Diet And Weight Loss
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Weight Loss Tips for the Physically Disabled



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Losing excess weight, and keeping it off is difficult for anyone, but when you are physically disabled it is even more challenging. A disability that reduces your physical capabilities creates a hurdle to acquiring the necessary amount of exercise needed to maintain a healthy weight. Most physically disabled persons have a reduced activity level and are already consuming less calories than is the standard norm for others of their sex and age. This makes it very difficult to participate in a diet program and yet still receive the necessary nutrients to maintain an optimum level of health.

These weight loss tips for the physically disabled may help you to succeed in your quest to shed those few extra pounds.

 Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet or therapy program. It is very important to insure that your heart, lungs, kidney and liver, are strong enough for your body to undergo this new therapy.

Weight loss occurs when calories are reduced or physical activity is increased. Most successful weight loss programs use a combination of these two factors to increase their success rate, and for the physically disabled, this two part system is even more important. You will need to develop a reduced diet menu which can still fulfill your nutritional needs, and also design an exercise program that will allow you to burn additional calories, while still taking under consideration your distinct physical needs. 

The good news about exercise is that it can be acquired in a number of ways, many which are very enjoyable, and most of which can be easily adapted to match varying levels of ability. When you are exploring the different options open to you for burning off those excess pounds just keep in mind that you do not have to participate in a rigorous exercise program to lose weight. To lose weight you simply have to burn more calories than you consume. You just have to exercise a little more than you currently do.

Water therapy is one of the most versatile exercise programs available to the disabled. Most pools understand this, and for this reason offer reduced rates for those with special physical, or monetary needs. Joint difficulties are reduced in the water and muscle strengthening exercises can be accomplished there with much less risk of damage to fragile tissue. In the water you are also able to adapt your activities there to meet your body's distinct needs. Concentrate your workout on your lower, or upper body, depending on your physical requirements.

If leaving the home is difficult for you then there are a number of ways to increase your activity without ever venturing outdoors. Dance therapy is a very versatile activity that virtually anyone can do. Just crank up your favorite tunes and dance. Even an upper body dance is acceptable as a means for increasing ones physical activity level, and once you get started in this type of program, you won't want to stop. The great thing about dance therapy is that your body seems to naturally adapt itself to your changing needs. On a bad day a fifteen minute shuffle and a slightly shaking of the upper body may be all that you can accomplish. But on a good day you may find yourself dancing for an hour. Music and dance are primitive human behaviors that seem to be inborn within us.

If you are able to walk, then walk to increase the amount of physical activity that you do throughout the day. Treadmills are amazing to have in the home as you can hop on it for brief periods throughout the day. If you do not have a treadmill then you can still participate by simply walking from room to room in your home. If you have a pet they love this game.

Another exercise program that is adaptable to most physical capabilities is Yoga. You can do many of these exercises either standing or sitting. With a good Yoga exercise book you can select the exercises that you feel match your distinct needs and create your own specific program.

Remember that to lose weight all you have to do is increase the activity that you participate in. So just get up and move around more than you currently do. Every little bit of exercise counts, no matter if it is five minutes, or twenty.

Next comes the diet part of losing weight. Being more sedentary than the average person means that the amount of calories that a physically disabled person consumes are probably already at a reduced level. So the most difficult part of dieting for the physically disabled person is insuring that a further reduction in calories does not result in malnutrition.

This means that restyling the way you eat is very important. Chicken, lean pork loin, and fish provide high levels of protein with minimum fat. So be prepared to avoid hamburger, and other fatty red meats, and replace it instead with leaner cuts of meat. An even simpler way to satisfy your complete protein needs is with a whey protein supplement. Generally used by weight lifters for building muscle mass, a quarter cup of whey will give you around 27 grams of complete protein ( or almost your entire days needs of protein) while only boosting you with about 110 calories. This white powder stirred up in yogurt, as a slushy with fruit, or simply in milk, makes an easy and filling one course meal. The nice news is that it can be purchased in most grocery stores for a very reasonable price.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods are generally complex carbohydrates, are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and will keep you feeling full longer than other foods will. If you have difficulty with chewing or swallowing, then invest in a juicer, and drink your meals instead of chewing them. Include apples in your diet. Apples are very filling and will help to detox your body of toxins.

If you must snack then dish yourself up an attractive plate of chopped vegetables or a bowl of dry cereal. Most cereals contain about 110 calories per cup, and because you can snack on it just as you would cheesies or chips, it relieves that nasty craving for a snack food. Cereal is also fortified with numerous vitamins and minerals so it is good for you.

Resist the urge to snack in the late evening. Do not eat for at least two hours before bedtime.

Eat oatmeal as it will keep your system moving quickly and smoothly.

Take vitamin supplements to insure that you receive an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals.

Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Do not drink pop or other high calorie drinks. If you use sugar and cream in your coffee or tea, try to reduce the amount that you use, or eliminate it altogether. A teaspoon of sugar four times a day adds up to a lot of unnecessary calories when you start figuring it out over a week, a month, or a year.

Keep a diet journal to record your progress. Be sure to mention times when you did extremely well with your diet, or exercise program, but also record the periods when you do not. This will help you to keep on track.

Remind yourself that the weight did not go on overnight and that it will also take time for it go away. Diet responsibly.

 

More about this author: Lorelei Cohen

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