We’re smack in the middle of the fall season — a time when comfort foods are everywhere. Should we deny ourselves the pleasure of spiced cider and cinnamon donuts? And resist butternut lasagna, chicken pot pie, and hearty stews? And the pies! Caramel apple, pumpkin, and sweet potato pies flaunt their deliciousness and practically scream, “a la mode.”
Our doctors tell us that weight gain can cause light bladder leakage to worsen. But where are those doctors when you’re staring at a bowl of candy debating, “Will the trick-or-treaters stop coming if I close the door right now?” Sure, other seasons have their challenges. Winter brings the Holidays and New Year celebrations, while Spring is a time when allergies flare — chronic coughs and big sneezes can lead to leaks. And summer is filled with activities like running and jumping that can trigger bladder leakage. But of all the seasons, fall takes first place when it comes to temptations that can lead to LBL. What can you do this season to keep your weight and LBL in check without denying yourself the pleasures of the autumn harvest?
Here are five tips:
- Enjoy an occasional, rather than daily splurge. When you eat sensibly most of the time, your weight is less likely to be impacted by the occasional carb-fest. Though be prepared on days you splurge as some foods and drink trigger LBL. A second cup of nutmeg-spiced coffee can have you running for the restroom. An LBL specific pad can reduce the risks of unwelcome leaks.
- Remove leftovers. That half-eaten apple cobbler sitting in your refrigerator can be a cruel temptation. Send it home with company, or freeze it into individual sized portions so it’s not readily available for impulse eating.
- Ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” We women tend to reach for tasty treats when we’re stressed, tired, or hormonal. The sight of caramel corn or cupcakes causes that pleasure seeking part of us to want it even when we’re feeling full. It’s a bit easier to regain your resolve when you answer “no” to the question, “Am I hungry?”
- Find comfort in LBL-friendly activities. The fall season offers an explosion of color. Replace the comfort food with a walk in nature under a canopy of orange, red, and gold leaves. Wrap yourself up in a cozy jacket and feel the crisp breeze on your face. Splurge on a yoga or pilates class instead of a pecan pie. These nurturing activities strengthen your pelvic floor which helps to reduce bladder leaks.
- Work your plan. We women are brilliant at planning out our family activities, vacations, and careers. Many of us never apply those talents to our own health and wellbeing. Why not put that brilliance to work? Put together a plan to enjoy seasonal treats, while still eating sensibly and exercising regularly; then, follow that plan. If you don’t know where to start, it helps to talk with your doctor, pelvic floor physical therapist or nutritionist.
What about you? How do you keep your weight and LBL in check when seasonal foods tempt you?