How To Avoid Weight Gain During Injury Recovery

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Are you currently rehabbing from an injury and worried about gaining weight? It’s a valid concern, as studies have shown that a significant 133% of workers who sustain injuries end up experiencing weight gain during their recovery process. But fear not! With the right strategies, you can prevent weight gain after injury, and even shed some pounds while rehabilitating your injury.

Why is this important, you ask? Well, aside from the obvious physical discomfort, weight gain during injury recovery can lead to a decrease in self-confidence. And when you’re facing an obstacle like an injury, maintaining confidence is key to tackling it head-on!

Let’s dive into these practical tips to help you avoid weight gain and even build muscle mass during your recovery journey.

Manage Your Caloric Intake

The first one involves the most important thing you must keep in mind during your recovery journey (calories). Just like fueling up a car for a long road trip, your body needs the right amount of calories to function properly. However, since you’re not engaging in strenuous activities due to your injury, you need to be mindful of your calorie consumption. By creating a calorie deficit through smart food choices, you can prevent unwanted weight gain.  Follow these tips! 

  1. Start by taking inventory of the snacks you have at home. 
  2. Eliminate or avoid buying unhealthy calorie-dense snacks that may tempt you or your family members.
  3. Plan Your Meals: Take the time to plan and prepare your meals in advance. This allows you to have healthier options readily available, reducing the temptation to reach for calorie-dense snacks or fast food when hungry!

Increase Your Calorie Expenditure

Even with an injury, always try to find ways to keep moving and staying active. Activities may look and seem minor, but they can add up over time, contributing to increased calorie expenditure and helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Try these practical tips! 

  1. Focus on Non-Injured Body Parts: If your injury limits movement in specific areas, focus on exercising other parts of your body that are unaffected. This allows you to continue burning calories and maintaining muscle mass despite the injury.
  2. DO Low-Impact Cardio: Opt for low-impact cardio exercises that won’t aggravate your injury but still increase calorie expenditure. Activities like walking, swimming, or cycling can be gentle on the body while effectively burning calories. 
  3. Stay Active Throughout the Day: Look for opportunities to stay active throughout the day, even if it’s in small increments. Take short walks during breaks, use stairs instead of elevators, or perform light household chores. 

Prioritize Protein Intake

Protein is crucial for both muscle building and injury recovery. Not only does protein aid in muscle repair and growth, but it also helps keep you feeling full, reducing the likelihood of overeating and therefore helping you avoid extra weight gain. Follow these helpful tips! 

  1. Include Protein-Rich Foods in Every Meal: Incorporate sources of protein such as lean meats, turkey ground beef, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds into each of your meals. This ensures that you meet your daily protein requirements and provides your body with the necessary amino acids for muscle repair and recovery.
  2. Plan Snacks Around Protein: Choose protein-rich snacks to keep you satiated between meals and prevent overeating, this not only increases your protein intake but also helps maintain steady energy levels throughout the day.
  3. Consider Protein Supplements: If you struggle to meet your protein needs through whole foods alone, consider incorporating protein supplements such as whey protein powder, casein protein, or plant-based protein powders into your diet. 

Monitor Your Weight 

Make it a habit to weigh yourself daily. This allows you to track your progress and make adjustments to your diet and exercise routine as needed. Set a healthy weight range for yourself and strive to stay within it. Stepping on the scale regularly provides valuable feedback and keeps you accountable. Follow these tips to stay consistent! 

  1. Establish a Consistent Routine: Weigh yourself at the same time each day, preferably in the morning after using the bathroom and before eating or drinking anything. Consistency in timing helps to eliminate fluctuations due to food or water intake, providing more accurate measurements of your weight.
  2. Track Your Progress: Keep a record of your daily weigh-ins to monitor trends over time. Use a journal, smartphone app, or spreadsheet to track your weight, making it easier to identify patterns and fluctuations.
  3. Focus on Trends, Not Daily Fluctuations: Understand that weight can fluctuate from day to day due to factors like hydration, salt intake, and hormonal changes. Instead of fixating on daily fluctuations, pay attention to the overall trend over weeks or months. This big-picture perspective provides a more accurate reflection of your progress and helps you make informed decisions about your health and fitness goals.

Incorporate Resistance Training

Resistance training is an effective way to build muscle and increase metabolism. Even with an injury, there are modifications and exercises you can do to target different muscle groups. Whether it’s bodyweight exercises, dumbbell workouts, or resistance bands, find activities that you can safely perform and gradually increase resistance as you progress. Follow this guide! 

  1. Consult with a Physical Therapist or Trainer: Before starting any resistance training regimen, consult with a physical therapist or certified trainer. They can recommend specific exercises tailored to your condition and ensure that you perform them with proper form to prevent further injury.
  2. Focus on Low-Impact Exercises: Choose resistance training exercises that are gentle on your injured body part(s) and avoid movements that exacerbate pain or discomfort. Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks are excellent options for building strength without putting excessive strain on injured joints or muscles. 
  3. Gradually Increase Intensity and Resistance: Start with light resistance or bodyweight exercises and gradually increase the intensity and resistance as your strength and recovery progress. Listen to your body and progress at a pace that feels comfortable and safe. 

If you want to learn more about these strategies to avoid weight gain after injury, click here to watch the video.

By following these five tested and effective strategies, you can not only prevent weight gain but also promote muscle growth and overall well-being during your injury recovery.

Try these tips today and always keep in mind that small steps lead to significant results, so stay consistent and patient with your efforts. Before you know it, you’ll be back on your feet, stronger and healthier than ever before. If you are looking for a place where your recovery journey will be a priority, Myokinetix is the place for you! With our team of healthcare experts and advanced technology treatment, we ensure every person gets the best care they deserve.

At Myokinetix, we are committed to providing personalized care and treatments that exceed expectations. By carefully customizing treatments and care plans to meet your unique needs and injury, we ensure a safe and efficient route to rehabilitation. Our goal is to empower you to confidently reclaim your active lifestyle, knowing that you’ve received top-tier care every step of the way.

Book a call with us today and discover how you can return to a more active and stronger lifestyle!

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