Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: To maintain my weight, it helps a lot that I’m on my feet all day, seeing patients. I burn a lot of calories standing up and walking around the office all day!
I try not to undo all of that by eating healthy too. When I cook, I bake or grill, rather than frying. I also bring healthy snacks to work, such as Greek yogurt and granola bars.
—Jennifer Bacani McKenney, MD, a mom a two-year-old daughter who’s expecting another baby and a family physician, in Fredonia, KS
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Babies and children need to double, triple, and quadruple their weight. Of course, moms absolutely cannot do this—most of us need to lose weight.
I gained 70 pounds during my pregnancy. Breastfeeding was a terrific way to lose weight, while loving and bonding with my baby. I was back to my usual weight in six months. That’s when the real challenge began.
It’s a shortcut to eat the same foods we prepare for our kids. But it’s essential that we eat differently from them, simply because they need to gain weight, and we need to lose it.
But our meals can easily overlap. A steak, pork chop, or chicken breast can be served with potatoes or pasta for kids. It can be cut up and put on a salad for adults.
In restaurants, it’s typical for everyone to get one meal on one plate. It’s essential not to do that at home. If you put the entrée, starches and vegetables all on a table for everyone to serve themselves, then different dietary needs can be accommodated.
—Dora Calott Wang, MD, a mom of a ten-year-old daughter, Historian of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, a Unit Director at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, CA, and the author of The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrist’s Reflection on Healing in a Changing World
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: To maintain my weight, I aim to be active every day. I wear a pedometer, and my goal is to take 10,000 steps six days a week. My pedometer is really indispensable for my weight maintenance. I notice that when I stop wearing it my activity goes down. It keeps me motivated by visually displaying how active I have been.
I use a simple, accurate and inexpensive pedometer called the Yamax Digi SW200.
I also try to eat out—and that includes “take out”—less than three times a week, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I also usually cook dinner at home five or six days each week.
I struggle eating breakfast because I’m not often hungry in the morning. But I make eating breakfast a priority because I know that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and it stabilizes my blood sugar and leaves me less hungry later in the day.
I allow myself a small daily indulgence—usually dessert—because I believe that self-restriction inevitably leads to failure.
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: A tool I use to keep my weight on track is a log. In the good old days, I wrote down what I ate in a notebook. Now I use a free app called Fitday. It lets me log my calories, daily activity, and even mood. The app has a search feature, where I can look up foods, such as a blueberry muffin. It might not be 100 percent accurate, but it’s close enough.
I think logging is beneficial for two reasons: It encourages me to think about what I’m eating and set goals, and then it makes me write down what I actually ate.
I also monitor my weight pretty closely. I am a compulsive weigher, I weigh myself daily and adjust my calorie intake (a little) based on my daily weight. Like most everyone, my weight goes up and down a few pounds. Right now, I’m not actively dieting. Everyone needs a break now and then. But I do have a calorie range I know I need to stick within to maintain my weight. And then if I see my weight creeping up, I’ll get more serious about logging what I eat until my weight settles back down again.
—Susan Besser, MD, a mom of six grown children, ages 28, 26, 24, 22, 21, and 19, a grandmom of two, a family physician, and the medical director of Doctors Express-Memphis, in Tennessee
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I try to make protein, fruit and vegetables part of every meal and to be careful to eat enough at each meal that I don’t end up snacking on junk between meals or at night. I avoid anything that says, “lite.” That just means the oil and fat has been replaced with carbohydrates. Oil is good! It keeps you full until the next meal. I use a huge amount of olive oil every day when I cook. I still wear clothes that I made myself in the 1970′s. I owe it to olive oil and vegetables!
—Elizabeth Berger, MD, a mom of a 30-year-old son and a 29-year-old daughter, a child psychiatrist, and the author of Raising Kids with Character, in New York City
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: To maintain my weight, I try to eat whole grain carbohydrates, such as whole grain pasta and bread. I also limit myself to one carb serving per meal, such as one slice of bread or one cup of pasta.
—Bola Oyeyipo-Ajumobi, MD, a mom of five- and two-year-old sons, a family physician at the Veteran’s Administration, and the owner of SlimyBookWorm.com, in San Antonio, TX