6 Top Tips for Eating Better

By Jennifer Bright

June 9, 2020 5 min read

Have you heard of the "COVID 19"? It's a nod to the Freshman 15, a prediction of how much weight we all might gain while sheltering at home.

Personally, I've been trying to cook and bake more — making real meals rather than just heating things up. I have been struggling with overeating and oversnacking, likely signs of stress.

More than ever, it helps to remember that life is all about choices: paper or plastic, turn left or go right, Verizon or AT&T. Out of the gazillions of tiny decisions you make every day, what you decide to put into your mouth is one of the biggest, and it has a tremendous impact on your health.

Here's what our mommy M.D.'s — doctors who are also mothers — do to eat better.

"A wise friend taught me two simple tricks that help a lot," says Amy Baxter, M.D., a mom of three children, the CEO of Buzzy Helps and an NIH researcher based in Atlanta. "Never eat standing up. And never eat anything out of the carton or package."

"It's not always easy to eat well, and reminders are always helpful," says Stephanie Wellington, M.D., a mom of a two, a hospitalist in the Level III NICU at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City, and the medical coach and founder of the website Postpartum Neonatal Coaching. "I have a copy of the USDA Food Guide Pyramid on my refrigerator for quick reference."

"When I need to lose weight, I try to eat the foods that I enjoy, but I watch my portion sizes carefully," says Bola Oyeyipo-Ajumobi, M.D., a mom of two children and a family physician at the Veterans Health Administration in San Antonio, Texas. "I measure portion sizes of dairy foods, such as cheese, because these foods are typically high in calories. I limit my intake of high-carb foods to one fist-size portion per meal. I also fill my plate with lean meats and veggies."

"It might be cliche, but for me, the most important meal of the day is breakfast," says Michelle Spring, M.D., a mom of a one son and two grown stepchildren and a board-certified plastic surgeon at Marina Plastic Surgery Associates, in Marina del Rey, California. "I find that if I start the day off right, the rest of the day goes well. For example, if I eat oatmeal for breakfast, I tend to eat better the whole day. But if I eat a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, it throws the whole day off. It's too easy to fall into the mindset of, 'So

much for today. I'll be better tomorrow.'"

"After my son was born, I worked with a personal trainer," says Shilpa Amin-Shah, M.D., a mom of a son and a daughter and an emergency physician and director of the recruiting team at Emergency Medical Associates in Livingston, New Jersey. "He gave me a simple piece of advice that has really helped: Don't eat any carbs after 7 p.m. I try not to eat at all after 7 p.m., but if I do, I'll have something high in protein, such as a piece of cheese or a hard-boiled egg."

"I'm an ice cream and chocolate lover, and I don't want to ever give those up," says Deborah Gilboa, M.D., a mom of four sons, a family physician with Squirrel Hill Health Center in Pittsburgh and a parenting speaker whose advice is found at https://AskDoctorG.com. "I've tried in the past without success. I can be passionate about it for about three days, and after that, I feel resentful and eat an entire carton of Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream or a package of Milano cookies. So, I compromise by having dessert a couple of nights a week — instead of every night!"

Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, co-founder and CEO of family- and veteran- owned custom publisher Momosa Publishing, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years." She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: pixel2013 at Pixabay

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