How to Avoid Gaining Weight From a Sports Injury

How to Avoid Gaining Weight From a Sports Injury

To avoid gaining weight from a sports injury, you must continue a healthy nutrition plan, stay active, follow a physical therapy plan, and have good sleeping habits. With a sound mindset, you can recover from your sports injury with ease and avoid gaining weight.

Overcoming a sports injury can be a great physical and mental challenge for most people. Injuries usually require a decrease in physical activity, however, there are ways in which you can remain active and healthy to avoid gaining weight. With a proactive mindset and proper planning, you can minimize weight gain while maintaining a lifestyle that will help you recover quickly and set you up for lifelong health.

Table of Contents

How Can I Prevent Gain Weight During Recovery

There is a combination of methods you must keep in mind while in recovery. By paying attention to all aspects of your lifestyle, you can keep an ideal weight even while recovering from a sports injury.

Follow an Exercise Routine

Even while injured, you can engage in a consistent exercise routine that does not interfere with your recovery. It is important to work with your healthcare team to create an effective exercise plan that helps you recover from your injury while keeping the rest of your body stimulated. During injuries, it is usually recommended to engage in low-impact exercises including walking, swimming, or yoga.

Adopt Healthy Nutritional Habits

Whether you are injured or completely healed, adopting good nutritional habits will support your activities and overall health. During the recovery process, your body needs sufficient nutrients to support your musculoskeletal system. Additionally, it is important to stay adequately hydrated.

Learn to Control Anxiety and Stress During Recovery

Recovering from an injury can certainly create mental and emotional stress. Limited mobility takes a toll on your daily activities and your mood. This is why it is important to have reliable coping mechanisms to help you overcome this difficult time. Find a good support system and focus on activities that give you ease and joy.

Take Frequent Breaks to Lessen Overuse of Injured Structures

When you experience an injury, you have to gradually regain full mobility. Thus, avoid overusing impaired areas or doing activities that aggravate the injured structures. Find ways to adapt to your temporary limited mobility to ensure proper healing.

Maintain Muscle Mass During Your Recovery

Although you may have limited mobility that prevents you from using a particular part of your body, it is important that you still use the injured area according to your physical therapy plan. Additionally, the non-injured parts of your body need to stay strong. Resistance exercises help you maintain muscle mass throughout recovery.

What Causes Weight Gain During an Injury?

Although each person is different, there are common reasons why people gain weight during an injury. These include:

Lack of Physical Activity

During an injury, it is easy for people to forget about physical activity. Also, the new limited mobility caused by an injury can easily make people feel restricted when engaging in exercise. The decrease in physical movement along with the reduction in calorie expenditure can make a person gain weight.

Alterations in Hormone Levels and Metabolism

During an injury, a person changes many habits which can lead to alterations in hormonal levels and metabolic processes. Medications and sleeping habits can also influence your metabolism and hormonal balance.

Stress causes cortisol levels to rise leading to increased appetite and weight gain. Reduced physical activity can make your metabolism sluggish leading to a vicious cycle of lack of energy and weight gain.

Inadequate Food Choices

When injured people seek comfort. It is easy to rely on comfort foods to relieve stress and bring feelings of ease. However, you must stay mentally strong during recovery so that you maintain good eating habits. Nutritious choices with plenty of fresh water are necessary to support the physiological demands of your injured tissues. You also want to focus on anti-inflammatory foods that aid healing.

Anxiety, Stress, and Mental Challenges During Recovery

It is normal for you to experience stress, anxiety, and other mental challenges during your injury. It can be difficult to face physical limitations, disruptions to your daily routine, and pain. The combination of new adjustments to your life can challenge your well-being. There are effective methods to ease your emotional stress during recovery and help you stay mentally strong.

Risk Factors for Weight Gain Post Injury

Several risk factors cause weight gain after an injury including a decrease in physical activity, changes in caloric intake, emotional eating, medications and other treatments, age and metabolism, lack of knowledge or support, severity or duration of the injury. Not everyone experiences an injury the same way, it is important to be aware of your risk factors and find solutions customized to you.

