Four Keys to Losing Weight While Injured
Let's face it, sometimes injuries happen, especially if we're new to regular exercise or stepping up our training routine. And though they can be a setback to our exercise regimen, they don't have to be a setback to our weight loss goal. Here are four keys for keeping our waistline down while an injury lays us up.
1. Assess your injury. Talk with your doctor about the severity of your injury. Is it a mild sprain, a pulled muscle, or something worse? Your doctor can go over your restrictions on movement and help you find out what you can do, instead of leaving you to imagine all the things you can't do. Perhaps talk with a rehabilitation specialist about a few exercises you can do to help the healing process.
2. Place extra attention on your diet. As we well know, to lose a pound of fat we need to lose 3,500 calories. We lose these calories through consuming fewer calories than our RDI (Reference Daily Intake) and burning them with exercise.
If your exercise routine is limited or stopped while you're injured, then it follows that your diet will take over a larger share of the workload. We recommend you track your calorie intake diligently while you're exercising less. With that, make sure your daily activity level is set to your new lifestyle (i.e. Sedentary or Low Active), as an injury can make you less active than your previous everyday life. This will help MyNetDiary calculate an accurate calorie goal for you.
Also, you will likely have to scale back your weight loss goal during an injury. If you were on course to lose two pounds a week, you'll likely do better to only aim to lose one pound (or less) a week. The important part is that you either lose weight or maintain, and not give up and start gaining back what you've already lost.
3. Stay connected. Perhaps you were part of a weekly running group, or you had an exercise buddy at the gym. Don't shy away from those with whom you've been active because suddenly you're not. If your injuries require a lengthy recovery periods (i.e. months), perhaps you could volunteer at race days to support your friends or take the time to write notes of encouragement to those on the same journey as you are. Consider your role temporarily changed from "player" to "mascot". Helping others will help you.
4. Worry about today, not tomorrow. Don't set arbitrary deadlines to be back to full health. You can set goals for yourself, like increasing your endurance and strength, but deadlines can set you back, mentally, if you don't hit them when you thought you should. Worry about what you can do today to continue losing weight. Even if your injury is similar to one you had in the past, the recovery period can be different, so don't make a timetable based on the past. If you come back too quickly from an injury you only risk injuring yourself again. Take it day by day.