Losing weight in lockdown


Sayeeda Warsi (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).
Sayeeda Warsi (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).

By Amit Roy

BARONESS SAYEEDA WARSI can become a heavyweight politician again by becoming a lightweight one – if that doesn’t sound a con­tradiction in terms.

In lockdown, when many people have been piling on the pounds, the 49-year-old former Tory minis­ter has managed to lose two stone. In December she weighed 12st 10lb and blood tests confirmed she was pre-diabetic.

Warsi, who is 5′ 2″ tall and previ­ously had a body mass index of 32.5, admitted: “I realised that I had become this pill-popping, overweight, pre-diabetic, meno­pausal, middle-aged woman with high blood pressure.”

According to one report, “she puts her success down to healthy, ‘clean eating’ of natural foods cooked from scratch, portion con­trol, the correct balance of protein, fats and carbs, plus a mixture of cardiovascular exercise and weight-training’.

Her BMI has dropped to 27.5 – just above the upper healthy limit of 25. Her resting heart rate has fallen from the high 70s to 61. She has lost 9″ from her waist and her old size 16 clothes now feel baggy.

She says: “If I hadn’t started this journey back in December, I’d probably be diabetic by now.”

She has found a formula which works for her, averaging around 1,300 calories a day. A typical day might start with “an omelette and veg, for lunch chicken or fish with more vegetables and a few potatoes, and for dinner a prawn stir fry”.

No biryani then for the baroness.

“I found that with a few spices and herbs I could turn healthy food into tasty, filling meals, which don’t leave me hungry,” adds War­si, who also drinks three to four li­tres of water to keep hydrated as she aims for 12,000 steps a day.

People compliment her: “Wow, you look 10 years younger.”

Most significantly, she is no longer pre-diabetic and has reduced her blood pressure medication.

She should put her Islamopho­bia obsessions to one side, and in­stead encourage other Asian wom­en to follow her example.