I’ve lost 9lbs in 29 days! I’m feeling quite pleased with myself, as you can imagine so wanted to share some top tips about losing weight with MS. Exercise can be difficult and MSers are bombarded with information on diet and exercise so it can be a minefield. Here are my tips followed by the benefits I’m feeling.
- Cut out alcohol. Boring I know but this was an important lifestyle choice for me. I’d slipped into the habit of drinking ¾ of a bottle of wine nearly every evening! I didn’t feel drunk on this amount and I wouldn’t feel hung over the next day but the calories all mounted up. There are about 600 calories in a bottle of wine! You do the maths! I haven’t stopped drinking all together, I had a great night with my friends the other day and several bottles were drunk but I have cut it out unless there’s an occasion.
- Get the “myfitnesspal” app on your phone. This has made it so easy to count calories. You put in all your details and it tells you how many calories you need to eat to lose weight. It calculated I need 1200 a day but as I’m much less active than most people due to mobility problems I try and stay below that at between 1000 and 1200. It’s been a revelation! The other day I had a small piece of carrot cake and entered it into my phone and was amazed that it was 350 calories! That’s a huge chunk out of my daily allowance and it’s made me see that I can’t afford to eat foods like that and lose weight. It’s strange that I’ve only just worked that out aged 38!
- Cut out Gluten. This is an important one for MSers as there is some research that suggests gluten can exacerbate symptoms. It’s fairly easy to do as long as you replace the gluten products with other carbohydrates so you’re not starving! I eat organic rice cakes (30 calories each) instead of bread, for example. I have a thin layer of mayonnaise (no dairy, except eggs) mixed with whole grain mustard if I want to go crazy! Then I put one slice of ham or chicken on top, basically a sandwich with no bread. I’ve also been eating lots of rice and rice noodles instead of pasta. Potatoes are also great as no gluten but nice and filling.
- Cut out dairy (except eggs or I’d starve) This can be hard but I’ve got used to it and now dairy tastes funny! There is also some evidence to suggest dairy is bad for Msers but you need to eat nuts to replace the calcium and to stop your skin going flaky (150g mixed nuts 170 calories) I usually have fruit for breakfast with some mixed nuts and seeds.
So, what benefits have I discovered from eating like this? Weight loss is the most obvious but I also have more energy and seem to be walking more upright! I’d let myself get very fat and lugging around all the extra weight wasn’t good for mobility so this is a definite advantage.
Fatigue has greatly improved except I’m more prone to overdo it as I feel so much better! I spent all day on the couch yesterday as I’d done so much the day before but at least I felt good enough to overdo it.
The most surprising benefit has been my bladder! I would say this has improved by 90%. I’m no longer rushing to the loo every 5 minutes as I seem to be emptying much better, the urgency has also disappeared. I wonder if this is down to cutting out alcohol, gluten or dairy?
If anyone else has some top weight loss tips please let me know!