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How to control diet and appetite when recovering from injury?

redvisionredvision Posts: 2,958
Hi all,

Sorry for yet another post.

Just after some tips for controlling appetite and hunger. Not sure it's because of the boredom of being stuck indoors during my recovery, or possibly the medication, but over the last few weeks i seem to be always eating and never seem to get full. Spoken to the drs but they say it's a good sign and all part of the recovery process, but i have become very aware of the weight i'm gaining and to tell you the truth, it's getting me down :cry:

I have tried eating more protein, i'm a vegetarian so having things like quorn, cottage cheese, eggs etc (due to the dental damage from the crash and an issue with my throat i am currently unable to eat nuts, even if they are crushed, which is annoying as i know this is a hunger busting food. ) tried eating massive bowls of veg and other low cal foods, tried eating several small meals a day rather than the usual 3, as well as eating slowly and even filling up on water but i still find myself hungry and constantly picking at stuff.

So has anyone got any tips? Is there a wonder food to fill you up which i'm missing? Or any over the counter appetite suppressants which actually work?



  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,411
    I had a spiral fracture of my rib and fib 5 years ago and whilst I kept the nut tightened on my intake my body burnt extra calories to repair the damage.

    As for filling foods try porridge and rather than snacking try drinking water which works for me

    There isn’t a magic ballet and personally I’d steer clear appetite suppressants simply as they are targeting the outcome rather than the triggers for your hunger
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,958
    Thanks for the reply.

    Yeah i have tried porridge and also water but neither seem to work. Porridge actually seems to make me hungrier which I assume is because of the carbs?
    The drs actually advised me not to fill up too much on water and fluids as apparently significant amounts will flush your body of vital nutrients and also stretch your stomach, which then make you hungrier as it's bigger to fill.

    I know I shouldn't worry too much about gaining weight but 3 months on from the accident and I can't help but get concerned given the amount I have gained and the fact I find myself hungry constantly, and I face at least another 2-3 months stuck indoors yet :cry:
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    I would try a version of a fasting diet to cut down the hours of food intake*. So either something like 5:2 or 6:1, or a long overnight fast like 16hrs/8hrs. Both of those have worked for me during times of low physical activity (either due to recovering from injury, or just having no time for weeks on end due to other things in life taking over). The first time you do a 24hr fast is the hardest (or the first few days of a 16/8 protocol) but it gets easier both physically and mentally the more you do it.

    The other thing that you should do at the same time is start monitoring your food intake with something like My Fitness Pal to keep an eye on the macros. Upping my fat intake and dropping my carb intake works for me to lose weight, as long as I keep the overall calories in check. Shame that you can't eat nuts -- not even nut butters? But failing that, go for olives and avocados and eggs for the fat calories, I also like full fat Fage/Skyr. Drop sugar almost completely if you can, and use your carb intake for veg and fruit and fibrous starches rather than white flour products or biscuits or whatever. I ended up losing weight on a diet where I pared back my carbs to about 25% of my diet, upped my fat to 45% and my protein to around 30%, and I honestly did not feel hungry even though I was still eating quite a lot of calories -- more than my daily requirement I think.

    It may require an entire diet overhaul... cutting out bread is tough if you're used to sandwiches all the time (I switched to salads) and cereal/porridge for breakfast is basically out (I now make my own granola made with nuts and seeds only, no grains, and have that with yogurt every day instead). But take it slow, make changes that work for you, experiment with stuff, listen to your body and be kind to yourself if things go wrong for a day or two, or if you still gain weight. Recovery from a serious injury is a big deal and like you said, early days.

    * no idea of your current recovery, but obviously don't do this if it goes against doctors orders!
  • My weight spiralled completely out of control five years back, while recovering from my injuries, but thinking about my dietary requirements especially during the three months after the accident was the last thing on my mind. It doesn't help that I have major carb cravings during the winter SAD months, so I'm used to putting on weight and then usually shifting during the summer.

    Even though you can't eat meat, I'd say protein (including milk) and water... Plus take extra time over eating.

    Have you tried palm oil free, smooth peanut butter while you cannot eat nuts? If you order at the right promo time, you can get 1Kg tubs for less than £5 from places like ... n=10530745
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  • petecopeteco Posts: 184
    I eat when I am bored. Is your brain occupied while you recover ?

  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,706
    I agree with what Maryka wrote.

