How to manage your weight with a chronic illness
By : Vik
12 months ago
Some chronic illnesses can lead to weight loss. Other illnesses, like stress, can lead to weight gain. However, managing a stable weight is important to stay fit and maintain a good quality of life. To do so, eating well is crucial, especially when living with a chronic illness. So, to help you, here are some tips to maintain your weight:
1. Eat balanced and varied meals
Remember this simple rule for healthy eating. In a balanced plate you need:
- A quarter of carbohydrates: rice, pasta, quinoa, semolina, bread...
- A quarter of proteins: legumes, seafood, eggs, tofu, nuts, insects...
- The rest, meaning the other half of the plate, should be vegetables: carrots, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
The next step is to avoid frequent consumption of ultra-processed foods: chocolate, biscuits, cakes, etc. Here, you only need to look at the list of ingredients on the packaging; if there are more than five, it is a product to be avoided.
For some chronic diseases, a specific diet is part of the treatment. If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor, who can refer you to a nutritionist.
2. Keep a food diary
To eat a balanced diet and to be able to do so in the long term, it is a good idea to keep a food diary! In this diary, you can note down your meals (occurrences, contents, quantities, etc.) and even the pleasure you get from eating!
It is very important to enjoy yourself and eat what you like to keep good habits without punishing yourself. With this diary, you can also note your weight and compare it over time, to objectively observe the evolution (but don't put pressure on yourself, the goal remains pleasure and balance in your diet).
This tool can also be useful if you want to manage your weight with the help of a health professional, it serves as a history to note trends in your diet.
3. Monitor your BMI
We all tend to think we are too much of this, not enough of that... But there is a tool to keep some objectivity in the perception you have of your weight: the BMI. It's the Body Mass Index, a very simple tool to know in which range your weight is on a scale of corpulence. Validated by the World Trade Organization (WTO), this tool consists of a very simple calculation:
BMI = your height in cm / (your weight x your weight)
Depending on the result, you will know if you have a normal weight, if you are underweight or overweight.
The WHO indicates these interpretations:
- Less than 18.5 Underweight (thin)
- 18.5 to 25 Normal weight
- 25 to 30 Overweight
- 30 to 35 Moderate obesity
- 35 to 40 Severe obesity
- Over 40 Morbid or massive obesity
You can monitor your BMI to keep an eye on how your weight is changing and to take a step back from what you may tend to think about yourself.
4. Move for 30 minutes a day
Physical activity, even if minimal, is an effective way for your body to fight weight loss and weight gain. When you hear "physical activity", you may think that it is not for you, that it is too hard because you may be in pain due to your illness, or maybe you don't know what to do?
And yet, moving for 30 minutes a day is quite easy and accessible to everyone. You don't have to "go to the gym". For example, you can walk, cycle, or do whatever you like as long as your body is doing something. And if you have a chronic illness that prevents you from practicing an activity, you can turn to APA: Adapted Physical Activities. I invite you to talk to your doctor so that he or she can direct you.
Living with a chronic disease may require you to manage your weight to avoid gaining or losing weight. Maintaining your weight is not always easy, and a balanced diet, sometimes specific to your disease, is an integral part of your treatment. So don't hesitate to talk about it with your doctor. If this health professional considers it necessary, he or she may suggest that you consult a nutrition professional.
All the articles
There is no such thing as a small victory when you are a patient
How to continue making plans despite the disease? This is the question that psycho-oncologist Giacomo Di Falco answers in this article!
Preserving your relationship when living with a disease
Living with a disease can be a strain on both partners in a relationship. Here are a few tips to avoid falling into traps that could harm the longevity of your relationship.
Asthma: 4 tips for a better life during the winter
Winter is here and the air is dry and cold: a known trigger for asthma attacks. Meet Aurélien, Doctor of Pharmacy and medical product manager for asthma. In this article, he shares his tips on how to cope during winter with your asthma.
How to better apprehend Blue Monday?
Blue Monday is knownto be the most depressing day of the year. Although this idea has no scientific basis, it is true that at this time of year we lack light, it is often cold, and moreover the month of January seems like a “full of Mondays” month.
Conscious walking: recharge your energy while walking
In this article, Eleonore, a chronically ill cancer patient, introduces you to the practice of conscious walking (also called Afghan walk) and its health benefits.
How does winter affect libido?
Loss of sexual desire, depression, fatigue, mood disorders and a reduced immune system are all signs that can manifest during winter, when there is less natural light. Read all the tips from sexologist Sebastien Landry to protect your libido during winter.