TULSA, Okla. — Many call it the "quarantine 15," the extra weight many people packed on during the pandemic. With life slowly beginning to return to normal, dietitians said now is the time to drop those extra pounds.
"People didn't have time to take care of themselves at that time or were eating to cope with the stress of it all," said Kristin Gibson, RD/LD; Registered Dietitian at Tulsa ER & Hospital. She believes many people ate out less but ended up cooking more comfort foods. She said it is time to regain control and start planning.
"Planning your meals ahead of time," Gibson said. "Planning a snack for the afternoon so that you're not giving into cravings or finding yourself in front of the vending at 3 o'clock."
She also recommends:
- write down goals
- keep track of weight, feelings or food intake
"Increasing our fruits, vegetables and whole grains just adding a couple more servings of fruits and vegetables a day can make you feel full longer, give you more fiber and are better choices than simple carbohydrates," Gibson said.
When cravings hit, Gibson said skip the chips. Eat chopped veggies and hummus instead.
"And then if you are craving something sweet, an apple and your favorite nut butter whether it's almond butter or peanut butter. That can give you that crunch and sweetness without adding a lot of extra calories and fat," she suggested.
As a dietitian with nearly two decades of experience advising patients and clients, Gibson said it is best to begin with small changes and be consistent.
"You don't have to make extreme changes all at once but the consistency of making small changes over time will lead to the results that you want," Gibson added.
In addition, she recommends finding an accountability partner who could be a spouse, friend, or colleague. By working together on goals, sharing recipes and exercise can also boost your success. Or, find a healthy friend you can mimic and learn from.
For more information about Tulsa ER & Hospital, click here.
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