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Tips to Keep Losing Weight During Bad Weather and Winter Storms

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For those of you in the midst of post-op bariatric weight loss, you've probably designed your own schedule that focuses on a nutrition and exercise routine that works for your lifestyle.

And then something unexpected happens--like bad weather--with a forecast of snow, hurricane or torrential rains for the next several days...

Not if, but when, you find the weather trying to take control of your weight loss journey, don't let it derail your efforts.

My team and I recently offered these tips to our patients here in New Jersey, just before two feet of snow was predicted:

1. Plan ahead — have healthy foods and drinks on hand.

If the roads are still safe, make a special trip to the grocery with the main goal of stocking up mainly on your own personal healthy go-to meal and beverage items needed for the week. If you have the right foods at hand, you are set!

2. The snow and cold offers different ways to exercise.

If you lose power or your gym is closed, there are a plethora of ways to exercise! For example, if you are faced with snow, make lemonade out of lemons:

  • Get out and play — run, jump and toss a few snowballs. Remember why snow can be fun!

  • Shovel your driveway (or help a neighbor shovel theirs). This can be a great form of exercise. (If you are over age 40 and/or have heart problems, consult with your physician before attempting to shovel snow.)

  • Take a walk in heavy winter boots for an excellent cardio work-out.

  • Go sledding or make a snowman with your kids.

  • Go ice skating. Find a nearby ice rink and get an inexpensive pair of ice skates from a local sporting goods store, or rent a pair.

3. If you’re stuck inside, discover some new health recipes to try.

Make good use of the day/s that work and school is closed. Enjoy a big mug of green tea and go through cookbooks or check online (assuming you have power) and find some new ways to prepare and enjoy protein, fruits and vegetables.

4. Get inspired by other bariatric weight loss success stories.

Whether you are thinking about a surgical weight loss solution, pre-op, post-op or you’ve achieved your goal weight, a little inspiration never hurts. I’m a big fan of BariatricPal.com as an objective and reliable resource for information, client-to-client support, questions and sharing personal challenges and victories.

5. Make a special “Storm” food journal.

If you’re working with a nutritionist or dietitian, chronicle everything you eat and drink during the inclement weather. Add in your daily exercise (walking up and down the stairs and running the vacuum at home counts!) and how many eight ounce glasses of water you drink per day. Knowing you are going to show the journal to your doctor or nutritionist can keep you on track.

Final thoughts…

During any major bad weather, first and foremost be safe and secure. Secondly, use the unusual “down time” to think about your obesity battle (or success) and strategize about what’s working and what you’d like to improve.

Make the best out of the short-term challenge so that by the time the sun is shining again, you’ll feeling strong, powerful and in charge of your weight loss goal.

I've added exercising at work by taking stairs an extra 24 flights per day. Since I work on the second floor, I walk down two to the basement, up two, down two, then take a bathroom break, then back up two. I repeat this routine twice more during the day. I just have to make sure I wear sensible shoes, and that the stairs are not sloppy from snow!!!

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I am fortunate enough to have won a shopping spree a couple of years ago and own my own treadmill, for me the problem is running out of the right kind of foods. I keep canned roast beef and chicken and tuna stockpiled for those times I can't cook.

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