    Don't get too stressed about weight gain on top of your other tribulations. It's January. It happens, and reacting emotionally will not help you get you out of what you might think of as 'a hole'. I find a hot drink in the afternoon can help though I suspect my feelings of hunger are partially boredom - when I'm really busy I don't really notice but if not then my mind wanders then food, any food, seems to enter my thoughts. Are there any ways you can burn more calories while stuck indoors?

    Porridge isn't so satisfying on its own but a teaspoon of almond/cashew nut butter helps while cacao powder or nutmeg add a non-sweetening flavour. Soaking almonds in water overnight makes them soft. Perhaps try overnight soaked granola/muesli in plain yogurt (full-fat Greek style for me, low-fat yogurts are often sweetened and are less satisfying).

    Salad leaves and water are not filling. If you make a salad use cucumber, celery etc, add kidney, black & other beans and chick peas, chopped pepper and red onion, grated raw carrot or beetroot. Add a small amount of olive oil or balsamic vinegar for texture and flavour. Find simple recipes that use quinoa or cous cous instead of pasta or potatoes. Samosas or onion bhajis bring variety of flavour and texture to lunch. Or hard-boil an egg (I'll do 4 at a time, have 1 or 2 a day with lunch). Try raw bars (cheap at Aldi & Lidl) for a snack; set a time of day between meals to have it and quarter an apple to have with it. Eat small mouthfuls, take your time. Ration yourself 2 chunks of a good quality dark chocolate bar after tea/dinner instead of a sweet pudding. You may still want some starchy carbs and that's OK, just keep the amount in check each time.

    Medication to suppress your appetite is not a solution, that will never solve anything, though it will help buy the pharmacist a new car. ;)

    Maybe try intermittent fasting e.g. the 5:2 diet, and if you consistently control your intake then in time the body adapts to lower intake. Unfortunately it adapts all too easy to eating more calories than are needed and it can begin to feel normal. Like Steve Peters' chimp, it is acting on primitive drivers, not logic. Try not to eat for 3 hours before bed and avoid eating breakfast as soon as you get up, set some tasks to be done before breakfast.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,958
    peteco wrote:
    I eat when I am bored. Is your brain occupied while you recover ?


    Not really. Due to the fractures I'm stuck downstairs in the living room and only have a laptop, Xbox, tv and books to occupy me throughout the day. Tbh everyday has become identical and boring, but at the moment it is what it is.

    Also struggling with sleep (haven't had a good night sleep for weeks) but I think much of that is due to the inactivity during the day.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, some really interesting comments. Unfortunately peanut butter and nuts are out because of an allergy which has developed since the accident. The drs haven't yet figured out If I have developed an allergy to nuts all of a sudden or if it is connected to the medication.
    I also have a clot in the lining of my throat and with the damage to my teeth I am unable to chew tougher foods - can't even chew bread crust and think celery and apples would be impossible - so this also limits what i can eat.

    @SimonE - no chance of doing anything to burn more calories at the moment. I know recovery is all that matters but over the last few weeks I have gained well over a stone and it is very very noticeable (hence the freaking out now).

    As mentioned in another thread, i still have no idea whether I will ride again (too early to make a decision on that, despite what the drs and family say) but i think I do want to do some type of sport going forwards and so I am even more conscious of the weight gain and how that can impede recovery time and increase the difficulty of getting back fit. Although i guess this really shouldn't be my focus at the moment.... It's just hard to ignore it.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,197
    Currently right here with you.

    Not done any regular cycling due to a back injury since sept. Thankfully back is on the mend - but for me its a mental thing. When I am cycling I can resist the chocolates and crisps etc - As I think:-

    1.A podgy belly and lycra is a woeful look
    2.The extra few pounds will really count on the hills

    When I am not cycling - neither of the above is an issue - so I just think censored it - as I tuck into doughnut number 6
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,958
    kingrollo wrote:
    Currently right here with you.

    Not done any regular cycling due to a back injury since sept. Thankfully back is on the mend - but for me its a mental thing. When I am cycling I can resist the chocolates and crisps etc - As I think:-

    1.A podgy belly and lycra is a woeful look
    2.The extra few pounds will really count on the hills

    When I am not cycling - neither of the above is an issue - so I just think censored it - as I tuck into doughnut number 6

    Glad to hear your back is on the mend. Hope your back continues to improve.

    Must admit to start with I did think what the hell, I will just focus on recovery and not worry about what I eat. But that view didn't last long and I quickly became conscious of how much weight I was gaining and how that could slow recovery, not to mention time taken to regain fitness (when fully recovered) and also the impact it was having on my mood.

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