Medical

Wellness app proves lockdown made Brits healthier

15th January 2021
Alex Lynn

Lifesum, a health and wellness app with over 45 million users, has revealed how Brits ate during the pandemic, in a year where our usual eating habits became a distant memory and working from home was the new normal. The study analysed eating habits of 10,000 people across the UK by monitoring the app’s key features, including food tracking and personalised diet plans.

It showed that Brits became healthier in lockdown and lost more weight during the pandemic by adding a healthy twist to traditional British food.

During lockdown one, and with more meal planning time available, Brits got healthier and consumed more fruit, nuts and vegetables, while intake of ready meals, snacks and desserts decreased. As lockdown lifted, intake of fruit, nuts and vegetables decreased, while Brits craved more snacks and ready meals. When faced with lockdown two, Brits consumed more fruit, nuts and vegetables, and decreased intake of ready meals, snacks and desserts. In fact, in 2020, snacking in the UK increased by 11% compared with 2019.

During the pandemic Brits lost more weight by adding a healthy twist to traditional British food. The UK’s most popular dinner to successfully lose weight to was a beef burger in salad leaves, a low carb, keto-friendly alternative. The next was curried tofu with rice, a vegan twist on a classic, which shows that while British taste for curry might have changed, the appetite remains strong. Healthy twists to traditional British food, including baked potato with tuna salad, and roast chicken with veggies, also helped to lose the most weight in 2020.

  • Beef burger in salad leaves
  • Curried tofu with rice    
  • Salmon stew with rice noodles
  • Baked potato with tuna salad
  • Roasted chicken with veggies    
  • Fried beef with vegetables
  • Tuna and tomato pasta 
  • Oven baked cod and cabbage
  • Easy chicken stroganoff
  • Chicken stroganoff with courgette noodles

As gyms closed, Brits used the pandemic as an opportunity for healthier living. The most popular meal plan was the 3 Week Weight Loss, which creates and maintains new habits, including portion size, and removes sugar cravings, followed by Keto Burn, which focuses on low-carbs and high-fat intake. Sugar Detox, which offers inspiration for a lifestyle without added sugars, was the third most popular meal plan, which more Brits turned to than any other country in Europe.

  1. 3 Week Weight Loss
  2. Keto Burn
  3. Sugar Detox

“In 2020 a classic ‘yo-yo’ eating pattern emerged in real-time,” said Lifesum nutritionist, Signe Svanfeldt. “During lockdown Brits ate healthier, then craved self-soothing, sugary foods as it lifted - a natural reward response to the heightened anxiety caused by the pandemic - and, possibly, due to cooking and cleaning fatigue.

“As lockdown two emerged, Brits returned to healthy eating patterns. These findings show that changing small habits, such as adding a healthy twist to a traditional British meal, and implementing them in everyday life can improve better eating and overall health - and this will be crucial as new lockdown measures are implemented across the UK.”

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