Note: Not all podcast episodes have a blog component, but this one is too important not to have one. If you missed last week’s episode, we talk all about the following. We decided to post a blog about this for those who aren’t on the podcast yet!
It can be temping to go on a weight loss plan when injured if you don’t want to gain unwanted weight, but that’s actually one of the worse things to do.
When injured, one of your body’s biggest jobs (besides the normal big job of keeping you alive), is to rebuild and repair. It does this through building blocks found in macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals).
There is no positive outcome to starving your body while it’s trying to heal.
What to do instead…
Focus on recovery
- Choose high-nutrient, high-quality foods for your meals and snacks.
Reduce highly-processed food-like products and swap for minimally processed, whole foods. Micronutrients are important for recovery, not just the macros.
- Eat a lot of veggies (5-7 servings per day).
You’re body is going to thank you for all the extra phytochemicals and use them to aid in recovery.
- Drink enough water.
Your body might also want to thank you for all the extra fiber in those veggies.
- Work with your coach to determine a weight-training stimulus plan <– very important!
Being injured doesn’t mean you can train. You just have to listen to your body, be smart, and make sure you talk with your coach who can help create a plan for you.
- Maintain weight.
Do not begin a weight loss plan during this time. You’re more likely to lose muscle mass as muscle requires more calories to maintain. Pairing a diet with less whole-body weight training than normal creates a recipe for even more muscle loss and increased recovery time. Work with a nutrition coach – like us – to create a plan for you during this time.
- Don’t skimp on sleep.
Sleep is vital for recovery even when we aren’t injured. Also, there’s a connection between poor sleep and cravings, hunger, and reduced satiety. Poor sleep increases ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and decreases leptin (the satiety hormone). Poor sleep also doesn’t help mental and emotional resources.
- Keep your thoughts positive.
It’s understandable to feel frustrated about not being able to do your normal physical activity. It’s also understandable to feel worried about losing your physical abilities. But remember that this can be used as a resting period where you can revisit your goals and make plans for attacking those goals once you come back – stronger than before. We have both gone through sports injuries and surgeries and know all the thoughts that come along with them. We get it, but you can’t let your injury and recovery define you or your future.