Adults using wheelchairs tend to gain more weight since they use fewer calories than they consume. It is also a challenge for them to lose weight since they engage in minimal physical activities. If you are an overweight wheelchair user, you can still lose weight and achieve a healthy weight.
Being overweight poses a significant risk to your health. It can make you develop health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancer types. The leading cause of obesity is consuming more calories than our bodies require and using fewer calories by not engaging in physical activities.
Regularly Measure Your Weight
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a standard measure used to determine if you have a healthy weight compared to your height. However, the use of BMI is limited and not enough to determine the healthy weight of a person who uses a wheelchair. This is because some health conditions may have affected your height or weight.
Visiting a health expert is highly recommended. They can take various tests to determine if your current weight is healthy and advise you accordingly.
Why Wheelchair Users Become Overweight
Persons using wheelchairs may not be able to measure the number of calories they require. This results in overeating and eventually weight gain.
Additionally, even if you eat the right calories, you might still gain weight as a wheelchair user. This is because you engage in less physical activities. You may also lose leg muscle over time due to inactivity.
How To Lose Weight In A Wheelchair
The main ways to lose weight is by engaging in more physical activities and changing your diet by eating fewer calories. If you are overweight, you should set a goal to lose 0.5 to 1kg per week, till you achieve your weight loss goal.
In average, a man needs a 2500 daily caloric intake while a woman needs 2,000. A wheelchair user is likely to require a lesser caloric intake. To know the right portion you require, seek guidance from a specialist such as a dietitian.
Reducing your calorie input does not mean you eat unhealthily. It is just best if you had a balanced diet that has:
Energy giving food like wheat and rice
Vitamins and Minerals
Found in fruits and vegetables
Ensure that you take at least eight glasses of water daily
Foods like dairy products and meat
These include olive oil, ghee, butter, etc.
To maintain your weight, avoid consuming foods with high fat or sugar content. Eat just the right portion of food with enough calories to give you the energy you need.
Becoming more active makes you use up calories and lose weight. As a wheelchair user, there are activities you can engage in physically. These include wheelchair sports like badminton, basketball, netball, etc.
You can also find gym exercises that will suit your conditions. It would be best if you also targeted to do cardiovascular and muscle-strengthening exercises regularly.