Losing Weight When Physically Disabled

Weight loss occurs when calories are reduced or physical activity is increased. Most successful weight loss programs use a combination of these two factors to increase their success rate. 

For the physically disabled this two part system is even more important but it can be tough to lose weight when you live with a chronic illness. Living with physical restrictions definitely has an affect on all aspects of your lifestyle. Losing excess weight and keeping it off is difficult for anyone but when you are physically disabled it can be even more challenging. Losing weight when you are disabled is often a slow and steady process.

A disability that reduces your physical capabilities can create a hurdle to acquiring the necessary amount of physical fitness needed to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Add to this the fact that many prescription drugs such as steroids can cause weight gain, bloating, fatigue, or depression and it becomes a real challenge to lose those extra pounds. Even participating in a diet program can be challenging when you are disabled. Reducing food intake can make it difficult to receive the necessary nutrients needed to maintain an optimum level of health. 

Many physically disabled persons have a reduced activity level so are often already consuming less calories than is the standard norm for a person of their sex and age. Maintaining optimum health is very important so this is where a little creativity comes into play.

The good news about exercise is that it can be acquired in a number of ways. Many physical activities are enjoyable and most can be easily adapted to match varying levels of ability. When you are exploring the different options open to you for burning off those excess pounds just keep in mind that you do not have to participate in a rigorous exercise program to lose weight, you simply have to burn more calories than you consume. Every small change that you make today does make a difference. Ten minutes of walking is better than no walking and if you are currently a very inactive person then ten minutes of exercise performed three times throughout the day can make a very real difference to your health.

Step one is to make the decision to dedicate yourself to a weight loss program. You will need to develop a diet menu that can fulfill your nutritional needs and design an exercise program that will allow you to burn additional calories while still taking into consideration your distinct physical needs.

Tips for Developing an Exercise Routine in the Home: If leaving the home is difficult then there are still a number of ways to increase your activity without ever venturing outdoors.

Dance therapy is a versatile activity that virtually anyone can do. Just crank up your favourite tunes and move. Even an upper body dance is acceptable as a means for increasing ones physical activity level and once you get started in this fitness program you won't want to stop. Music and dance are primitive human behaviours that seem to be inborn within us. The great thing about dance therapy is that your body seems to naturally adapt itself to your changing needs. On a bad day a fifteen minute shuffle and a slight shaking of the upper body may be all that you can accomplish but on a good day you may find yourself dancing for an hour or more.

Get a Fitbit wearable fitness device and set it to notify you every hour to get up and move. Mine nags me to put in 250 steps every hour and has successfully managed to increase the number of steps I do each day dramatically. I began at around 3500 steps daily and the next month realized I was getting in about 5000 steps daily. Today I am doing 6000 to 7000 steps daily. Some days it is a real challenge but with my Fitbit nagging me, I force myself to get up and get moving. My muscle strength and durability is slowly and steadily increasing.

If you are able to walk, then walk to increase the amount of physical activity that you do throughout the day. A treadmill is amazing to have in the home as you can hop on it for brief periods throughout the day. This is the ideal fitness equipment for those who have issues with getting outdoors in the winter months. If you do not have a treadmill then you can still participate by simply walking from room to room in your home. If you have a pet they love this game.

Another exercise program that is adaptable to most physical capabilities is Yoga. You can do many of these exercises either standing or sitting. With a good Yoga exercise book you can select the exercises that you feel match your distinct needs and create your own specific program.

Remember that to lose weight all you have to do is increase the amount of physical activity that you normally would participate in or decrease your food intake. So move more than you currently do without increasing what you eat and you will lose weight. Toss a ball or lift some weights. Every little bit of exercise counts no matter if it is five minutes or twenty. Have fun with the activities that select. It's simple because all you have to do is play. 

Exercising in water can take the stress off painful joints. Water therapy is one of the most versatile exercise programs available to the disabled. Most pools understand this and offer reduced rates for those with special physical or monetary needs. Joint issues can be greatly reduced in the water allowing muscle strengthening exercises to be accomplished with less risk of damage to fragile tissue. In the water you are also able to adapt your activities to meet your body's distinct needs. You can concentrate your workout on your lower or upper body depending on your physical requirements. 

Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet or therapy program. It is very important to insure that your heart, lungs, kidney and liver, are strong enough for your body to tolerate changing circumstance. Both lifestyle and dietary changes should be decided in unison with health professionals. Being more sedentary than the average person means that the amount of calories that a physically disabled person consumes may already be at a reduced level. So one of the most difficult aspects of dieting for the physically disabled person is insuring that a further reduction in calories does not result in a loss of essential nutrients. This means that restyling the way you eat is very important.

When dieting we often think of vegetables as diet food but protein is vital. Chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, and lean white pork can provide high levels of protein with minimum fat. They are excellent energy foods and can help in building and maintaining muscle. Be prepared to avoid hamburger and other fatty red meats and replace these with leaner cuts of meat instead.

You can also satisfy your complete protein needs with a whey protein supplement. Generally used by weight lifters for building muscle mass a quarter cup of whey will give you around 27 grams of complete protein while only costing you about 110 calories. This powder stirred up in yogurt or as a slushy with fruit makes an easy and filling one course meal. The nice news is that whey can be purchased in most grocery stores for a very reasonable price. 

There are many free diet tracking programs online you can use to track your daily food intake. I use myfitnesspal.com combined with the Keto Diet Plan and bounce on and off the program to suit my individualized needs.

You will have to find a diet plan that is appropriate for your needs. Important to note that some foods are more satisfying than others, this meaning that they will help you to feel full for a longer period of time. Fish, boiled potatoes, oatmeal, apples, cauliflower, and walnuts are a few of these foods. Oatmeal is a very filling food and it is also a heart healthy food. Loaded with fibre it will keep your system moving quickly and smoothly. Fibre is important at any time but especially so when you are attempting to lose weight

As in any diet it is encouraged that a person eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods are generally complex carbohydrates and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. If you have difficulty with chewing or swallowing then invest in a juicer and drink your meals instead of chewing them. Try to include apples in your diet. Apples are very filling and will also help to detox your body of toxins. Apples can easily be mashed into apple sauce. 

Eat a pro-biotic yogurt at least a couple of days each week. Pro-biotic yogurt can help to improve gut health by increasing good bacteria and thereby reducing intestinal inflammation. Illness, antibiotics, and some other prescription drugs can kill the good bacteria within the gut. This can cause a variety of intestinal issues which can increase the risk of health issues. Pro-biotic yogurt will help to get the good bacteria back into your gut again.

Eating 5 small meals each day can be a healthier option to eating 3 large meals a day. For snackers this is great news. The key however is to distribute the food in a manner that does not increase your overall food intake. If you find that you are craving a snack between meals then dish yourself up a 1/4 cup of yogurt or walnuts, fruit, an attractive plate of chopped vegetables, or a bowl of dry cereal. A handful of nuts, a boiled egg, or a 1/4 cup of yogurt can help you to feel a little fuller. Protein is filling and it will give you the energy you need to build muscle. Never under estimate its importance in a diet program.
Most cereals contain about 110 calories per cup and because you can snack on these just as you would chips it helps to relieve that nasty craving for crunchy food. Cereal is also fortified with folate, vitamins, and minerals so it can be good for you. Resist the urge to snack in the late evening. Do not eat for at least two hours before bedtime.

It can be shocking how many calories are in the items you drink. Stay away from soda pop. Those wasted calories add up. Make it a rule not to drink pop or other high calorie drinks. Drink more water as it will not only help to keep your system flowing smoothly but it will also help to fill you up as well. Adding a slice of lemon or other fresh fruit into your water will make your drink tastier without adding a lot of extra calories. Herbal tea? Yes indeed, these are generally zero calorie beverages.

If you use sugar and cream in your coffee or tea try to reduce the amount that you use or eliminate it altogether. A teaspoon of sugar four times a day adds up to a lot of unnecessary calories when you start figuring it out over a week, a month, or a year. Every little difference you make in your lifestyle can make a huge difference in your health.

Take vitamin supplements to insure that you are getting adequate nutrition. You never want to wear yourself down or risk an illness flare. 

Keep a diet journal to record your progress. Be sure to mention times when you did extremely well with your diet or exercise program but also record the periods when you do not. This will help you to keep on track and to recognize the time, events, or situations which make losing weight most difficult. Remind yourself that the weight did not go on overnight and that it will also take time for it go away. Diet responsibly. Yes, losing weight when you are disabled can be difficult but it is not impossible.
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