SSM Health Medical Minute – Have you gained the ‘Quarantine 15’?

Medical Minute

ST. LOUIS – Life in lockdown has disrupted all our lives, creating the perfect set up for putting on pounds.

It’s unknown how widespread weight gain really is from the recent stay at home orders. Staying indoors means most people are more sedentary, less active and many are eating more ultra-processed foods than they might otherwise. Add in the anxiety of a deadly pandemic, and you’ve got an ideal situation for weight gain.

Social media jokingly refers to it as the “Quarantine 15.” In the last 30 days, more than half a million social media users have engaged with terms around quarantine weight gain.

Dr. Andrea Schwoerer is a bariatric surgeon with SSM Health Weight Management Services. She recommends removing any temptation foods from your kitchen. If they are not in sight, they cannot be consumed. So go through your kitchen and throw out anything you want to avoid like processed foods, high sugar foods, snacks with no nutritional value. Make sure your fridge is stocked with high protein, leafy greens, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. She says maintaining a healthy weight is important, as a 10 percent spike in weight raises your risk of certain chronic diseases.

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of movement at least 5 days a week. So if your gym is closed, get outside for a walk or find online workouts that you can do at home.

During the quarantine, Dr. Schwoerer has been meeting with her patients via telemedicine to support good health, keep her patients motivated, focused and to help patients stay accountable to their weight goals. She often focuses on establishing predictable routines during this unpredictable time such as keeping the same wake and sleep times. Finding alternate ways to exercise.

The SSM Health Weight Management program is here for you if you feel like you need support. Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of your physical and mental health. But, figuring out the right way to do this isn’t always easy. Dr. Schwoerer says she understands the frustrations that come from managing weight and she and her team are ready and waiting to help you on your weight loss journey.

The SSM Health Weight Management team sees patients at SSM Health DePaul Hospital in Maryland Heights and SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Fenton.

If you would like more information about weight loss options, click here.

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