Combatting weight gain during COVID-19

By Janice Erdlitz, Lyster Army Health ClinicFebruary 16, 2021

The Nutrition Care Clinic wanted to share helpful pointers to keep Service Members and families on track for a healthy year. Developing new dietary habits doesn’t have to happen overnight. Implementing small changes over time can make a big difference.

Andrea Jones, Chief of Nutrition Care at Lyster Army Health Clinic shared her insight on combatting weight gain during a pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging and some of us have struggled mentally, emotionally, and physically. Our adjusted routines have made it far too easy for us to abandon our regular diet and exercise plans and blame it on COVID. With some gyms closed and more people staying home, regular exercise routines continue to be put on the back-burner for many of us. Staying home more and generally decreased daily movement coupled with eating more unhealthy foods or eating more food in general, can make weight gain inevitable,” explained Jones.

There are plenty of things you can do to combat COVID weight gain. Below are a few simple tips to help prevent weight gain, jump start weight loss, and keep you healthy.

Nutrition Care Clinic Tips on Combatting Weight Gain:

·      Plan Ahead:  Plan out a menu for a week. From that menu create your grocery list. Start with planning dinners, and move on to planning other meals when you get more comfortable with the process. There are tons of great apps out there that can help you plan menus, get recipes, and automatically generate your grocery lists; some popular ones include Mealime, Yummly, FoodPrint, Pepperplate, and Spoontacular.

·      Focus on Food Groups: When creating menus, remember to include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. You need those vitamins and minerals to help boost your immune system now more than ever! Be sure to include whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.

·      Remember To Take Your Vitamins: Because some of us don’t always get in our recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, a daily multivitamin is important. Getting the right vitamins and minerals in the right amounts can help keep your immune system at peak performance.

·      Be Mindful of Mindless Eating: If you’re home more than usual and out of your normal routine, it can be easy to mindlessly grab a snack because you are bored, even if you are not hungry. Every time you reach for something to eat, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” If you’re not truly hungry, think of ways to redirect yourself such as doing a chore, reading, or taking a walk.

·      Commit to Move: To start, commit to a certain amount of planned physical activity each day for example; going for a walk, riding a bike, or doing an exercise video. Start with just 15 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking, each day. Make it your goal to work up to doing 30-60 minutes of planned exercise each day, at least five days per week.

·      Track your Steps: Using a step tracker or fitness watch is a great way to determine how active, or inactive, you are being. Setting a step goal for yourself to meet each day is excellent motivation.

·      Enjoy the Great Outdoors: Social distancing is a bit easier when you’re outdoors. Parks and walking trails are still open for walking, running, and biking.

Jones concluded “Visit the Nutrition Care Clinic. The registered dietitians here are committed to improving the health and well-being of you and your family through optimal nutrition. A main focus of the Nutrition Care Clinic is Weight Loss and Maintenance. We provide group weight control classes each week, individual appointments with a registered dietitian that specializes in Weight Management, and access to our state-of-art InBody 570 Scales.”

Combatting weight gain during COVID-19
Developing new dietary habits doesn’t have to happen overnight. Andrea Jones, Chief of Nutrition Care at Lyster Army Health Clinic conducts a nutrition class to keep Service Members and families on track for a healthy year. (Photo Credit: Janice Erdlitz, Lyster Army Health Clinic) VIEW ORIGINAL

To learn more about programs and services offered at the Nutrition Care Clinic, call (334) 255-7986 to book an appointment or talk with a team member for more information.

Be sure to follow the Lyster Army Health Clinic Facebook page to learn more about nutrition care.