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Free weight loss support programmes in Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings from One You Lincolnshire




We know being overweight doesn’t usually make us look or feel great, and can cause serious health issues - lower covid survival rates now included. So why are about 65 per cent of people in Lincolnshire overweight or obese?

On paper, losing weight should be one of the easiest tasks in the world: eat fewer calories and the extra inches ‘melt away’.

Yet, in reality, getting back to a healthy body mass index (BMI) - and keeping in that range - is something most people struggle with.

One You Lincolnshire helps people to become more healthy in their own homes, and after lockdown its group sessions will return
One You Lincolnshire helps people to become more healthy in their own homes, and after lockdown its group sessions will return

This issue is not lost on health professionals at One You Lincolnshire, which has been commissioned by the county council and the NHS to help people lose weight, quit smoking, and reduce or stop drinking alcohol.

Their approach to weight loss is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution, if you’ll excuse the expression. What works for one person won’t necessarily be right for another.

At One You Lincolnshire, they are helping people shed the pounds in a way that suits them - and for most this involves making subtle changes to diet and lifestyle that can become new habits for a lifetime.

Helena Palin from One You Lincolnshire
Helena Palin from One You Lincolnshire

“Our aim is to help people to lose five per cent of their body weight within a 12-week period,” said Helena Palin, the adult weight management lead.

“It’s not a quick fix diet. It is about making small lifestyle changes that people can easily maintain over time.”

People can be referred to One You Lincolnshire by their GP, but during the coronavirus pandemic they have also seen an increase in self-referrals, a process which is quick and can be completed online.

Once in touch, the participant is invited to chat with a team member to determine the type of support that would suit them best. This can be individual or group-based, it might involve vouchers giving access to Slimming World or Weight Watchers’ (WW) resources, or to take part in in-house activities.

Achievements of One You Lincolnshire
Achievements of One You Lincolnshire

A Man v Fat Football Challenge has proved particularly popular, giving participants the chance to take part in weekly nutrition and activity challenges that scored points for their team during a 14-week ‘league’.

While this was geared towards men, activities for all have involved a ‘Tour de Lincolnshire’ virtual challenge, which encouraged people to walk, jog, cycle or row and log the distances they were covering.

All levels of activity are encouraged, and coaches also give talks on nutrition and advice on breaking unhealthy habits.

Zak Flack after losing weight with the help of One You Lincolnshire
Zak Flack after losing weight with the help of One You Lincolnshire

While much of the work of the health coaches has been online lately, as covid restrictions lift One You Lincolnshire will start to use local leisure centres again, allowing people to meet with coaches face-to-face for activities, talks and weigh-ins.

“We don’t want people to come to us, lose weight and then return to their old lifestyle,” said Stephanie Lammond, who helps put people in touch with One You Lincolnshire.

“Many of those coming to us tell us they have lost weight before but as soon as they stopped the diet or plan they were on, they weren’t able to maintain it.

“With what we do there is no calorie counting - instead it is about adopting good habits. It’s about keeping tasty food on people’s plates because no one wants to eat boring food for the rest of their lives.

Zak Flack before his support from One You Lincolnshire
Zak Flack before his support from One You Lincolnshire

“Changing everything at once is bound to fall flat. Instead we help people to make tiny steps, so if someone normally eats four biscuits a day, we help them to drop it to three.

“We also encourage people to serve vegetables onto their plate first, so it takes up more space and they aren’t tempted to fill the space with carbs.”

Throughout the support, people are reminded that ‘having a bad day’ is not the end of the world.

“There are 21 mealtimes in a week,” said Helena. “If one is not as healthy as you wish it had been, you don’t need to give up completely. If you had £21 and lost the £1 coin you wouldn’t throw away the £20 note too.

Zak Flack lost a total of 5st 3lbs by joining a One You Lincolnshire programme
Zak Flack lost a total of 5st 3lbs by joining a One You Lincolnshire programme

“It’s all about the long-term picture. The goals we get people to set themselves are specific, measurable and achievable.

“While it would be nice to walk 10 miles, a more realistic goal is to complete one mile a day for 10 days.”

One You Lincolnshire supports adults with a BMI of 30 or above, or adults who are black, Asian or minority ethnic with a BMI over 27.5.

People can call 01522 705162 to refer themselves or visit the website www.oneyoulincolnshire.org.uk.

  • Stamford Health Education and Awareness Charity will host a Zoom talk on ‘Food Use and Misuse’ given by Stephanie Lammond from One You Lincolnshire from 2pm on Monday, March 29. For joining instructions search for ‘Stamford Health Education and Awareness Charity’ on Facebook.

Case study

Zak Flack focused on his weight loss by making sure he was eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, as well as gradually raising his activity levels.

After seven weeks he achieved his goal of losing five per cent of his body weight and had shed 7kg (just over a stone).

He finished the course having lost 12.6kg (almost two stones), losing 12cm (4.5ins) from his waist and lowering his BMI from 39 to 35. A year on, Zak furthered his success, losing a total of 33.4kg (5st 3lbs).

As a result, his once high blood pressure returned to a normal range and his quality of sleep improved, meaning he now wakes feeling refreshed rather than lethargic.

  • Stamford Health Education and Awareness Charity will host a Zoom talk on ‘Food Use and Misuse’ given by Stephanie Lammond from One You Lincolnshire from 2pm on Monday, March 29. For joining instructions search for ‘Stamford Health Education and Awareness Charity’ on Facebook.



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