“You’ve got to lose weight,” my doctor told me. “Your sugar level prediabetic.”
I knew he was right. But, losing weight in a wheelchair isn’t an easy task. However, there are ways to lose weight when you can’t walk.
As I was about to discover, not being able to walk is no excuse for being obese or for failure to cut calories.
So, I made an appointment with the dietitian. Thus began my quest to lose weight when you can’t walk.
#1 Cut Down Your Sugar Consumption
Even if you are not prediabetic like I am, there are good reasons for cutting out sugar. Sugar is empty calories.
It goes straight to fat and contributes to weight gain. It also spikes blood glucose.
Fortunately, there are painless ways to cut sugar. Try using less sugar. Substitute fresh fruit on your cereal. Instead of sugary drinks or snacks, try water. Snack on fresh fruit or vegetables.
If a recipe calls for sugar, substitute unsweetened applesauce or extracts of vanilla, orange, almond, or lemon.
#2 Drink about 2 Liters of Water a Day
Water is your friend. The more water you drink, the more it boosts your metabolism. A faster metabolism aids in weight loss.
Water also flushes toxins and waste from your body. The more water you drink, the less water you retain.
Water also makes you feel full. If you drink eight ounces of water before you eat, it makes you feel full and curbs your appetite.
#3 Stop Drinking Your Calories
We don’t think about the liquid calories we are ingesting. If you are drinking fruit juices or sugary carbonated beverages, sweet tea, or lemonade you are adding calories.
Here’s another consideration. If you cut out alcoholic drinks and do manageable exercise just three times a week, it is reasonable to lose up to 2 pounds per week on that action alone.
#4 Eat High Protein Foods
When you consume foods rich in protein, you avoid overeating. Proteins make you feel full.
Proteins build muscle tissue instead of going to fat. Lean muscles burn more calories.
Black beans are a cheap source of protein and can be prepared in many ways.
One cup of corn has almost 16 grams of protein. It’s also a great source of fiber. Although not a budget food item, salmon is high in protein and Omega-3. It also makes you feel full
#5 Eat Fruits and Vegetables
The USDA recommends five to nine servings of vegetables and fruits in each day’s diet.
One cup of broccoli has almost three grams of protein as well as folate and potassium. It is also only thirty calories. Cauliflower has lots of protein and only twenty-seven calories.
Eat raw fruit and vegetables. They retain their nutrients and are rich in fiber.
Try these ways to get your recommended servings. At breakfast, eat a serving or two of fruit.
Use veggies as mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. Serve two vegetables with each meal.
Try one new fruit and vegetable recipe every week.
#6 Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Dietary fiber gives you that full feeling that promotes eating less. Thus, it aids in weight loss.
High-fiber foods also aid inefficient elimination. Fiber also helps lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Foods like beans, peas, oat bran, and flaxseed lower cholesterol.
In order to reach the recommended goal of 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day aim for a combination of raw fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seeds.
#7 Chew Your Food and Eat Slowly
North Americans eat faster than in other societies. We also have a history of eating on the run. Eating should not be like running a race.
When you chew your food thoroughly, you eat less. Chewing your food longer also aids in digestion and decreases stress.
Japanese studies have shown that people who eat more slowly ingest fewer calories.
Our brains take up to twenty minutes longer to register fullness and send a message to our stomach to stop eating.
Eating slowly gives the brain a chance to say it is full before we’ve overeaten.
#8 Don’t Eat While Watching TV
A Harvard Medical School study looked at distracted eating. They discovered that people who eat while watching television, working at the computer, talking on the phone, or playing video games ate up to twice as many calories as those who paid attention to what they were eating.
Hunger isn’t the only thing that influences how much we eat during the day.
Distracted eating takes our attention and memory away from the conscious act of eating. The Harvard study urged us to do mindful eating.
#9 Try Zumba Dance
Unless you overdo it, exercise is good for you.
It aids in weight loss, increases your energy level, improves your outlook on life, and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.
For those of us in wheelchairs, exercise choices are more limited. A good choice is seated Zumba.
You can’t help but be inspired when you join a group of Zumba exercisers. The energy and smiles are contagious.
While wheelchair Zumba classes are ideal, you can do your own Zumba or you can start a group of fellow wheelchair Zumba enthusiasts.
Give it a try with videos like
It’s not impossible to lose weight fast in a wheelchair. You can also stay lean without cardio by watching what you eat and how much you consume.
Try increasing your protein intake and lifting weights. Look into interval training as a weight loss measure.
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