Helpful Solutions for Post-Injury Weight Loss

There are many ways in which you can increase your chances for a successful recovery while maintaining a healthy weight.

Seek Assistance From Your Healthcare Team

Your primary doctor, physical therapist, specialists, nutritionist, and other healthcare professionals can make a positive impact on your recovery. Be sure to collaborate closely with your healthcare team to work on a synergistic recovery plan that incorporates all facets of your recovery. Healthcare professionals have the knowledge and resources to help you gain control over your injury and set you up for a favorable outcome.

Make Nutrition a Priority

A nutrition plan for injury recovery is essential for your health whether or not you have an injury. During recovery, nutrition becomes even more important. There are specific foods that promote healing, decrease inflammation, and provide the nutrients you need for optimal recovery.

Foods that assist you during recovery include protein-rich foods, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, quality water, probiotics, and anti-inflammatory foods.

Control Portions

A key to maintaining a healthy weight is to be aware of the portions you eat. This method ensures you consume nutrient-dense foods while keeping caloric intake under control. Seek to understand proper portion sizes for your age and weight. Use small plates and bowls to avoid over-serving yourself. Additionally, make vegetables the largest part of your meal. It is also good to avoid empty calories from junk food and alcohol.

Include Physical Activity Into Your Recovery Plan

In addition to following your physical therapy plan closely, be sure to also engage in physical activities you enjoy. Not only will these activities enhance your physical fitness, but they will also elevate your life by focusing on fun hobbies.

It is important that most of your efforts are devoted to your physical therapy plan. Consider water-based activities unless contraindicated. Being in the water relieves tension from joints and helps you relax the whole body.

Increase Activity Gradually

As you progress in your recovery, you can start to increase your activity gradually. Give yourself a good challenge without over-exerting yourself. It is best to progressively increase your activity level rather than reach a plateau.

Follow a Physical Therapy Plan

Once your injury is stabilized, you will likely receive a prescription for physical therapy. It is one of the most important aspects of your recovery. A physical therapist will help you safely carry out a set of exercises that will keep your body strong and help you regain mobility.

Perform Alternative Exercises

Although you may experience some limited mobility after your injury, there are many alternative exercises you can perform to keep your whole body strong. It is crucial that you follow the guidelines of a trained physical therapist who will be able to craft the proper exercise plan without risking further injury or regression.

Commit to Being Consistent

One of the most important parts of your recovery is your consistency with the prescribed therapies as well as your personal goals. In addition to following a nutrition and physical therapy plan closely, set goals for yourself to help you stay motivated, free from stress, and well-rested.

Monitor Your Progress

Monitoring your progress is a great way to ensure you are reaching milestones consistently and on time. It is also a good way to stay motivated and see the benefits of your efforts.

Give Yourself Time to Rest

A vital part of recovery is your rest, both mental and physical. Pay attention to your body and its subtle messages. Sleep and rest are also productive and beneficial for tissue regeneration. Staying mentally fit is also necessary, so be sure to give yourself the pampering you need to stay strong.

How is Avoiding Weight Gain After an Injury Beneficial?

Keeping a healthy weight while you heal from an injury increases your chances for a speedy recovery. You will be able to enjoy the healing process much more and it makes you ready to get back on track with all aspects of life after you heal.

Quick Recovery

During the recovery phase, you will feel stronger and more energetic by keeping your weight under control. Avoiding weight gain will provide you with the focus and energy you need to make your recovery a speedy one.

Decrease Pain

A huge advantage of avoiding weight gain during an injury is that you may feel less pain. Gaining weight makes you sluggish, drains your energy, increases inflammation, and has many other negative impacts on the body that can contribute to you experiencing pain more intensely.

Enhanced Function and Mobility

By keeping your weight in check after an injury, you have a higher chance of regaining function and mobility much more effectively.

