DEAR HARRIETTE: I just had a telehealth call with my primary care physician, and he grilled me about how I have been taking care of myself during this period of quarantine. I didn’t want to admit that I have gained 10 to 15 pounds. I am embarrassed that I haven’t been more disciplined. I was already supposed to be losing weight, but instead I gained. He cautioned me that I have to lose weight because obesity is one of the factors that can make one more susceptible to complications from COVID-19. I know he’s right, but I didn’t appreciate hearing that from him. It’s almost time to go back out into the world. Now he has me scared all over again about getting sick and dying. It’s not like I can reverse this weight gain with a blink. What should I do? -- Target
DEAR TARGET: Your doctor was right to caution you about your health during this time. Sadly, the risk of getting ill has not yet passed. You should be extremely cautious based on what the medical community recommends.
That doesn’t mean you have to stop in your tracks, though. What you need to do is move your body. The easiest thing you can do is walk for 45 minutes to an hour each day. Put on a face covering, grab a bottle of water and walk in your neighborhood. If you are up for it, you can turn on an exercise video and do an at-home workout.
Beyond that, it’s time to change your diet. Cut out the sugar and fat. Choose to eat lean meats and plenty of vegetables. Drink lots of water and fewer (or no) sweet drinks, including alcohol. Track your weight. You can come down significantly if you are vigilant about what you eat and how you move.