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How To Lose Weight When You Can’t Workout


When you are disabled with limited mobility it is much harder to stay in shape that is for abled-bodied people because a lot of disabled people can’t go to the gym and do super hard workouts to burn off the donut like abled people can’t I am fortunate that I am able to do some exercise but I cannot work out to the extent an abled person can because my disability limits my ability to do most exercises and have to be more mindful of my nutrition than most people. When you are disabled and can’t exercise weight gain is common but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating because disabled people want to feel confident in their bodies like abled people but often it is more difficult when working out is not a choice. Weight loss is more of a struggle for disabled people than it ever will be for abled people because some of us can’t work out and if we can it’s not the same. Is it even possible to lose weight if you can’t exercise? Yes it is!! In this post, I am going to talk about how I manage my weight as a disabled person without doing tons of exercise.

Write it down– I think that you can lose weight without obsessing over calories and logging every single thing you eat but I do think it’s a great learning tool if you are trying to lose weight because you should know what you are putting in your body. When you eat a meal sometimes often we just eat the food that is in front of us but sometimes are not fully aware of how many extra unnecessary calories we are consuming which could be contributing to your weight gain. If you are trying to lose weight to improve your health it can be helpful to start a food journal because you may be surprised by how many protein bars you are eating that is not doing your waistline any favors that you could eat less of. I do not currently log all my foods but when I was trying to lose weight I did because it was a great learning tool that taught me how healthy my diet really was in order to make changes. If you are trying to lose weight you won’t need to log your food forever but it can be helpful when you are first starting out and trying to get the hang of things because you can’t make better choices without knowing what your doing wrong.

Make small changes-  When people start a new diet often people make the mistake of stating something that is too restrictive that they could never stick to long term. If you have a sugar addiction which most of us have it might not be the best idea to go on a diet that tells you to drink your coffee black and that you can never eat cookies again because it will probably won’t last you more than a few days. A healthy diet doesn’t necessarily have to consist of hard workouts every single day and strict dieting because it’s not always about everything you can take out but it’s also about what you can add in for better nutrition. Make small changes to your diet and instead of eating chips at every meal try swapping one of them out for vegetables because healthy eating does not have to be restrictive or an all or nothing approach.  When you make a small change that seems insignificant it might not seem like a much at first but a few small changes that are sustainable and lead to big results. It’s not always about being disciplined and sometimes it’s the little things that make the most difference.

Make realistic goals- Diets are great and can help some people lose weight but I want you to ask yourself is the recommendations in your program realistic for you as an individual because if it’s not it won’t be sustainable weight loss!

Cheat meal not cheat day– If a holiday is coming up there is nothing wrong with going off your diet because one day of bad eating will not ruin your results but I wouldn’t make a regular habit of it if you are trying to lose weight. Fitness influencers are always talking about having cheat days but I don’t necessarily think that is the best approach for weight loss and you shouldn’t have full days where you don’t healthy often if you are trying to reach a goal because it will create setbacks. It’s important to allow yourself to go off your diet every once in and while because if you restrict yourself too much it will drive you crazy and you’ll quit but have a cheat meal instead of a cheat day. 

Keep track of your alcohol calories– I never drink alcoholic beverages because it triggers migraine pain but even though I am not drinking beer I still get my calories from other sources.. There is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine or two but we live in a world where people drink away their problems and are consuming way more than a glass or two of wine which can add up. Keep track of how many calories you are consuming from beverages because beer calories count toward your caloric intake and might be the reason your not losing. When I have coffee sometimes I will use coffee creamer but I always measure it out because you could be adding an extra hundred calories to your coffee and not even know it. 

Eat more vegetables-When I was growing up I was always encouraged to eat vegetables which I think has helped me as an adult because as an adult I don’t struggle with eating healthy as much and will voluntarily eat celery. Some people do not like vegetables of any kind and that is okay but if you are trying to lose weight it might be difficult to reach your goals and never eat vegetables. There are a lot of ways you can make vegetables taste good and you don’t have to eat them raw with no seasoning because personally I prefer cooked vegetables.. You don’t have to eat vegetables with every single meal because I sure don’t but adding a few more vegetables than you are used to is one of the most simple underrated things that you can do to improve your health. . 

Practice mindful eating– When I eat a meal I am usually sitting at a table enjoying my meal and do not like to eat while watching tv because people tend to eat less when they designate times for meals and are being mindful of everything they are consuming without distractions. If you are hungry sit at a table and eat your snack instead of grabbing a bag of chips while watching a movie because it’s so easy to eat an entire pint of ice cream when you are distracted and you might be surprised by how much more you can eat when you are focused on something else that could be impacting your weight loss.

Check your medication’s side effects- Weight gain can be a result of eating too many unhealthy foods and sometimes is our fault but it not always is. If you have been doing everything right and still can’t lose weight your medication may be to blame because some medications increase your appetite. Talk to your doctor if you think your medication could be contributing to your weight gain because although there aren’t always other options it can never hurt to mention to your doctor. 

Manage your stress and get some sleep– When I am stressed or haven’t gotten enough sleep typically I don’t usually eat as healthy and typically I will eat more carbohydrates than I normally would have because it feels good to me which would not be good if you were trying to lose. If you are stressed or sleep deprived you may find that it is more difficult to manage your weight so try and get some sleep or meditate if you are stressed because these two things can cause setbacks in your weight loss journey.

When you are disabled weight loss is sometimes necessary but can be harder for disabled people because we can’t do workouts like abled people can. Weight loss sometimes will take a little more effort for disabled people since we can’t rely on exercise but is still possible and you don’t have to label food good and or bad and never eat cookies again. If you are trying to lose weight make a food journal because it can be helpful to know what exactly is going into your body. Some people make weight loss very complicated and horrible but improving your health doesn’t have to consist of restrictive diets and eating salad 24/7. If you can exercise it is helpful to move your body as much as you can but if you can’t I wouldn’t stress over not being able to workout because how you look and feel mostly comes down to your nutrition. If you are disabled and can’t workout what are your biggest weight loss tips?

Reminder: These are things that have helped me manage my weight as a disabled person but I am not a doctor and it should be used for informational use only and is not substitute for individual medical care or advice.

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