You might be on bed rest or you have a friend or loved one on bed rest. Either way, some people on bed rest will lose weight while on bed rest because of the nature and condition of why they are on bed rest, to begin with. Others will be challenged to maintain weight or even stop gaining weight.
For example, if you are on bed rest due to a sickness or condition such as a serious illness like cancer or are on hospice support then you may not even be eating your proper food proportions and can lose weight unintentionally. However, if you are on bed rest due to a broken leg or something like this where your food intake or appetite will stay normal, then you will have the challenge to maintain or even lose weight while in bed.
In this post, we will talk about how to lose weight while on bed rest for those that would find themselves or a loved one on bed rest. Of course, this would be for typically overweight individuals or normal-weight individuals that do not want to gain weight while on bed rest because they will be burning far fewer calories from no physical activity.
Being aware of your diet and caloric intake while on bed rest is key to not having weight gain. You can use a calorie tracking application like MyFitnessPal. Read our section on this further down the page.
Pregnancy and bed rest
Another common reason to be on bed rest is for pregnant women that are given orders by their doctors to be on bed rest. This can be for several reasons but usually because the pregnancy becomes critical and sensitive in nature and the doctor wants minimal movement so that the woman does not go into labor prematurely.
Understanding Your Daily Calorie Needs
It is already a challenge to understand your daily calorie needs when you are pregnant. When you are pregnant and are put on bed rest, this becomes even more of a challenge. To help in this situation, a professional dietician can help you to come up with what your daily caloric intake should be while pregnant and on bed rest.
When pregnant and on bed rest, it is like any other condition that requires someone to be on bed rest. You can follow more tips below to help keep you on track and make sure you are on track. As for being pregnant it is probably not recommended to try to lose weight whether on bed rest or not. SEEK A DOCTOR’S ADVICE IF PREGNANT. You do not want to develop pregnancy complications for trying to lose weight. Always work with your doctor while pregnant.
You can also make use of a calorie calculator to help you come up with a good daily caloric intake. This calculator should take into consideration your height, weight, and daily activity level to get a good idea of how much you burn each day. To keep on track once you know how much to eat, you can use a calorie tracking app such as My Fitness Pal to help you stay on target.
Will I gain weight being on bed rest?
Does bed rest = weight gain?
It does not.
Just because you are in a situation of being on bed rest, it automatically means that you will gain weight. There are many factors that can contribute to you gaining or losing weight while on bed rest. The main thing you must be aware of is how many calories you are going to burn each day while in bed. This is your RMR or resting metabolic rate.
For example: if your RMR is 2,000 calories then in theory, you could eat 2,000 calories in bed and not gain weight. In this scenario, if you were to eat 2,500 calories per day then you are eating 500 calories more than your body is burning which WILL lead to weight gain. Since 3,500 calories equal about a pound, you take the 500 additional calories per day x 7 days (500*7=3500). You would gain 1 pound per week in this scenario. If you were on bed rest for one month, then you would gain around 4 pounds.
Tips to Prevent Weight Gain on Bed Rest
- Stick to a regular eating schedule. You can eat 3 healthy-sized meals or 5 to 6 smaller meals depending on what your diet needs are and if you are consulting with a dietician then they may have you on a specific meal plan.
- Avoid watching bad TV. When we binge-watch, reality shows we tend to eat unhealthy snacks. Instead, select to watch fitness and health shows that will help motivate you to stay on track eating healthy while on bed rest.
- Do not have snacks available on the coffee table. Even if they are healthy, you may tend to eat them, and they overeat. Even overeating healthy foods will get you over your calorie limit which will lead to those unwanted pounds.
- Drink lots of water. If you are able, fill up a half gallon or 32 oz water bottle in the morning and make a goal to drink all of it each day. Of course, the condition of why you are on bed rest will determine if drinking this much water is realistic for you. In the case that you are in a critical pregnancy or have an injury, you will be fine to drink this much water.
