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I Lost 2 Stone with the Help of My Fitbit and a Calorie Deficit

To prevent herself from spiralling when she was furloughed, Shar Reid, 30, a trainee solicitor from Doncaster, focused her attention on her mental and physical wellbeing.


Earlier in 2020, I had just moved to Doncaster to start a new role as part of my training to be a solicitor. I had only been there a few days when I was sent home – I have asthma, (very mild) but it still means I was in the ‘at-risk’ category for Covid. About a week later, I was furloughed.

I was absolutely devastated – I cried a lot those first few weeks. I’d worked so hard for this training contract, going to law school part time for two years. Now I was so scared there was going to be no work for me after furlough. I felt like my life was falling apart.

To make matters worse, I was on my own. I sat and watched Netflix all day, wallowing and feeling sorry for myself. I wasn’t sleeping well, and I was eating crap and feeling pretty crap. I knew I was spiralling – and I had to do something to pull myself out of it.

Taking control

Before lockdown, I had been exercising regularly at the gym, doing a lot of weightlifting and making good progress. It was the thought of losing all that hard work that gave me the kick I needed to do something. There was so much in my life beyond my control – my job, Covid – but one of the few things I did have power over was my own health and wellbeing.

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I had a Fitbit Charge tracker, but hadn’t paid too much attention to the numbers on their before then. But in lockdown those numbers became my guide – I made it my goal to get in a workout, and at least 10,000 steps a day.

While I’ve always been a meal planner and relatively healthy eater, it was all the snacking in lockdown that really got me. I also got into baking – which can be problematic, if you’re the only one around to eat what you make! But I wanted to lose some weight and I knew that in order to do that, I had to be burning more calories than I was eating.

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit
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£129.00

I started keeping track of my meals with the MyFitnessPal app, making sure my daily total calories in were slightly under the total calorie burn on my Fitbit every day to stay in that calorie deficit. To help prevent myself from snacking too much, I tried intermittent fasting, keeping my eating window between 12pm and 8pm, which really prevented me from falling back into the habit of late night snacking I’d developed.

Sill, I tried not to get too fixated on

Even as the Economy Grew, More Children Lost Health Insurance

The share of children with health coverage in the United States fell for the third consecutive year in 2019, according to census data, after decades of increases.

The decline occurred during a period of economic growth — before the coronavirus pandemic caused broad job losses that might have cost many more Americans their health insurance.

A report Friday by the Georgetown Center for Children and Families found that the ranks of uninsured children grew the most in Texas and Florida, and that Latino children were disproportionately affected. Nationally, the number of children without health insurance rose by 320,000 last year alone, to a total of nearly 4.4 million children, the report found.

“What’s so troubling about this data is we were making so much progress as a country,” said Joan Alker, the center’s executive director and an author of the report. “And now that progress is clearly reversing.”

The picture since the start of the pandemic is less clear. Many families have lost jobs that came with health coverage, which could increase the number of children without insurance. But national enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has also swelled, aided by temporary policies to prevent families from losing coverage during the emergency. More current estimates for the uninsured rates among children will take time.

In recent years, falling enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP drove the overall changes, according to the report. Although those programs for low- and middle-income children are primarily managed by state governments, Trump administration policies could be playing a role: The administration has encouraged states to check eligibility more often, which advocacy groups say has caused many families to lose coverage because of paperwork errors and missed deadlines.

And the administration’s policies on immigrant families have caused some to end enrollment for their children even though they are eligible citizens, according to child welfare groups in several states with the largest drops. In particular, the “public charge” rule makes it harder for immigrants to be approved for green cards if they have received public benefits or are deemed likely to receive them in the future.

“They were coming to me saying: ‘Please close my case. I don’t want to get into any trouble,’” said Graciela Camarena, outreach program director in the Rio Grande Valley for the Texas branch of the Children’s Defense Fund, a group that helps enroll children in health coverage. Ms. Camarena said most clients would not be affected by the public charge policy if they signed up their children, but news of the rule had produced widespread concern.

