Tips for Maintaining or Putting on Weight
Have you heard people joke about hoping for a dose of food poisoning a week before a big event in order to lose a little weight? Well that probably doesn’t cause someone with IBS to chuckle because they know what it’s like to have diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, food intolerances and bloating on a regular basis and it’s not much fun.
Watching what you eat, taking medication or experiencing any of these unpleasant symptoms can lead to unwanted weight loss. I know that I have experienced this myself and it can be hard for some people to put it back on without eating trigger foods and aggravating their symptoms. In order to maintain my weight or add a little bit on, here are a few things that I find helpful:
Eat food that you know you can tolerate
If you have figured out your trigger foods, or tried the low FODMAP diet and found out what works for you, then increase those foods and leave out the ones that cause issues. Sometimes when my symptoms are at their worst I revert to grilled chicken, roasted sweet potato and steamed green leafy vegetables with olive oil for every evening meal. In doing so I don’t have to think about what to eat, I know that it tastes good and I know that it will help me get more food into my belly. It’s not a forever plan, but the main thing is that I am eating nourishing food I can tolerate.
Eat smaller meals more often
Rather than having three meals a day with a few snacks, I try to eat four or five meals. The portions aren’t as big as a regular meal so they can be easier to digest. Plus I never allow myself to get overly hungry and carry snacks with me in case I can’t get a meal in a hurry. If I’m not feeling very hungry when its time to eat then I just try to eat a small amount and generally I find that I can eat the whole plate in no time!
Eat nutrient dense food
Whole food in its natural form, such as nuts, seeds, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables can provide your body with the extra nutrients it needs to maintain weight and it’s a lot healthier than ordering fast food just for the extra calories.
Blitzing everything up in a smoothie can be a lot easier to eat than sitting down to a bowl full of food. There are a lot of low FODMAP options that work really well in smoothies to give you a good dose of protein, fat and fruit or vegetables in one hit. I drink it slowly and ‘chew’ the smoothie so that it gradually enters my stomach for a smooth digestion process.
Instead of doing strenuous exercises at the gym, going for a run or doing high intensity sport, I find that gentle yoga or walking can get the body moving without using too much precious energy.
By following these tips I find that I am less stressed about the effect IBS is having on my body and I can focus more on nourishing myself through the rough patches. Are there any tips or techniques that you use to help manage your weight and your symptoms? We’d love to hear in the comments below.