Maintaining a healthy weight
If you have a spinal cord injury it is likely that you are not as active as you used to be. This means that your body requires less energy, or calories. It is important to check your weight to make sure you stay a healthy weight. This will help to keep you feeling and looking well, and able to do all the things you need to each day.
What is my healthy weight?
Your healthy weight range is determined by a number of factors, including your spinal cord injury level and your height and weight prior to your injury.
What if I am underweight?
Being underweight may put your health at risk. If there is not enough fat on your body to pad your skin, bony points may rub against your cushion, chair or bed and result in pressure injuries and skin breakdown.
If you have recently lost weight or are below a healthy weight, talk to your GP or specialist. They may recommend you see a dietician who will give you lots of helpful ideas about healthy ways to gain weight.
What if I am overweight?
Being overweight can make transfers difficult, limit your mobility and put you at greater risk of getting pressure injuries. It can also increase your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes. You will need to have smaller meals and reduce your portion sizes. You should also avoid foods high in fat or sugar. Many takeaway and convenience foods are high in fat and sugar so are best avoided. One of the best, and simplest ways to control your weight is portion control. This means that you change the amount that goes on your plate at mealtimes. The picture below shows what your plate should look like: