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Managing weight gain with fibromyalgia

by Lifementalhealth
by Lifementalhealth

Fibromyalgia patients complain of many things. Among them, weight gain.

Doctors say it’s quite common for people to gain at least a whooping 30 pounds in the year following diagnosis. There are a number of reasons for this, including medicinal side effects, lower metabolism, decreased activity and hypoglycaemia.

Having said that, I know too well weight gain can oftentimes lower our self image, especially for the ladies. Additionally, any extra weight won’t be good on our joints and with contributing to fatigue.

So I wanted to share with you, my list of 7 things to avoid if you’re trying to manage and curb weight gain with fibromyalgia. Good luck!

1. Comfort eating

This one’s a biggie. We all do it I know. We have stresses in everyday life. When you live with fibromyalgia or other chronic long term illness, comfort eating can easily become a routine. We tell ourselves we deserve the treat for all we have to endure. But then, is it really a treat if days later we’re lamenting weight gain or sexy new love handles? Nope!  If it leaves you with lower self esteem it’s not a comfort worth keeping. Learn to manage it. Start by gradually cutting down.

2. Eating too much bad carbs

I’m no nutritionist but I found a good explanation here. Eat more of the good carbohydrates – the ones full of fibre – your beans, whole grain fruits and vegetables. Our systems absorb these more slowly and they’re thought to help with weight control.

The bad guys that you want to avoid – white rice, bread, pasta, processed candies, chips, white potatoes, sweet drinks, sugar – gives our blood sugar a spike, sending us running back to the kitchen for more. Naughty carbs!

3. Eating after 7

Tough one I know if you’re working and getting home late. But many of us don’t work. Ah hah! So stop being a lazy bum and sort dinner before 6! We become too complacent in our bad eating habits. Eating dinner at 9pm every night is very uncool, and our bodies store everything as fat. I know you’re exhausted. But some of these habits are just, bad habits. Get into the habit of having dinner earlier if possible and you’ll see how much better it is for everyone. This one really made a BIG difference for me. And once you have dinner, try to avoid late night snacking, eating. The exception would be occasional night outs and some weekends.

4. Dribbling over pictures of food

This might sound silly but it’s a fair point. For some reason, I’ve noticed alot of people spend time on facebook checking out (and ‘liking’) pictures of sumptuous meals and delicacies. Now, if you’re trying to avoid temptation, why go looking for it? That’s just silly rabbit! Stop it please.

5. Bulk buy

If you buy it, and it’s in the house, chances are – you’re gonna eat it. Buy healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables, almonds and when you feel like snacking go for those instead. Trust me on this. I like bulk buying because it saves me having to go to the supermarket weekly. But there is no way that I can buy enough rice pudding for a long period and convince myself that I’m going to eat it in moderation and not all at once. Really?

by mafleen

6. Making excuses for a lack of exercise

It is tough. I know cookie. But we have to try to get some at least. I found myself becoming so complacent until it had become so excruciatingly painful to walk, I was faced with the options of frequent steroid injections under the feet and possibly surgery. Increasing weight gain wasn’t helping. My knees were weak and wobbly and a walking stick was suggested. In my then mid twenties, I didn’t want to get there, because I felt it would be a steady decline onwards. Physiotherapy, regular walks and eventually a job forced me to get the exercise I needed. I’m thankful to say that’s all history, my feet are much better, walking is much better and I’ve lost a whole tonne of weight. We have to force ourselves to get some exercise. Bikram yoga I found useful and I intend to resume classes soon.

7. Certain medication

This one is tricky. I’m not saying don’t take your meds! Some medication used by fibromyalgia patients may cause steady weight gain. One reportedly known for this is Lyrica. I’m taking it and I know I’ve gained weight since I started. The trouble is, Lyrica helps manage my pain, so what do I do? I think if it becomes too much, we must talk to our doctors about alternatives or reducing dosages if that’s an option. Otherwise I think this is where exercise, a proper diet and good eating habits will create a balance.

Gentle hugs 🙂

potofcallaloo
Alisha Nurse is a curry-loving writer & comms professional who holds a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism (International) from the University of Westminster, London. Get in touch with any feedback or questions via the contact form in the 'About' section.

4 thoughts on “Managing weight gain with fibromyalgia

  1. Comfort eating is my specialty. Ice cream somehow soothes all the woes of the day, though not being able to button my pants puts me back into the slump. Thanks for the gentle reminder!

    1. Ohhh tell me about ice cream (dribbles). But after that recent week when my dress zipper got stick halfway up and my work trousers were cutting into my flesh, I had to try at least to shape up! good luck:)

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