Special Needs

How to lose weight if you're on a Wheel Chair?

Amna Al-Sulaiti/ Nutritionist, EIM Department,
02 June, 2016

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Losing weight is a challenge for those who are obese or overweight , but it makes an additional challenge for those who have difficulty in movement , or those who use a wheelchair because they do not burn significant calories through physical activity due to the limited mobility. However, even if you are on a wheelchair and suffering from obesity or overweight you still can make some changes that can help you to lose weight and to prevent yourself from non-communicable diseases that can be caused by obesity.



Know your weight


The first step in losing weight is to know your actual body weight and determining your ideal weight by calculating the body mass index. Your doctor can assess you with suitable weight measurement.



Modify Your Diet

A weight reduction diet for wheelchair users is the same as it is for other adults. You just have to take into consideration that you move less and therefore you should adjust your intake of calories accordingly. In order to lose weight you need to consume fewer calories than you used to. Reducing 500 calorie per day will help losing 0.5 kg per week.


Change bad eating habits to healthy ones

Reducing 500 calorie or more per day would be easy if you change some of your eating habits. In practice you need to take the following into considerations:

  • Replace soft drinks and sweetened juices with water. keeping your body hydrated during the day helps in resisting high-calorie beverages consumption.
  • Use vegetable oil moderately when preparing food. 1 medium spoon / meal.
  • Use low or skimmed milk and dairy products instead of full-fat milk.
  • Avoid eating sweets and unhealthy foods between meals and replace it with a light healthy snacks such as:
  • 12 mixed Nuts
  • Medium size fruit or ½ cup of fruits.
  • low-fat yogurt
  • 3 dates or its equivalent of dried fruit
  • Avoid sauces that are high in fat and sugars such as thousand island, barbeque sauce and mayonnaise and replace them with homemade sauces or healthier sauces such as mustard and balsamic vinegar.


Depend on your self

Do not depend on someone else to get you out of the house and do your tasks. If you need to go somewhere, try to go on your own rather than asking someone to go in your behalf. Try to push wheelchair by yourself so you can burn calories through moving arms muscles. Always remember that staying at home for a long time means burning fewer calories and therefore not losing weight.





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