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March 24: Eating, Weight Gain and Fertility in Self-Isolation

By Zeynep Uraz and Alan Vu, Naturopathic Doctors

We can definitely relate to all the memes and tweets going around about eating all the self-isolation snacks in one day.

During this particularly difficult and stressful time a lot of us turn to stress eating. This is exaggerated by the fact that so many of us are home with an endless supply of food and full of anxieties about this new state of the world.

We hear from a lot of our patients that they are prone to weight gain during fertility treatments, as they are often eating while stressed, and also reducing exercise.

Tack on self-isolation, and you have all the factors that make it challenging to maintain your weight!

We acknowledge that most people will still be a healthy weight even if they gain a few pounds by the time this is all over. But for some, weight gain of even 15 pounds can lead to impaired fertility outcomes.

Which is why we are writing this post. When this is all over, we want you to be ready to resume your treatments right away.

If you aren’t feeling good about your snacking habits here are some ways to eat healthier, here are our tips:

  • Be kind and compassionate with yourself. What would you tell a friend in this situation?
  • You know yourself best: some people are able to have a handful of chips (or whatever your weakness may be) and stop. For others, it’s all or none, and they are much better off not having any chips at all in the home! Develop your strategies accordingly.
  • Since you are most likely home a lot more, keep healthy food around and ready (e.g. washed, pre-cut) and minimize the unhealthy snacks you have available.
  • If others live at home with you, enlist their help. Game-plan together. Support each other.
  • Sleeping well, and long enough, helps us make better decisions around food. There is actually a physiologic reason for this!
  • By far, our best recommendation is to be mindful about the emotions that are coming up for you. Mindful eating is a type of mindfulness. There are many different ways to explore it. Check out the tips at the end of this article. Here is another one of our favourite exercises; do this on the regular with your favorite foods. We think you’ll enjoy them even more!

Every choice that you feel good about is a victory. And let’s just take it day by day 🙂


 

About the Authors

Zeynep Uraz ND
Zeynep is a Licensed Naturopath and an Associate Professor at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where she teaches Integrative Fertility and leads the fertility care centre at the college’s teaching clinic. She is also a member of both the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Alan Vu ND
Alan is a Licensed Naturopath as well as a Clinical and Academic Adjunct Faculty Member at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. He is also a member of both the Canadian and Ontario Associations of Naturopathic Doctors and the Canadian Fertility & Andrology Society.

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