Lost your job and health insurance? Here is what you need to know

As the global pandemic enters its seventh month, millions of Americans lack health insurance. 

According to research by the Economic Policy Institute published in late August and taking into account jobs gained back after the worst of the shutdowns during the spring, the coronavirus pandemic has left more than six million Americans without job-sponsored health insurance. When you take into account dependents, that number rises to more than 12 million. 

“Though we don’t yet know precisely how damaging the Covid-19 shock has been to health insurance access, the shock has laid bare the huge uncertainty that employer-linked health insurance introduces into U.S. families’ lives. Even in normal times millions of U.S. households must manage coverage transitions in a given month. During economic crises, these coverage changes increasingly include transitioning into uninsured status, which puts families’ health and financial security at risk,” wrote Josh Bivens, author of the report and director of research at the Economic Policy Institute. 

Job gains have slowed and many economists worry about more layoffs. Disney recently announced 28,000 additional job losses and airline employees remain in limbo as the talks over a federal stimulus package continue. Restaurants and other small business owners say that without more federal aid they will go under and be unable to bring workers back.

More from Invest in You: 
Op-ed: Why financial planning improves your health
4 steps people can take to start building wealth, even in a recession
The costs of telehealth visits have shifted amid Covid-19

What to do if you lost health coverage

The first thing you’ll want to do is talk to a human resources representative in your company to determine when your coverage will officially end. Coverage may end immediately or you might have until the end of the month, but there is no blanket rule.

Newly uninsured people will have three options to pick coverage: COBRA, the ACA marketplace or a public plan like Medicaid or Medicare. 

You can also consult a local agent or assister near you to help navigate coverage options. 

COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, allows for workers who worked for a company with at least 20 full-time employees and were enrolled under their employers’ insurance for at least a day, to continue to pay their workplace insurance plan for a period of time. However, COBRA coverage is not available for people who lost coverage because their company went out of business. 

An eligible person has 60 days to sign up for COBRA coverage. Keep in mind that there is no financial assistance from the government to help with premiums. This often makes COBRA unaffordable for those out of work. 

For a lot of people, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace will provide cheaper options. Like COBRA you’ll have 60 days to sign up from when you lose your coverage. 

Some plans may still be too expensive for some. To figure out what you can afford, ask these questions:

  • What is the maximum you can spend per month on

The Daily 202: Trump tries frantically to make up lost ground with seniors, promising free medicine and checks

Other polls released over the last week show Biden leading among voters 65 and older, including in the battlegrounds of Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Pew’s survey was in the field from Wednesday, the day after the first presidential debate, through Monday, the day Trump checked himself out of Walter Reed after his three-night stay in the hospital. Pew’s unusually large sample size of 10,543 registered voters means smaller margins of error for subgroups, which allows for deeper analysis.

Trump and many of his top advisers see his weakness among seniors as an existential threat to his hopes for a second term, and the president is demanding that his aides use all the levers of the federal government to woo older voters who have drifted away during the final 25 days of the campaign.

The president tweeted a two-and-a-half minute video Thursday afternoon of himself speaking directly to seniors, whom he referred to as “MY FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.”

“I’m a senior,” the 74-year-old said to the camera. “I know you don’t know that. Nobody knows that. Maybe you don’t have to tell them, but I’m a senior.”

Trump said he was “very sick” when he went to the hospital, but the experimental antibody treatment he received helped him feel better immediately. He promised that he’s going to make sure that other seniors can also access the medicine he got by pushing the FDA to immediately authorize its emergency use. 

“They like to say ‘the vulnerable,’ but you’re the least vulnerable, but for this one thing, you are vulnerable. And so am I. But I want you to get the same care that I got,” Trump said. “You’re going to get the same medicine, you’re going to get it free, no charge, and we’re going to get it to you soon. … All free! … I do know what I’m doing. The seniors are going to be taken care of, and then everybody is going to be taken care of.”

