How South Africans did with their lockdown weight loss goals, according to this survey

Woman enjoying fruit after exercise
Woman enjoying fruit after exercise

South Africans love being outdoors - whether it is hiking, walking, swimming or running. This is a big part of the reason why the national lockdown had such a dramatic effect on so many of our lives - emotionally, mentally, but mostly physically. 

In launching their latest #GameOn #Ubeatable challenge – Game did a survey that looked at what goals South Africans had set out to achieve with regards to their physical and mental wellbeing during lockdown, and they looked at how well the respondents kept to those self-made promises.

“Lockdown was hard on all of us, especially on our bodies and minds,” Katherine Madley, Vice President of Marketing at Game, said in a statement.

“We wanted to better understand how South Africans coped with the changes the lockdown made to our lifestyles, and then offer ways to help them overcome their challenges by making health and wellness more accessible. This could be fitness-specific, slimming, toning, strength or mind and body.”


Key findings 

Despite their good intentions, the reality of lockdown was that a staggering half of the total sample (of 1200 participants) ended up gaining weight despite the intentions of 32% wanting to lose it, and only 17% achieved this goal. The majority of those who gained weight, ended up gaining a substantial amount with 62% gaining between 3 – 6 kilograms.

One respondent even said they gained a whopping 18 kilograms. This while 61% of the 32% who intended to lose weight going into lockdown, ended up gaining weight instead.  

Small steps lead to big gains and we encourage South Africans to take the lead and get back on track with their health and wellness goals

In terms of diets and eating, 39% claimed to eat the same as before lockdown, and unsurprisingly there, is a strong link between eating habits and weight loss and gain. 59% admitted to binge-watching their favourite series through lockdown while 46% used it as a way to achieve goals by studying or starting a business.

53% ended up not exercising at all during lockdown, however 47% found some way to do so, such as turning to an online class. While the gyms were closed, with money being tight too, the trend of exercising at home has become far more accessible for many people and lockdown has made that apparent.  

In conclusion, the survey findings show that in terms of achieving weight loss goals, diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. Those respondents who gained weight, but didn’t change their eating habits were of the 57% of those who weren’t doing any exercise.

READ MORE | Make your fitness goals profitable 

While lockdown was a challenging experience for many there a few silver linings. Overall, respondents felt like they had taken steps in the right direction in terms of making changes and achieving goals - despite being confined to their homes. One of the most positive findings was that most people found they had a chance to focus on themselves and their families.

“We know that the past few months have been hard on our minds and bodies, and this is why we launched the #GameOn #Unbeatable challenge to help people get back on track, bust those love handles, and take control of what has otherwise been a very difficult year,” Madley said.

“Small steps lead to big gains and we encourage South Africans to take the lead and get back on track with their health and wellness goals.”

Find out more here.


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