A woman who used lockdown to lose 10st is convinced that her weight loss helped her recover when she caught coronavirus last month,
Angelina Toppi, 24, had gone from 22st12lbs to 12st12lbs in just eight months when she contracted the virus.
Luckily Angelina, from Harper County, Maryland, did not have to go to hospital and recovered at home.
Angelina, who works in accounting at a car dealership, started losing weight in February, just three weeks before the US went into lockdown, after the breakdown of a relationship.
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She tried the Keto diet which is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan endorsed by celebrities including Kourtney Kardashian and Katie Couric.
Angelina puts down her fast Covid-19 recovery – a virus which makes obese people significantly more likely to become seriously ill and be admitted to intensive care – to her weight loss.
She said: ‘If I was as big as I had been, I think my symptoms and the length of them would have been far worse.’
‘My symptoms weren’t that severe and I think it was because I am healthy and not obese anymore.’
Angelina added: ‘I lost my sense of smell, I had headaches and I was really tired but it only lasted three or four days.
‘I think if I was as heavy as I had been before, I would have had issues with my breathing.’
As part of her diet, Angelina eats 20g of carbs a day but doesn’t eat sugar, bread, or pasta, just meat, salad, and vegetables.
She swapped fast food for lean salads or cooked vegetables with grilled tuna or chicken and she now snacks on whole almonds.
Coronavirus and obesity
Current evidence does not suggest that having excess weight increases people’s chances of contracting Covid-19. However, the data does show that obese people are significantly more likely to become seriously ill and be admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 compared to those with a healthy BMI.
In July, Public Health England estimated that having a BMI of 35 to 40 could increase a person’s chances of dying from Covid-19 by 40%, while a BMI greater than 40 could increase the risk by 90%.
‘At first, it was very difficult but after about two months, it really just became a lifestyle,’ she said.
‘It became second nature. I did miss pasta – I’m Italian so my family eats a lot of spaghetti.’
Lockdown did make it more difficult to work out but she is now back in the gym five days a week.
Angelina added: ‘When I first started my diet, I was working out every day for three weeks.
‘But then the shutdown happened so I started doing other things like intermittent fasting.
‘And obviously when I got COVID, I couldn’t go to the gym.’
Angelina added that she is thrilled with her weight loss but still wants to shed more pounds.
Once she’s achieved her desired weight, Angelina will slowly start eating healthy carbs again.
She said: ‘I feel so much better about myself.
‘I find walking easier and I don’t hear myself breathing all the time.
‘I can fit into clothes at regular stores now, I’m not going to plus size stores all the time.’
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