Losing the ‘Quarantine 15’

Why a healthy weight is important and tips to help get you there

Colorado’s women are strong, beautiful and diverse. Here, women from various backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures are seeking to live healthy, fulfilling lives in this breathtaking state. While each woman is unique, most women desire to live healthy, which often means maintaining a healthy weight. Yet, throughout women’s lives, there are times when this is particularly difficult: first year of college (freshman 15), pregnancy (baby weight), menopause and the more recent “quarantine 15.” During the lockdowns of 2020, many women unintentionally gained weight due to stress, boredom, lack of exercise, increased alcohol intake and much more. Now, nearly two years later, some still are struggling to lose the extra pounds.

This Women’s Health Week, Rose Women’s Hospital, in concert with the U.S. Office on Women’s Health, is focusing on ways women can achieve healthier futures. One such way is to identify a healthy weight. Everyone’s healthy weight is different, but it is important to know what yours and seek to maintain it. Monitoring your weight goes beyond fitting into the perfect dress, it affects many significant aspects of your health. Being overweight increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and even certain cancers. It’s important to speak to your healthcare provider to learn about an ideal weight specific to your needs, and, if needed, work together to create a plan to achieve it.

The Rose Women’s Hospital team provides a few tips to consider:
• Choose good foods: Skip overly processed, refined foods and consider plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains.
• Limit portion size: Stick to recommended serving sizes (it might be smaller than you think!) and try eating from a smaller plate. When you dine out, split a meal or take half home for lunch the next day.
• Track your food: A bite here, a nibble there. It all adds up! Try writing down everything you eat and drink (or use a food diary app on your smartphone) – you might be surprised at the unintentional calories you consume.
• Drink, drink, drink… water! Skip sugary drinks (even the diet ones) and opt for water instead. Talk to your doctor about the ideal amount; most people need around 100 ounces daily.
• Increase physical activity: A walk around the block, a driveway basketball game, an impromptu dance party—these are great ways to get your body moving, which not only helps you stay healthy but also improves your mood.

If you have tried following these tips but you still are struggling—don’t despair. There is help available, such as that at Rose Women’s Hospital. Here, we support women in all stages of life with many different needs. For some, weight loss surgery might be an excellent option to kickstart healthy living. For others, hormonal and thyroid testing may unlock answers, or a medically supervised diet might be successful. The important thing is to understand you are not alone! Many women find themselves with unwanted weight and there is nothing wrong with asking for extra help.