4 Essential Weight-Loss Tips If You Live With Chronic Pain

This post won’t be about dieting. When you’re living with chronic pain, it’s very normal to feel low-energy and even frustrated you can’t exercise and be more active. You may experience weight gain during this period. And this can be due to many reasons…

Some people have to take certain medications that cause weight gain, while other people just naturally start gaining weight because of their activity level going down in a short amount of time.

Listen, weight goes up and down for everybody. We’re humans. We evolve and we’re always changing. Lifestyle has an effect on us. And living with chronic pain is hard. It’s very stressful. And, I know it’s not easy to see your strength going down…or more weight-gain as a result of it. I went through that phase as well.

Below you’ll find some practical weight-loss tips to help you in your chronic pain healing journey. But before I dive in, I just want to say…

Please send love and support to your body every day. Focus on supporting your body with high-quality foods. There will be a time soon when you regain your energy and you’ll be able to resume your fitness lifestyle again.

I don’t support fad dieting or following a very restrictive diet to lose weight. I want you to take radical responsibility for your health and well-being through proper, high-quality, nutrition. This will allow you to heal and recover faster. Focus on the quality of the foods you put into your body, not just the calories. The following tips are a good starting point.

Oh, before I dive in. If you’d like to watch the video version of this post, you can scroll to the end.

Eliminate All Processed Food

Processed food including…fast-food, packaged food and frozen food contain a ton of sodium and unhealthy preservatives and fillers. These unhealthy and unnecessary ingredients do nothing to support your muscles, joints, ligaments heal. Some cause inflammation in the body.

In addition, most packaged foods won’t satisfy you. You’ll end up just feeling hungry fast. When you’re not moving and exercising, your body’s natural ability to release toxins slows down. When we sweat through exercise, the body releases toxins and clears inflammation. When we’re sedentary, our blood circulation slows down, affecting all other systems in your body.

So you don’t really need to add any additional ‘unwanted’ ingredients into your body. Especially if you are going through a flare-up or suffer from a chronic illness. Consuming processed food will only put more stress on the system. Stay away.

Spread Your Meals Throughout The Day.

Before you comment below and tell me I’m wrong…I know people have different opinions about this. There seems to be research to support both claims: That consuming smaller 5-6 meals throughout the day increases metabolism and supports weight loss. And the claim that consuming more than 3 meals has no effect on weight-loss and would be the same as consuming one big meal (of the same amount of calories)…

And that as long as you’re consuming the same amount of calories, whether that’s in one, two big meals or 5 smaller meals, then the amount of energy is the same. While I tend to agree with this point. My personal experience and results have been different. And I think you should follow what works for you and your body too.

My opinion is…it’s highly unlikely that a person will consume one gigantic meal a day (consuming huge amounts of calories at once) and not eat again. In a few hours, you’ll get hungry again and start snacking.

From my experience, when I spread my meals throughout the day, I can sustain my energy much more effectively. I don’t experience energy drops. I don’t need sugars to give me a boost at 2 pm. I feel very light and energized throughout the day. 

On the other hand, during family events or dinner where I’m faced with a full plate of food, I feel extremely heavy and sluggish right after. I experience bloating (because I’m combining a lot of foods together). It takes me hours, or usually, a full night of sleep for my body to re-adjust back to normal.

So while there may be claims supporting both opinions. My recommendation is to spread your meals throughout the day… Instead of having 2 big meals, split them into 4. Add a bit of avocado (healthy fats), more salad, and a piece of apple (dessert) into your meals.

Eat every 3-4 hours before you feel very hungry. And notice how that’s gonna help you avoid snacking on sugary foods and sustain your energy more effectively.

Leave Starchy Carbs Until The End

Full disclosure: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. I only mention products I personally use and recommend…and if you purchase from Amazon using my affiliate link, I get a small commission. You won’t pay more!

Carbohydrates are not bad. I do eat carbs and I don’t recommend cutting them off. If you’re familiar with my story and how a low-carb, anti-inflammatory diet helped my spinal arthritis go into remission, you know that I had to dramatically reduce starchy carbs for a few weeks. The results were amazing…

I noticed that my joints gained more mobility. And my pain level went down as well. The diet I went through was very strict and I only recommend you look into it if you’re suffering from chronic inflammation.

If you love your starchy carbs (rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, oats, grains), I suggest you leave them until the very end. Consume greens, protein, vegetables, healthy fats (avocado) first. You’ll feel full quicker and won’t need to consume that many starchy carbs or even the need for sweets.

I’ve used this trick for the past years to reduce the amount of starchy carbs I’m eating. In addition, if you are not working out, you probably don’t need to consume large quantities of starchy carbs in the first place. You are still eating fibrous carbs (vegetables). So you’re supporting your body with dense healthy foods that’ll keep you fuller and sustain your energy.

Increase Your Consumption Of Anti-Inflammatory Foods

I’ve recently written a full blog post on natural whole-food options to reduce joint pain.

Without high-quality foods your body is going to have a hard time recovering and healing. Aim to consume most of the necessary nutrients from whole foods and supplement when necessary.

Some of my favorite ‘healing’ foods that made a huge difference in my healing journey are ginger, turmeric, organic vegetable soup, and bone broth. You can either make your own bone broth in the slow cooker or outsource from a trusted company like this one

For more information on following an anti-inflammatory diet, you can check out my post here. Make sure to just add in more anti-inflammatory foods. You’ll saturate your nutrition with the ‘good stuff’ and your consumption of the not-so-healthy foods will go down naturally.

Bonus weight loss tips when you’re dealing with chronic pain:

I want to add an additional 5th tip here…Engage in low impact forms of exercise. Don’t be scared to move your body. Being sedentary is not a long-term solution. You can schedule a 10-minute walk every day or just do what you can at home.

Movement increases blood circulation, helps you feel good, supports healing by providing oxygen and nutrients to joints and other tissue that can become starved due to lack of movement.

Think of rest as part of the healing process too. Make sure you schedule time for yourself to journal, meditate, lie on an acupuncture mat and just relax your body.

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