You are under the blankets coughing, sneezing, sniffling, and you have a headache to boot. Normally the last thing on your mind when you are sick is dieting. However, for some reason you think about what the scale said yesterday and you are determined to keep losing weight. That is the last thing you should do. When you are sick your top priority should be to get better. Trying to lose weight and get better at the same time is like trying to dribble a basketball low on air. It will bounce, but not very well. In the same way if you try to force your body to get over being sick and lose weight at the same time it isn’t going to do either one very well. That does not mean you cannot eat healthy while you are sick though. These tips will give you the nutrition you need to get better and not ruin your diet at the same time.
Increasing your calories may seem like a crazy idea especially if you are used to counting them. When you’re sick your normal body processes are working harder than they normally do and thus you need more calories to compensate for the extra work. Your appetite may be gone, but it is important to not skip any meals. The average daily calorie intake while you are sick should be around 1800 calories. The important thing is to focus on the quality of the calories; so eating chocolate at the speed of light still isn’t a good idea. The healthier the food you eat is the faster you will get better and on your way to losing weight again.
Protein is one of the best medicines nature has to offer while you are sick. It plays a crucial role in repairing your cells. Another function of protein in the healing process is its ability to help maintain fluid levels as well as your bodies muscle mass. Some high quality sources of protein are fish, skinless chicken, and lean beef. If you’re a vegetarian and the thought of animal protein makes your appetite sink even further try nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews. Beans, egg whites, and soy products such as tofu are other excellent sources of vegetable protein as well.
When we are sick we tend to forget about fiber, or consume fiber of a lot lower quality than what we need. Often times we opt for a piece of white toast instead of whole grain or whole wheat toast. Mashed potatoes are another low fiber comfort food we tend to gravitate toward. This approach can lead to constipation and other digestive problems. Having more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruit, and vegetables will help keep you regular and prevent any other digestive problems. Another advantage to eating foods high in fiber is they also tend to be high in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, D and E are just to name a few. They will help keep your energy levels up and provide the nutrients your body needs to efficiently heal itself.
Earlier we mentioned that being sick naturally tends to decrease your appetite. Sometimes you may experience sever symptoms such as pain, nausea, or diarrhea which make it impossible for you to eat in a manner to speed the recovery process. When this happens you need to go see your doctor. Your personal physician will be able to prescribe medicines capable of treating these sever symptoms. Once your symptoms are under control your appetite will improve allowing you to have the right nutrition to get better as quickly as possible. Good nutrition and proper medical treatment go hand in hand.
Taking the time to properly get better from being sick is fundamental to losing weight and having a healthy lifestyle. These tips will help make sure you are on the fast track to recovery. Listen to your body and bon appetit.