If you suffer from chronic pain, you might be frustrated by the weight you have gained since you started experiencing the pain. Unfortunately, chronic pain makes it difficult to exercise and stick to a healthy diet plan.
How Chronic Pain Affects Weight Gain
There are a number of factors that contribute to weight gain as a result of chronic pain:
- Sleep deprivation. Many people who have chronic pain are unable to get deep stage 4 restorative sleep. People that do not get enough sleep are more likely to gain weight than those who do. Sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down and your appetite to increase. Because of this, you will find yourself craving foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar.
- Lack of exercise. If you are a sufferer of chronic pain you will find it difficult to exercise at a level that is needed to increase your metabolism and burn the calories that you need to burn in order to lose weight.
- The effects of medication. Many medications that doctors prescribe for chronic pain come with the side effect of weight gain. This is particularly true with anti-depressants. Anti-depressants are often prescribed so that you can get restorative sleep.
How to Lose Weight When You Have Chronic Pain
It might seem like losing weight is an impossible feat when you have chronic pain. Diet and exercise need to be approached in a sensible way due to the pain. This is because chronic pain makes exercise difficult and lowering your calorie count for the day doesn't help much when you have a slow metabolism. Listed below are some tips to losing weight when you suffer from chronic pain.
- Eat a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Try to focus on eating good proteins. Some examples of this are lean meats, eggs, tofu and dairy products. If you limit your carbohydrate intake to fruits and vegetables and include good fats in your diet, you will soon start to see results. Try to avoid pretty much all carbohydrates, while consuming carbonated drinks and alcohol in moderation.
- Eat proteins before you eat anything else. Every meal that you eat should have some protein in it. This means that you should never eat carbohydrates on their own. When you eat the protein part of the meal first, you activate the protein digestive enzymes in your body. This means that the absorption of carbohydrates is slowed down.
- Don't overeat. At mealtimes try to eat until you feel full but not bloated. The way to do this is to eat your food slowly and chew it properly. Try to eat smaller meals five or six times per day. This may be three normal sized meals and two snacks or five or six small meals.
Aside from eating right, don't forget to do some low impact exercises. Exercise can help with the chronic pain. Try some light stretches, walking, swimming or water aerobics.