Assuming the medication gets approved for wider use, doctors say there will not be enough doses to make it widely available and note that there are potentially significant side effects. Just as importantly, Trump cannot distribute any medicine free of charge unless he agrees to a coronavirus relief deal with Congress, something he has sent mixed messages about all week. Evan Hollander, a spokesman for the Democratic majority on the House Appropriations Committee, said Trump is lying: “Without new legislation, the Trump administration cannot make covid-19 treatment available for free.” 

About 4 in 5 of the 212,000 Americans killed by the coronavirus have been over the age of 65. This group is less antsy about getting workers back into offices or kids back into school. Many seniors have sacrificed a great deal, foregoing time with loved ones to avoid potential exposure to a virus they know is more likely to kill them.

After temporarily halting negative ads against Trump while he was hospitalized, the Biden campaign unveiled several new

‘I Lost Over 100 Lbs. In 1.5 Years By Making These 4 Simple Tweaks To My Diet’

My name is Ashley Kincade (@ashleyloveebugg), and I am 25 years old. I live in Chandler, Arizona, and I am an operations manager. I was tired of having knee pain and no energy, so I worked with my doctor to create a calorie deficit to lose weight and did at-home YouTube workouts and High Fitness classes to lose over 100 pounds.



a woman standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Ashley K. lost over 100 lbs. after her doc helped her calculate a daily calorie intake and cut processed foods. She also did High Fitness and Youtube workouts.


© Ashley Kincade
Ashley K. lost over 100 lbs. after her doc helped her calculate a daily calorie intake and cut processed foods. She also did High Fitness and Youtube workouts.

Before my weight loss journey, I struggled with overeating, food addiction, emotional eating, and yo-yo dieting. I was always too fatigued to workout, and I would end up giving up on working out because I thought it was too hard.

My feet and legs hurt all the time, and I was in my early 20s. I also had a knee injury, and moving around on it at my bodyweight prevented it from fully healing. I knew if I lost weight it would take the pressure off of my legs and my knees. I felt uncomfortable and out of breath even doing simple activities like running errands, like my body was entirely drained of energy.

I went to the doctor and she explained to me that I may develop other health issues. I didn’t want to be unhealthy at only 23.

So, I decided to make a New Year’s resolution in January 2018, and it was the only New Year’s resolution that I actually accomplished.

What made this resolution different from the others is that I shared with everyone that I knew that I was starting a weight loss journey. Telling all of my friends and family is what helped keep me accountable. I just wanted to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about myself again.

I’m allergic to dairy and soy, so I struggled when I first started my weight loss journey because I wasn’t sure what to eat. I would always go for unhealthy foods because it was the quickest and easiest thing that I could just grab and not have to think about.

When I began my health journey, I talked to my doctor about what types of food I should try incorporating into my diet, and she told me to always stay in a calorie deficit. I now try to stay away from as many processed foods as possible, and I also try not to eat a lot of carbs. (I don’t necessarily follow a low-carb diet or anything, but I try to stay away from unnecessary carbs.) It took a lot of trial and error to find what would keep me full and what I could make quickly, since I work retail.

I started by changing what I ate for breakfast every day. Once I got the hang of that, I changed what I ate for lunch, followed by snacks and dinners.

I now been eat a well-rounded

‘I Got Healthy, Didn’t Starve Myself I Lost 5.5 Stone in a Year

My name is Jenny Chatelain (@jenniie_fit), and I’m 29 years old. I’m from Haiti and was raised in Canada, and I currently work as a respiratory therapist. I lost 78 pounds by staying in a calorie deficit and slowly increasing my weight lifting workouts over the course of a year.



a couple of people posing for the camera: With a calorie deficit and slowly increasing her weight lifting and HIIT workouts from 2 to 5 days a week, Jenny Chatelain lost almost 6 stone in one year.


© Provided by Women’s Health UK
With a calorie deficit and slowly increasing her weight lifting and HIIT workouts from 2 to 5 days a week, Jenny Chatelain lost almost 6 stone in one year.

When it comes to losing weight, my biggest struggle has always been my love of food. It’s so convenient to go out to eat, and I’ve loved eating my whole life. At my heaviest, I weighed 242 pounds.