- Keep a daily food journal which can be written in a traditional old-school journal, or you can use an app on your smartphone.
Stay Mentally Strong
If you go into being on bed rest with a negative attitude and automatically assume that it is going to lead to you gaining weight, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, take the opposite approach.
Be positive and when you have negative thoughts about gaining weight, replace them as quickly as you can with positive affirmations about how you are going to actually take advantage of your situation and lose some weight while on bed rest.
Having a goal to lose weight while on bed rest should only be for people that are overweight going into it. Also, seek professional advice from your medical doctor or a dietician.
Some individuals will not be good candidates for losing weight while on bed rest. For example, if you are already underweight then you should not be trying to lose more weight. If you are seriously ill and on bed rest, then you also should not be trying to lose weight. It can be challenging being on bed rest and you may fear developing mental health issues. However, it is important to talk to someone about how you fell during this time.
Exercise physiology is important even if you must rest in bed.
More tips to lose weight while on bed rest
Grocery Delivery Service
You can use a grocery delivery service to save time and money.
One of the best ways to save both time and money is by using a grocery delivery service.
You can get into the habit of ordering your groceries online before you run out.
This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Body Weight Exercises
Body weight exercises are a great way to lose weight.
When you use bodyweight exercises, such as pushups and pull-ups, you will be able to burn more calories than with other types of exercise.
Bodyweight exercises are also great if you do not have much time to spend exercising each day. You will need a bed pull-up bar in order to do this while on bed rest. Also make sure you are working with your caregiver, nurse, physical therapist, or doctor before trying out these exercises.
Basal Metabolic Rate
Losing weight is tough, but it’s even more difficult when you are on bed rest. That being said, there are some things you can do to help keep your metabolism up while resting in bed.
The first thing you should do is exercise and work your muscles regularly, even if it’s just a small amount of weight lifting. Be sure to get plenty of protein in your diet as well. It’s also important that you eat foods high in fiber and drink plenty of water to keep your digestive system healthy.
Always check with your healthcare provider on what your metabolic rate is while resting.
Food Consumption is important while on bed rest
What do I mean by this? Well, you don’t want to not eat, or you don’t want to overeat. This is why your resting metabolic rate and basal metabolic rate are important figures. This will tell you how many calories or food you can consume while maintaining or losing weight.
As long as you are working with a professional while on bed rest, you can do some strength training.
This is because strength training can actually be dangerous while on bed rest. It’s best to start off with just a few exercises and then move up from there.
Most experts recommend that you start with a five-pound weight for upper body exercises, and use a three-pound weight for lower body exercises.
If you have any health conditions or health challenges it is important to let your caregiver or therapist know so you both can come up with the best exercise and diet plan for you while on bed rest.
You may go through a recovery process after each exercise session. This is expected. Take the time you need during this process.
You can add pelvic floor exercises to your strength training routine while on bed rest.
Floor Abs Exercises – It depends on what level of bed rest you are on. If you are not allowed to get out of bed, then you can work on the abdominals while in bed. If you are able to get out of bed and do some situps or abs exercises next to the bed on the floor, that is even better.
Your unique situation can be looked at in different ways. Here is an example, if your daughter is getting married it could cause you to want to lose some weight before the wedding because you want to look your best at her wedding. On the flip side of this coin, the wedding could cause you some major stress and lead you to stress eating and gaining weight. It all depends on our situation and how we handle and respond to our situations.
At the end of the day, be realistic, be positive, and seek professional advice. Use your common sense. For example, if you are 50 pounds overweight and suddenly are on bed rest, you will need to change your daily eating habits, or you will gain weight while on bed rest. If you are normal weight and are on bed rest, but you have an illness that is suppressing your appetite, then you will be fighting the illness along with trying not to lose weight.
The fact is if it is your goal to lose weight while on bed rest, then you can absolutely make this a reality. You need to draw out a plan, know your RMR, and stick to a daily eating schedule along with calorie counting. If you do all these things, then you can lose weight while on bed rest.
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