A walking person has more choices to exert physically, burn calories and reduce weight. For a wheelchair user, choices are comparatively lesser. Being in a wheelchair, it becomes very important not to overweight yourself, to stay active and independent. Rule of thumb for reducing weight is to take lesser calories and burn more.
Following tips can be very helpful for wheelchair users to reduce weight or maintain it at a proper level :
- To keep check on weight, many wheelchair users don’t eat anything whole day. They get hungry and as a result, consume one powerful meal. It doesn’t help with the cause. Try consuming three meals a day and maybe some snacks in between. This way, your body will stay metabolic and extra food will not be stored as fats.
- Enjoy your food, don’t be in a hurry and pay attention to fullness, while eating, so that you don’t over eat. Always eat lesser than your full capacity. Consume a balance diet. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, and the other half with protein and whole grain.
- Be physically active as much as you can. If your hands are fine, push manual wheelchair instead of powered one. Do all the transfer between wheelchair and bed yourself. At least, spend 30 minutes a day doing wheelchair exercises etc.
- Drink water more than any other liquids. To avoid greater calories intake all other liquids should be sugar free such as unsweetened tea and and diet soda.
- Sweats contains a lot of calories and being in wheelchair, burning them is not easy . It’s intake should not be more than twice a serving per week.
- Milk is very good for health but contains a lot of fats and can cause weight gain. Use skim or reduced fats milk which has lesser calories.
- Avoid fried foods because it contains a lot of oil. Instead of fried foods use baked foods.
- Make foods and vegetables the most dominant part of your daily diet. Because it contains lesser calories than other foods and more fibers, which are good for digestive system . It avoid problems like constipation, thus making bowel program easier and smoother in case of spinal cord injury.
- In between meals, don’t take junk food, as they are high in calories, but low in nutrition. Eat healthy snacks instead, like backed chips and fresh fruits etc.
- Participate in wheelchair sports to stay fit, burn calories and control weight.
- Working out on FES bike also helps in burning calories if you are in wheelchair because of spinal cord injury.