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10 Tips To Maintain Weight During Social Isolation

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While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the world to turn upside down, it has also caused a delay in any nonessential medical procedures and appointments. For someone who was planning to undergo weight loss surgery or simply trying to adopt healthy habits, this can be a daunting, unwelcomed pause in the weight loss process.

Here are a 10 tips to help maintain your weight loss goals during social isolation:

1. Don’t lose heart. While it seems like all progress can be lost with changes in schedule, income and health, it doesn’t have to be that way. Remember all the progress you have made so far! You and your body deserve the gift of self-care now, more than ever.

2. Join a virtual support group! Facebook and other social media platforms have several groups that encourage a healthy lifestyle during this time. Find one that works for you!

3. Cook! With restaurants closed, now is the best time to try fun new recipes. Check out the recipes in your Bariatric Guidebook or the variety of healthy recipes from Ochsner Eat Fit.

4. Get moving. Exercise is our body’s best stress and anxiety relief. Challenge yourself by changing up your workout routine: Download a free app, do a couch-to-5K walk/run, subscribe to a YouTube fitness channel for weekly or daily video workouts (Ochsner Fitness Center also has home workout videos), or take 30 minutes to walk every day. Not into traditional routines? Dance, hike, or ride a bike. Just keep moving.

5. Journal. Journaling can be one of the best ways to check in with yourself and your mental health. Take a few minutes each day to jot down three things you are proud of yourself for doing to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keeping a journal during these uncertain times can also help you process what is going on in the world and keeping a personal record of these unusual circumstances could be insightful for future generations.

6. Get creative! Whether it is learning a new skill or language, creating a new recipe, or exercising an old passion, being creative helps get our mind off what’s bothering us.

7. Stay productive. Make a list of the five most important things you’d like to get done every week and every day. Cross them off as you complete them.

8. Avoid binge shopping. Rather than clicking away on your virtual shopping cart, take time after a meal to plan. Making your grocery list in advance will help to keep you accountable to only buy what you need. Just like you shouldn't grocery shop in person while hungry, you shouldn't do it when shopping online either.

9. Stay connected. Call a friend or family member. Participate in a group video chat like the Houseparty app or have a Netflix watch party. Donate to your local food bank. Write a letter. It is important to remember that while we are social distancing, we do not have to be emotionally isolated.

10. Reach out. Your Ochsner registered dietitian is here to help you! Set up a virtual visit today.

Stay up to date with Ochsner Health COVID-19 updates and resources.

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