Dealing with Fibromyalgia during COVID-19
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Fibromyalgia is an incredibly debilitating condition that causes a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches, widespread pain, sensitivity to temperature changes and extreme fatigue. In addition to these symptoms, fibromyalgia can also cause weight gain for a number of different reasons. However, the following tips can help with fibromyalgia weight loss and keep you as happy and healthy as possible whilst managing your condition.
Why Does Fibromyalgia Cause Weight Gain?
It can be frustrating to notice that you’re gaining weight, especially when you’re battling with a number of different fibromyalgia symptoms. However, weight gain is a common side effect of the condition for a number of different reasons, including:
Fibromyalgia can cause hormonal changes, affecting the levels of cortisol, leptin, serotonin and insulin. Just the slightest hormone imbalance can lead to weight gain, as they can cause increased hunger, slowed metabolism and fatigue.
Many fibromyalgia sufferers report difficulty sleeping, which can also lead to weight gain. Sleep deprivation can have detrimental effects on the body, leading to an increase in appetite, reduced metabolism and cravings for high-energy foods, all of which lead to weight gain.
A number of common medications taken by fibromyalgia sufferers, such as antidepressants, can cause weight fluctuations, so it might be worth talking to your doctor about trying a different medication if you find that what you’re currently taking doesn’t work for you.
Lack of Exercise:
When you’re in constant pain and feeling like you’re lacking in energy, it’s no wonder that you might not feel motivated to exercise. However, this lack of movement is what can cause weight changes in fibromyalgia sufferers – especially during flare ups.
How to Lose Weight With Fibromyalgia
Although it might feel incredibly difficult to lose or maintain your weight with fibromyalgia, it is possible to try and avoid weight gain and keep you as happy and healthy as possible. It’s important to pay close attention to your diet, as this can help you to maintain your weight and can even help to avoid any flare ups.
There are a number of different foods for fibromyalgia sufferers to avoid, such as processed foods containing chemicals in order to reduce the chances of a flare up. However, in order to avoid fibromyalgia weight gain, it’s also important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, including plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids, fruit, and vegetables. Additionally, the following diets may help you to avoid weight gain with fibromyalgia:
Follow a High Protein Diet
If you’re finding it difficult to maintain your weight with fibromyalgia, following a high protein, low carbohydrate diet might help you to stay in a calorie deficit. Not only is protein incredibly satiating, helping to keep you fuller for longer, but it can also help to maintain your muscle mass.
Stop Eating When You’re Full
Although it might seem obvious, emotional eating when you’re feeling under the weather can be a huge factor for fibromyalgia weight gain. Instead, try to listen to your body and only eat when you’re truly physically hungry and stop before you become too full to help prevent you from consuming any extra calories.
Try and Prepare in Advance
From creating a grocery list, to meal prepping your dinners for the week – preparing your food in advance can make healthy eating a lot easier. Not only have you always got a home-cooked meal on hand, but it can also be incredibly handy during an unexpected flare up, when cooking a healthy meal is the last thing on your mind.
Keep a Food Diary
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you’re still piling on the pounds, then keeping a food diary might help you to maintain your weight. Whether you track your food and drink intake in a fitness app, or simply write down what you’re eating – keeping track of what you’re consuming can help you to understand what you’re eating each day and adjust your calorie intake if necessary. However, it’s important to make sure you’re tracking everything you eat and drink, including salad dressings, drinks and cooking oil, as these can have a huge impact on your daily calorie intake, causing you to gain weight.
In addition to monitoring your caloric intake, exercise can also help to avoid fibromyalgia weight gain. Although exercise might be the last thing on your mind when you’re suffering from a flare up or the weather is gloomy outside, there are a number of different low-impact home workouts you can do a few times a week that can help you to burn calories, build muscle and – most importantly – have fun.
However, it’s important to always listen to your body and consult your doctor before starting any diet or exercise regimes in order to reduce the risk of injury or illness.
So whether you’re just looking to maintain your weight or shift those few extra pounds that have crept up on you, the tips above can help you to manage your weight and keep you as healthy and happy as possible.
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