List: Twelve Ways to avoid weight gain when injured

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Suggestions to help avoid gaining weight after an injury

Walking
Walking

Injuries can be a huge obstacle to weight loss. Plain and simple, weight loss is dependent on creating a calorie deficit. Sure, most of the deficit is made in the kitchen, but a lack of exercise will have an impact. It impacts both in calories and increased appetite. Either will reduce your weight loss success or cause weight gain depending on the degree of your indiscretions.

Sometimes injuries happen, you need to have a plan to avoid a detour on your road to weight loss. This obstacle is especially true if you are creating your deficit primarily with your training routine. Although this detour may just create a minor setback to your exercise plan and weight loss, it can also completely derail everything. There doesn’t have to be a setback to our weight loss goal during our recovery. Here are eleven keys to keeping our waistline down during your recovery.

  1. Know your injury and limitations.  See a medical provider and find out what you can and cannot do. Sure, you might not be able to run, but maybe the bike, swimming, or row. Your medical provider or a physical therapist can provide guidance on exercises that will not further worsen your injury. Find a new exercise plan that will help you recover and continue to lose weight.
  2. Know your caloric requirements. You need to know how many calories you can eat without gaining weight. It will go down after an injury because you are likely moving less. Calorie monitoring is highly effective for people who want to lose or maintain their weight as well. This starts by knowing your resting caloric requirement or basal metabolic rate. This will give you a target number to aim toward.
  3. Focus on small steps. Small changes can make a huge difference if repeated day after day for a long period of time. In fact, dieters who made one small change each week in their diet or exercise pan lose more weight and kept it off longer. The key thing is that it does not take a large change to make a difference. The key is maintaining the change and not drifting back the old habit.
  4. Watch less TV. If you can stand, do so. Sitting is a new cancer and Television is the key carcinogen that causes it. Try Replacing 1-2 TV shows with a walk or weight lifting. Heck, you would be better off just sitting and meditating than watching TV. If you have to watch, lift weights or do calisthenics during the commercials.
  5. Self-monitor more regularly. You have less room to maneuver when you are exercising less. You need to monitor weight more often, and because your exercise routine is lessened while you are injured, your diet will have to create a larger share of the caloric deficit. For this reason, I would recommend that you monitor your weight and calories consumed more stringently because any lapse will cause a larger impact.
  6. Walk more. So you can’t run now? Walk where you go if you can. As little as 30 minutes a day can make a lasting impact if continued. You do not need to run to lose weight. In fact, if you can maintain a brisk pace, you will burn nearly 200-300 calories in 45 minutes every day. Walking requires no planning and is easy to add to your routine.
  7. Avoid empty calories. Extra calories that deliver very little nutritional value outside of calories need to be avoided. You do not need to deny yourself the foods you love, but I would recommend that you reduce them. Replace them if you can and try to cut the amount. Empty sources of fat and sugar sources should be reduced.
  8. Find a support group. Encouragement is key to staying on track will help keep you on track. Staying connected for support and encouragement can keep you from going off the rails. It can be online or just with a friend or significant other.
  9. Avoid eating out. Dining out is a minefield for weight loss maintenance. Restaurant meals make a living by the taste of their meals. The add a lot of the empty calories through fat and sugar to get you on the hook. Restaurants also typically serve larger portions than you would ever dream of eating at home. It would be far safer to eat at home, so don’t eat out.
  10. Focus on today and not tomorrow. I am not saying you should focus too much on today’s little indiscretions but each bite that you delay a healthy path, the more weight you pile onto your midsection. Don’t set a start date, start now and make today the start of the new you. Worry about today instead of dreaming about tomorrow. Take your weight loss plan day by day and start today.
  11. Stay hydrated. Your body can confuse the sensation of thirst for that of hunger. Adequate hydration may prevent you from consuming extra calories to scratch the thirst itch. I recommend that you have a bottle every 1-2 hours. It can also help you remove the breakdown products created by the injury and promote healing.
  12. Snack on Fruits and Vegetables. Fruits and vegetables can keep you full longer and they are less likely to be full of empty calories. Eat a few servings a day to prevent reaching toward your comfort foods.

The bottom line: Personal injuries are never an easy obstacle to overcome. Your injury does not have to end in weight gain. The above strategies will help you maintain a healthy weight until you’re back on the mend Move as much as your injury allows but remember that most of your weight loss is due to your diet and do not get discouraged. You have got this but grab the bull by the horns and start down that path to a healthier you today and do to focus on the future.

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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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