Any weight loss journey will meet ups and downs, both in behaviour and choices and also in your current state of health. When you’ve made a poor choice the route is clear: jump back on the wagon and make your next choice a good one. But what happens when you’re not feeling well?
Depending on the severity of the illness, people try to soldier on with their eating plan, eating what they’re ‘supposed’ to, continuing to make all the ‘right’ choices, and feeling guilty for any slip-ups. This is fine if your only focus is on losing weight, but if you’re feeling particularly lousy it might be better to listen to your body and respond accordingly.
In the winter months, many people are afflicted by colds and flu. Sometimes we can easily push on, trying our best to ignore the coughs and sneezes and sniffles. Appetite might not be affected.
When the illness is worse appetite might disappear, the very thought of food becomes nauseating, and feelings of guilt at not following your eating plan take hold. If this happens to you, take stock and ask yourself what’s more important.
Sure, if you deviate from your eating plan it might have an effect on your weight, but if you’re stuck in bed, vomiting, dizzy, or sleeping all day, worry about food needs to take second place. Focus instead on what you need to do to feel better.
Mum’s home-made chicken soup might not be available, but a teaspoon of stock powder in boiling water might do the job. The fluid and salts might do more for your state of physical – and mental – health than virtuously trying to force down some tuna and salad. Perhaps you just need to eat something ‘clean’. Strawberries or rockmelon might be the best thing. Maybe all you honestly feel like you can face is a piece of bread and butter.
If the illness is such that you just can’t eat, focus on what you might be able to drink and just do what you can until the worst of the illness passes.
Bronnie suffered a bout of dizziness and nausea this week. She was concerned of course, and wanted suggestions for what to do. She had rockmelon or soup easily available and thought she could keep the rockmelon down, but was concerned about the portion size. She was best served to eat the recommended serving size (if indeed she could manage that amount), evaluate the effect, and then eat more if she felt like it.
Naturally, if your illness hangs around too long you should consult with your doctor.
As you start feeling better and your appetite returns, accept the odd choices you made in the previous day or two and get back on track. There’s no point beating yourself up over these choices as you were only doing the best you could. Stop those choices now that you’re on the road to recovery, get your weight loss strategy happening again, and make sure you nourish your body as best you can to avoid a recurrence of your illness.
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