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County council scheme helps Loughborough woman to make changes to her life

The service has received around 500 referrals since January

Picture of Abida
Abida took part in a 12-week programme to help her lose weight

A Loughborough woman is encouraging others to look into a scheme which has helped her “physically and mentally” during the pandemic.

At the beginning of the year, Abida, who suffers with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, decided to make a change to her life and visited her GP for support.

The 59-year-old was signposted to Weight Management Leicestershire, a personalised advice and support service for residents looking to develop and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. 

The service features a team of senior dieticians and nutritionists who help those looking to manage their weight, through a 12-week telephone programme or a three-call Weight Watchers programme. We have been operating the service in-house since January and have received approximately 500 referrals to date.

Abida completed her 12-week telephone advice sessions last month and said it had benefitted her not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

She said: “The weight management scheme, with its resources, clear weekly targets and step-by-step changes, allowed for a gradual shift in my mindset. I really liked the fact that the goals were focused on altering my habits and outlook.

“I cannot believe I have lost just over eight per cent of my body weight through the programme. I hope to see bigger and better changes to my health and medication.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, national and international research has found that obesity can increase the severity of the disease and is a risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. Some studies have found that older people and those who are obese are more likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19 than those with cancer or lung disease. 

In light of these findings, the weight management service is offering support to Leicestershire residents who are overweight. Its programmes set a five per cent body weight loss goal, giving a results-focused approach that enables service users to track their progress. 

Abida said that the support she received to lose weight was important, especially during COVID-19. She said: “As someone who is isolated during the lockdown, the calls meant a lot in mental health and human terms.” 

Leading a healthy and active lifestyle is a priority at any time, but it holds particular importance during the current pandemic. A balanced diet can go a long way towards helping us to stay physically, mentally and emotionally well during these challenging times.

“For this reason, we encourage residents across the county to consider getting in touch with our weight management service for reliable, nutrition-led information and advice on achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, lifestyle and outlook.

Leicestershire residents interested in joining one of Weight Management Leicestershire’s weight loss programmes can self-refer by visiting www.leicestershirewms.co.uk

Alternatively, anyone looking for advice on healthy eating or adaptable recipe suggestions can call the service on 0116 305 1510 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or go to the resources section on the website for inspiration.

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