Surely you’ve experienced getting sick, nursing an injury, or some other event in your life, which restricted any form of movement for a time. This required you to stay in your bed or on the couch for a certain period until you were able to recover enough to be able to move again.
When this happens, you may notice that your muscles may have become compromised. A lack of physical activity for an extended length of time means it is easier and faster for you to gain weight. You are also prone to eating more, since what else can you do when all you can do is lie down? We all need to eat and you need nourishment to heal and recover as quickly as possible.
Did you know that you could still lose weight,or at least maintain the recommended weight for your body,even when you are immobile? By losing weight in bed, this means getting rid of excess pounds the right way, and not simply because you refuse to eat. After all, you can only do that for so long before the hunger and cravings set in and you go on an eating binge. This is not healthy for anyone.
Don’t forget to share this article and print it out for later reference. Here are some simple,yet proactive ways to help you manage your weight, even while stuck in bed or on the couch.
1. Drink Lots of Water
Never underestimate the power of liquids, especially water. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water everyday can bring tons of health benefits. Aside from keeping you hydrated, did you know that drinking water could help you maintain your weight, despite being in bed?
You might think that since you are not training, you don’t need as many liquids. Whether you are training or not, your body loses a significant amount of water each day,without you even realizing it. Having a fever makes you sweat, which also means you are losing water in your body.
Therefore, drink water as much as you can, preferably one gallon or more every single day. You can add lemons, cucumbers, and other fruits, vegetables and herbs to your water for added benefits. Try seltzer water, which has zero calories, but lots of fun bubbles. Add a splash of fruit juice for a healthy soda pop alternative.
2. Choose Carbs Wisely
Being sick could be a good excuse to eat whatever you want; however, you need to focus on when you are finally well again. You won’t want to deal with added pounds during your recovery since they could slow you down, and therefore slow it down, too.
Even if you are sick or immobile, it is important to choose your foods wisely, especially when it comes to processed carbs.This is because when you are sick, it could be difficult for your body to convert simple sugars to energy instead of storing it away as fat.
Choose your carbs wisely. Stick to whole wheat pasta, quinoa, barley or wheat berries. If you insist on eating refined carbs, have them in the morning when your muscle cells are most receptive to storing glycogen.
3. Keep Protein High Quality, Low Fat
If you want to maintain your weight and muscle mass, then make sure to eat as much protein as you can to prevent muscle breakdown.
In fact, you need sufficient amount of protein everyday to maintain muscle mass as you lose fat due to sickness or immobility. Just like carbs, you need to choose your protein wisely.
According to research, higher protein intake means positive nitrogen balance, which is the optimal state for your muscles to grow. Consequently, low protein results to negative nitrogen balance and muscle protein catabolism. This means the greater the nitrogen balance in your body, the faster the recovery will be especially after workout.
However, this doesn’t mean you should munch on steak when you are sick. Stick to lean meats, fish, cheese and other high-nutrient protein sources, like eggs, for easier digestion.
4. Remember Those Omega-3’s
Aside from lean protein and carbs, you will also need omega-3’s, also known as “the good fats” to maintain your weight. Keep in mind that fat is the primary source of energy when your body is at rest. At the same time, fatty acids are important for forming new immune cells to help your body fight off any illnesses it may encounter. Your body also needs fat, because it is an important component of every new cell membrane.
Therefore, do your best to supply your body with 30 percent of good fats to support your overall energy levels. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel are among the best sources of omega 3’s. They are a quality source of protein with a good balance of fat, which is healthy for the heart, too.
However, don’t “overdose” yourself by focusing solely on fatty fish. There is no evidence showing that higher fatty fish intake could boost your immunity, as well. Stick to your normal intake levels, but rely on natural sources.
5. Calories Matter
You may worry about getting fat since you’re on bed rest and show no signs of getting back in the gym anytime soon. While a lack of exercise could affect your weight, this doesn’t mean you should cut back on calories to prevent you from getting plump.
In this situation, having a strong mindset could mean a lot. Stop worrying about the weight you have gained and instead, focus on ensuring that your immune system is also on the right track. This does not mean you should maintain the same caloric intake during ordinary days. Lessen it by 100 to 150 calories a day, and you are surely on the right track.
More importantly, keep this in mind: It is easier to shed fat than regain few pounds of lost muscle. Calories still matter. Opt for healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, eggs and fish and local dairy products. Avoid fatty foods, highly-processed foods and anything with a high-sugar or high-salt content.
6. Stock Up on the Essential Vitamins and Minerals
When it comes to natural body boosters, vitamins and minerals will surely do the trick. In case you are looking for something that could help you maintain your weight without compromising your health, then these natural body boosters will be your new best friend.
One of these is vitamin C. Vitamin C is the most common immune-booster and a vital component of every cell inside your body. Aside from this, vitamin C has a high concentrations of leukocytes, a component produced by bone marrow to protect your body against infection. This leads to better human immune response and helps speed the recovery process, too. Aside from vitamin C, vitamin E could also be your weight maintenance goal’s best friend.
It works well with selenium in your tissues to reduce lipid membrane damage, which happens whenever there is an infection. It also helps various functions in your immune system to help your body kick infections, bacteria, or anything that could slow down recovery.
Make sure to add citrus fruits, tofu, spinach, nuts, seeds, avocado and shellfish in your diet. You will surely keep your weight at bay, as well.
7. Exercise by Focusing on What You Can Do
Being ill or injured is no reason not to exercise. If you want to maintain your weight, then it helps to include some simple routines to get your muscles moving. However, you have to take it easy on this. The key here is to focus on the things you can do, rather than the things you can’t do.
If you injured your upper body, then consider doing lower body training exercises, such as leg workouts. If your lower body cannot move, then you could do upper body exercises, such as lifting weights.
The bottom line is look for alternative ways that allows you to move without compromising the injured parts. You can do something without affecting the injured or painful part in your body. This leads you to the next tip.
8. Consider Isometric Exercises
Isometric exercise is a type of strength training exercise where the joint angles and muscle length don’t change during contraction. When immobile, isometric exercises are your best bets.
Try the isometric leg exercise by lying on your back with your legs straight. Then, tighten the tops of your legs to pull up your kneecaps. Once you feel the contraction, hold this position for five to 10 seconds then release. Do this two to four times.
You can also try isometric stomach exercise. While lying on your back with your legs straight, place your palms on your stomach as you feel your breathing.
As you exhale, pull your belly button towards your spine to tighten your stomach. Hold this contraction for five to 10 seconds. Do this up to four times.
9. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep could help you a lot in maintaining your weight. According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is a strong connection between a lack of sleep and being on the heavier side, which is why you need to get as much sleep as you can.
Aside from this, your body experiences an increased rate of anabolism or the building of new cellular material for tissue growth, maintenance, and repair.
That’s not all. Not getting enough sleep weakens your immune system, which could slow down recovery and lead to weight gain. While it may sound like a broken record, get enough sleep. It helps you recover and get back on track in the shortest time possible.
10. Allow your body to heal
You might be tempted to go back to your normal exercise routine as soon as you feel you’re okay. It may be annoying to look at especially if the results of your hard work are starting to fade.
You also feel weaker and less muscular, which makes you want to go back instantly.
However, that’s not how the body works. Trying to get back on the exercise track too fast or too soon could worsen your condition. Instead of speeding up the healing process, you might even slow it down, because there is a higher risk of injuring or hurting yourself again.
Therefore, give your body enough time to heal. Start off slowly and work up gradually, setting small goals. Get plenty of sleep, keep yourself hydrated, eat right, and take the recovery process one-step at a time. Be patient.
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