Optimal Overall Health

Weight gain can impact all body systems, which can lead to other various ailments during your recovery phase.

Psychological and Emotional Well-being

Another huge benefit of staying in shape is the psychological and emotional benefits you will have. Weight gain can cause depression and lack of energy. During recovery, you want to be in your best shape to face the challenge of healing and overcoming your injury.

Increased Levels of Energy

As you heal from your injury and maintain a healthy weight, you will have much more energy for recovery. An aspect of recovery that will require lots of your energy is physical therapy. Give yourself many breaks and adopt a healthy sleeping schedule to maintain high levels of energy.

How to Prevent Secondary Injuries

It is crucial to avoid any setbacks during your healing process. To prevent secondary injuries, follow medical advice closely, advance with your physical therapy gradually, practice warm-up and cool-down sessions, use protective gear, build strength, listen to your body, and rest properly.



Do you gain weight when recovering from injury?

Each person is unique, weight gain varies according to several factors including age, type of injury, lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and other factors.

Do athletes gain weight during an injury?

Some athletes may gain weight during injuries as regular people can. However, being athletic helps to improve your chances of not gaining weight during recovery.

Why did I gain weight after an injury?

There are several reasons why you may gain weight after an injury including eating habits, activity level, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, and a variety of other factors.

How do you stay fit during an injury?

To stay fit while you recover from an injury, be sure to follow your physical therapy plan, adopt healthy eating habits, sleep well, and stay active. It is also important to practice relaxation techniques to help you avoid stress and anxiety.

How do you lose weight gained from injury?

You can lose weight after an injury the same way that you would normally. It is important for you to give your physical therapy plan priority to ensure you regain full mobility in the injured area.

What not to eat when injured

During recovery, avoid inflammatory foods such as processed meals, alcohol, sugary foods, and other unhealthy choices.

How do athletes stay in shape when injured?

During injuries, athletes have the advantage of being in shape, having a good support system, and having knowledge of physical therapy. Like any person, they stay in shape by being active, eating healthy, and resting well.

Do athletes heal faster from injury?

Athletes may be able to heal faster from injuries because they have the support system and resources to deal with frequent injuries. Also, by being athletic, the body is stronger and able to recover faster.

Should I eat more if I have an injury?

You should not eat more unless your nutritionist and physical therapist indicates it. Typically, during an injury, you’ll need to consume similar amounts of calories as when you were uninjured.

Can a traumatic injury cause weight gain?

It depends on various factors including the type of injury, medications, your lifestyle pre-injury, and other circumstances.

Does swelling add body weight?

Yes, inflammation can contribute to gaining weight. However, most of the weight gain comes from excess calories and decreased physical activity.

Is it easy to lose weight after an injury?

Everyone loses weight at a different pace. Depending on your injury, it may be more challenging to lose weight during recovery compared to when you are fully healed.

Can physical pain cause weight gain?

Yes, when you are in pain, sometimes it can make it difficult for you to follow a healthy exercise, sleep, and nutrition plan. Pain can also harm your mental health, which can also lead to weight gain.

How to lose weight when injured and can’t exercise?

When recovering from an injury and not able to exercise, there are still some movements you may be able to perform to keep you active. Following a healthy meal plan will assist you in losing weight.

How to not gain weight with a knee injury?

When recovering from a knee injury, you can still move other parts of your body to help you stay active and burn calories. You can also create a healthy nutritional plan that prevents you from gaining weight.

How to not get fat while on crutches?

When on crutches, you may still be able to perform various activities while sitting to help you burn calories and keep your weight down. Also, by following healthy eating habits, you will have a better chance of avoiding getting fat.

Do injuries cause weight gain?

Injuries can cause weight gain due to a decrease in physical activity, possible alterations in mood, and food cravings that may develop. When recovering from an injury, it is important to stay mentally strong, follow a healthy meal plan, and exercise in any way you can.

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