How to Lose Weight When You Have a Disability

Having a disability doesn't mean you cannot lose weight. While a disability may limit some types of physical activity you can do, there are still a number of ways you can lose weight.

Talk to your doctor before starting a diet or exercise program. This is especially important if you have heart problems, diabetes or other medical conditions that can be seriously affected by a change in diet or activity levels. You might need to undergo a few tests to check blood pressure, body composition, heart health and blood glucose levels to ensure you are ready to change your diet and start exercising.

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Focus on your abilities, not disability. If you have problems with your legs, for example, you can still work your upper body and your core muscles (abdomen and lower back). Find a piece of equipment or an aerobic activity that you can do and make the most of it. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on some days and then work your way up.

Incorporate weight training into your workout routine as this builds muscle and will speed your metabolism, causing you to burn fat faster and more easily. Try to work out with weights at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes or more. Don't worry about the muscles you aren't able to work out, and instead exercise the others actively. Allow muscles to rest 24 to 48 hours in between workouts.

Concentrate on your diet. Limit or eliminate calories with fewer nutritional benefits, such as fried foods, processed snacks and drinks with added sugar. Your whole body will benefit from more whole grains, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. Of course, always take your own personal nutritional needs into account and work with a health care professional to determine what's best for you.

Eat enough to conserve muscle. If you reduce your calorie intake to an extremely low number (under 1,000 calories per day), chances are you will end up burning muscle instead of fat. This is because your body will resort to storing anything you eat as fat to preserve your body and will shed water weight and glycogen stored in your muscles.

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