Weight Maintenance in Trying Times

Weight Maintenance in Trying Times

Because we’ve all been staying home more, stress, a lack of routine and constant access to snacks have created a perfect storm for weight gain. But knowing it’s a perfect storm is the first step in weight maintenance. Now you can make a plan.

To address stress, make sure you’re practicing some form of mindfulness and getting some exercise every day.

Regarding routines, the answer is… make a new one. It doesn’t have to mimic the old, but it does have to help you be functional during the day, with designated blocks of time for things that need to get done, whether for work, pleasure, household or community. Established mealtimes and sleep schedules are also important.

As part of a new routine, you might also establish new healthy habits. For example, avoiding that caramel latte can reduce your calorie intake by hundreds of calories each day. Or set the daily habit of having a salad for lunch. Or start your day off on the right foot by eating fresh fruit and granola.

Snacking continues to be a pervasive issue for most of us. If that’s true for you, here are a couple of tactics to consider:

  1. If eating out of boredom, pick an activity to do instead whenever the urge to snack hits. Examples include arm exercises, cleaning out a drawer or calling a friend. Rest assured, the urge will pass.

  2. If you’re snacking because you’re a little hungry, respect the hunger but choose a low-calorie option. A cup of hot tea will both occupy you in the making and satisfy low-level hunger pangs. Celery or carrot sticks, a handful of nuts, or an apple can satisfy your craving and make you feel virtuous at the same time. Here are some more ideas for healthy snacking.

Keep in mind, eating and exercise go together. When you’re consciously caring for your body, it’ll become easier to make better choices about food. Don’t let your exercise to go to waste! If you haven’t already, design a fitness routine that fits your circumstances, whether solitary hikes, yoga or an online dance class.

Finally, it’s okay to indulge in a favorite comfort food every once in a while, even as you work to get yourself back on a more healthful, sustainable path. With some thoughtful consideration, you can make room for that Chunky Monkey ice cream—after your green salad lunch and your afternoon workout.

Barb DePree, MD, has been caring for women’s health needs for over 30 years. A board certified gynecologist and certified menopause practitioner and clinical cancer genetics practitioner, she leads Holland Hospital Women’s Specialty Care, providing personalized, comprehensive care to women at every age and stage of life. For an appointment, call (616) 748-5785.

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  • Barb DePree, MD

    Barb DePree, MD

    Recipient of North American Menopause Society’s 2013 Certified Menopause Practitioner of the Year for her exceptional contributions to menopause care, Barb DePree, MD, specializes in menopausal medicine, hormone replacement therapy and sexual health. With nearly 25 years in women’s health, Dr. Barb has comfortably answered all the uncomfortable questions of sexual health and the changes that occur as we age.

    After completing her Master's in Medical Management, Dr. Barb launched her own website, MiddlesexMD.com, that connects with people across the country and provides additional advice and products for patients. Dr. DePree obtained her Clinical Cancer Genomics Community of Practice Certification through the City of Hope. In addition to being a provider at Holland Hospital Women's Specialty Care, Dr. DePree is also part of the Holland Hospital Breast Care team, seeing patients at Holland Hospital's High Risk Breast Clinic. 

     

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