When I first started my weight-loss journey, I thought I had to give up all my favorite foods and *always* eat healthy foods. I kept telling myself that it was too hard, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it. But my motivation was my health. When I was overweight, I was out of breath simply from taking the stairs. I was always tired. I couldn’t find my size in clothes I liked. I lacked self-esteem.

My turning point came when I was on the bus on my way to school. A lady who was seated asked me if I needed her seat for the baby. She thought I was pregnant.

I was so embarrassed because I wasn’t – I was just overweight. This event made me sad enough to tell myself I couldn’t stay like that. I had already thought about losing weight, but I had not taken any real action. Thinking about it is not enough – I had to put in the work, stay focused and be consistent.

I chose to start by focusing on the amount of calories I was consuming per day. I learned that all I really needed to do to lose fat was to be in a caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than your body burns). I eat protein at each meal, and eat a lot of fruit and veggies. I was able to include some of my favorite foods and treats while staying in a caloric deficit and learning how to control my portions.

I’ve never starved or punished myself. This new diet became my lifestyle. I came to the realisation that I was struggling to lose weight because I lacked the knowledge of what to really do. Now, I know I can lose fat and still eat ice cream in moderation. This method is the best for me because it’s sustainable.

What I typically eat in a day

  • Breakfast: Two full eggs and one egg white omelet with a lot of veggies. Fruits on the side.
  • Lunch: Ground turkey, avocado, broccoli.
  • Snacks: Carrots, cucumbers, almonds or a bowl of oats. I make my oats with water or oat milk and add a banana and chia seeds.
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon, sweet potatoes and green peas.
  • Dessert: Plain

England lost 16,000 new coronavirus cases, blames computer glitch

The glitch was no mere rounding error in the government’s accounting, but another serious stumble at a crucial moment, when the British government is daily trying to decide where to tighten regional lockdowns to slow a second wave of the virus.

After the error was spotted and the lost cases accounted for, the government’s report of new daily infections nearly doubled — from 12,872 on Saturday to 22,961 on Sunday — sparking renewed angst among officials in London and England’s north, where most of the new cases were centered.

Michael Brodie, the interim head of Public Health England, said the issue was identified late Friday in the computer process that communicates positive results from labs to the country’s reporting dashboards. Some data files containing positive results had exceeded the maximum file size, he said, according to the BBC.

“We fully understand the concern this may cause,” Brodie added, “and further robust measures have been put in place as a result.”

While health authorities said the glitch had not affected the pandemic response at the local level, 10 Downing Street announced an investigation and politicians in the opposition Labour Party described the episode as “shambolic.”

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson told the Guardian newspaper the missing data was the latest in a “pandemic of incompetence from the government.”

Anderson said, “There are mistakes and there are really serious mistakes. This is a highly significant mistake that tells me the system is not fit for purpose.”

Paul Hunter, a professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia, told BBC Radio, “I think the thing that surprised me was the size of it — almost 16,000 results — going missing over the course of a week is quite alarming, I think.”

Hunter said for contact tracing to effective, people who were in proximity with those who test positive need to be reached quickly.

“And the reason is that we know now that this infection is most infectious at around the time people develop symptoms — so very early on in the illness,” he said. “It really needs to be done within a matter of a day or so if you’re going to actually have any effect.”

The error delivered another significant blow to the public perceptions of British’s stuttering contact tracing efforts, which critics say are already too far slow to properly track the spread of the outbreak.

Armus reported from Washington.

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A Texas family lost four members to Covid-19. Now they want to save others from heartbreak.

The coronavirus had already killed Nieves Salas Solis’ mother and brother when he called his daughter from a hospital bed with a chilling message: “I’m next.”

Nieves, 62, who grew up in Dallas and in recent years lived in a Mexican border town doing community outreach, had a high fever and shortness of breath. It was mid-August, and he had managed to drive himself to a hospital in Harlingen, Texas, where doctors confirmed that he had Covid-19. But their efforts to clear his lungs were not working, said his daughter, Ana Alonso.

Ana knew her father was grieving his mother, Eva Solis-Salas, 89, who died Aug. 6, and a brother, Ruperto Salas Solis, 67, who died Aug. 10, after their own brief battles with the coronavirus.

