. Training at home allows people to feel safe. And, once they’ve gained some confidence, they’re more likely to be funnelled into mainstream ‘fitness’ at health clubs and leisure centres.
So what options are there on the market?
Slimming World launched its new Body Magic exercise videos in January 2022 to sit alongside their weight loss clinics. The workouts are aimed at all abilities so even if you struggle to walk for more than 15 minutes, there’s still something for you!
Nuffield Health offers a medical weight Management Programme called ‘Simply Weight’ This is a 100-day online plan complemented by group sessions over a 14-week period. The specialists include consultant physicians, dieticians, nutritionists and fitness trainers. This 360, medical approach to weight loss, helps ensure your success.
Weight loss retreats are also a great way to give people a headstart, but be mindful that this is just the start of the journey and to be successful, a long term plan needs to be implemented to avoid relapse.
For those on a tighter budget or not time rich, online fitness and wellness content has found a way to muscle in between gyms and weight management programmes. Over the past 18 months, we have seen significant growth in the online fitness market. There is also plenty of free content out there.
Remember, it’s never too late to make the change and to discover a healthier way of living!