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Resources >> Healthy Lifestyle
Weight Management Tips
The National Weight Problem
If your medication has caused you to gain weight, you are not alone. Obesity is a national health problem.
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Here are some easy things you can do to avoid overeating during the holidays.
- Before going to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack at home. You'll feel more full, and be less likely to attack the buffet.
- Limit your alcohol intake at parties. Not only is drinking often not a good idea when taking psychiatric medications, it's full of empty calories.
- If you're going to a potluck offer to bring something healthy like a fruit salad, or vegetable tray.
- Look for healthy options. You can find nutritious foods at almost any get-together. Fresh veggies and fruit are better options than cheese cubes and chips.
- Treat yourself in moderation. We all have those certain holiday foods we love. You can still enjoy them, in small portions.
Be realistic…sometimes the best strategy during the holidays is just to maintain your weight, rather than worrying about losing weight.
New Year's Resolutions
Are you ready to make 2003 a year of healthier living? Setting goals for yourself is a great way to get started. Make sure your goals are realistic and that you give yourself plenty of time for improvement. Remember, even small changes in diet and exercise can mean big changes in your life over time. Browse our wellness archives to learn more. We suggest starting with the Goal Sheet Action Plan.
Goal Action Plan Putting Goals into Action
Trying to lose weight can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. One easy way to track your progress is to set weekly goals for yourself. For example:
- Goal #1: I want to lose 10 pounds.
- Goal #2: I want to add more fruits to my diet.
- What is keeping me from my goals?
- I eat sweets or high-fat foods between meals.
- I eat at fast food restaurants frequently.
- I eat desserts at every meal.
- What actions can I take to meet my goals?
- Eat only at specified times, and choose foods wisely.
- Pack a healthy lunch and take it to work.
Buy fresh fruit to have for dessert
Go for a walk after work
Pack a lunch to take to work
Offer to take my neighbor's dog for a walk
Take a bath in the evening instead of snacking in front of the TV
Look for lower-fat choices at fast food restaurant at lunch today
Meet a friend to go for a walk in the park
Weight Gain and Medication
Controlling Your Appetite
Some of the medicines you may be taking may increase your appetite. There are things you can do, however, to decrease your desire to eat.
Controlling Your Appetite
Some of the medicines you are taking for your mental illness may increase your appetite. There are things you can do, however, to decrease your desire to eat. Here are some helpful hints on controlling hunger.
Take a walk when you feel hungry.
Drink a glass of water or other sugar-free beverage.
Eat a rice cake or a half cup of raw vegetables.
Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free mints.
Know the differnece between "mouth hunger" (the urge to use food to soothe feelings of boredom, nervousness, anger, sadness, or stress) and "stomach hunger" (your body's way of telling you it really does need food). Many patients who gain weight while taking medications for mental illness do so because they had been homeless or jobless due to their illness and simply eat more as they get better. With medication, they may be able to work and buy regular meals (including fast food), and they may live in a residence where meals are provided. If you experience weight gain due to your medication, it is important that you do not stop taking your medication. Talk to your doctor or treatment team about this problem. They will help you get on a healthy eating and exercise program that will keep your weight under control.