IMAGE: Ana Alonso and Eva Solis-Salas (Ana Alonso)
IMAGE: Ana Alonso and Eva Solis-Salas (Ana Alonso)

But the thought of losing him, too, was unimaginable. Nieves was a “health freak” who ran up to 5 miles a day and had no underlying medical conditions, Ana said. Decades earlier, he had nearly become a professional boxer, turning down the opportunity only because Eva — a single mother to Nieves and nine other children — was afraid he would get hurt.

From her home in Mesquite, Texas, Ana begged her father to stay upbeat.

“You still have to fight,” she said she told him over FaceTime. “I said, ‘What do you have to say?’ And my dad put his hand up, and he flipped off the camera, and he said, ‘This is what I have to say to Covid.’ He kept saying, ‘F— Covid!'”

Nieves was always joking around, Ana said, and seeing his sense of humor from the hospital gave her hope. But his condition worsened, and on Aug. 22, he succumbed to the illness.

The Salas Solis family had now lost their matriarch and two of her sons. But their heartbreak was not over: On Sept. 15, another son, Raul Salas Solis, 64, also died of Covid-19 after having been hospitalized for more than a month.

The four deaths in less than six weeks, reported Tuesday by the Dallas Observer, shattered the close-knit family, which includes Eva’s approximately 32 grandchildren, 59 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. One of Eva’s grandchildren, Jahaziel Salas, also experienced another loss from the disease: His father-in-law, Alfredo Nava, died of Covid-19 earlier in the summer.

“It’s been very, very tragic for our family, and I honestly still think that we haven’t fully processed everything,” said Ana, 40, who co-teaches seventh grade. “Somehow, it needs to be turned into awareness.”

That is what their late relatives would have wanted, Ana said. Helping others was in their blood: About five years ago, her father moved from Texas back to his birthplace, Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, Mexico, retiring from work as a warehouse manager to dedicate himself to helping families in need of medical care and education.

Nieves lived next door to his mother in Valle Hermoso, while another son, Ruperto, lived with their mother. A third son, Raul, ran

A family of 7 lost their home in Washington’s wildfires. Then they all got Covid-19

They have now quarantined themselves in two hotel rooms in Spokane Valley, where they’re recovering and trying to plan their futures.

The Grahams lost their home, a barn and outbuildings where they stored things they weren’t using, special baby clothes and other family mementos. Their dog was OK and their chicken coop was also spared, though some of the birds’ feathers may have been singed.

“We were planning to come back that night, so we didn’t pack a single thing,” Jessica said.

They stayed with family after the fire and think that’s how they were exposed to the coronavirus — Jessica’s dad had flu-like symptoms and Matthew’s mom tested positive on September 20 after she’d babysat the children.

“We were starting to experience symptoms at that time that we were hoping was just due to hazardous air quality,” Jessica said. “But then that had gone away and we were getting worse instead of better.”

Neither of their parents had to be hospitalized, but Matthew’s mom did have pneumonia in both lungs.

Jessica and Matthew have felt exhausted but think they’re on the way to recovery.

The kids, Constantine “Costa,” 12, Claudia, 10, 7-year-old twins Adele and Zoe, and 5-year-old Darius, have fared much better. Jessica said they’ve occasionally felt feverish but would be better the next day.

“They’re bouncing off the walls, but we’re so thankful that they’re healthy enough to bounce off the walls,” Matthew said.

The Glass and Zogg Fires are less than 10% contained and threaten even more destruction
He said the community has been incredibly generous and given the family toys, board games and clothes for the whole family. A GoFundMe campaign for the family has raised more than $21,000.

Jessica said rental homes are hard to find in the area, but they hope to find a more permanent place to stay once they get out of quarantine in a few days.

She said they’d like to stay in the community and are considering buying a new house or rebuilding “this amazing new house” on their property.

“That’s what keeps us optimistic,” she said. “We know one of those two outcomes is going to happen and we’re gonna just have something that’s even better than what we had before.”

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