How to Lose Weight in Fibromyalgia

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Frequently, being overweight or fat is a symptom of the illness itself. In other words, the chronic pain, muscle aches and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia make it a challenge to stay active, and it can be difficult to shop for and prepare healthy meals with these symptoms as well.

Some victims even turn to stress eating and general overeating because of melancholy and other emotional symptoms associated with the illness. In the United States, there are at least five million adults who struggle with the debilitating disease of fibromyalgia. Many of these sufferers are also overweight or obese. The majority people don’t know how a person who looks flawlessly healthy can undergo chronic pain.

In fact some call it the “Look Great, Feel Lousy” disease. Achy joints and inflammation persist, which doesn’t help with self-confidence or body image. And how can you remain physically fit when you’re constantly aching? Weight loss is never an easy choice. Your plans for weight loss appear more demanding if you have fibromyalgia. Calories are the culprit when it comes to weight gain, so losing weight is a result of a decrease in calories.

Reduce your daily eating by adjusting your diet and increase your daily calorie-output with work out. Here’s where it gets tricky for someone with fibromyalgia: the pain that accompanies the condition makes exercise uncomfortable. With a conscious attempt however, you’ll find the exercises that helps you burn calories and protects you from pain.

Weight loss is tough at the best of times, but for fibromyalgia sufferers it can feel like yet another fight that we’re just too tired to have. When you’re feeling sore and sad, no one wants to curl up with a stick of celery. We want a cup of tea and a donuts.

  • 1. Treat the Pain As Best As You Can
  • 2. Treat Depression and Any Emotional Symptoms
  • 3. Get Help for Fatigue, Insomnia and Other Sleep Problems
  • 4. Learn How to Eat Healthy to Reduce Symptoms
  • 5. Start Cutting Calories to Drop Fat
  • 6. Begin Exercising Slowly
  • 7. Learn How to Deal with Setbacks

The Link Between FM and Weight Gain

There are number of contributing factors responsible for weight gain in patients having fibromyalgia.

Lack of Sleep. One very baisc symptoms of Fibromyalgia is that patients can’t sleep properly despite that they need. Latest research has shown that people who don’t get sleep properly are more likely to gain weight because their metabolism slows down and appetite go on increasing and carve for more carbohydrates and high sugar foods.

Neuroendocrine Abnormalities. Studies have shown that patients having fibromyalgia have severe deficiencies of some hormones like, serotonin, growth hormone, cortisol and thyroid, and they are responsible for body decrease metabolism and they causes increase sensitivity to insulin,and makes the body to store fat and hence gain weight.

Decreased Activity. The fibromyalgia patients are in great pain and they are not able to work out to burn the calories to reduce the weight they have gained and increase their metabolism rate to the point they can reduce their weight.

Medication. A number of medications used to treat FM patients have many side effects,especially anti depressants,their side effect cause the patient to gain weight.

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Weight-loss Strategies

The pain make the patients unable to reduce their weight as they can’t work out to increase their metabolism so if they eat less they will continue to gain weight ?  Dr. Pellegrino has made the diet plan to boost out the metabolism and this type of food plan designed to improve our metabolism and calorie-burning abilities as they provide us with the right “quality” of food.  He recommends:

Eat a High-protein, Low-carbohydrate Diet. Focus on food having good protein content like lean meats, eggs, dairy products, tofu, soy meat substitutes and legumes.  Only take carbohydrate intake in the form of  vegetables and fresh fruits.  Include good fats, such as plant oils, fish oils, almonds and avocados.  Avoid artificial sweetner and  use a natural sweetener like Stevia or Xylitol.  Do not take sugar and other sweets, breads and pastas, rice, potatoes, partially hydrogenated oils, carbonated drinks, and alcohol but only when needed in small quantities.

Eat Proteins First. Never ever eat carbohydrates alone..  Always take a protein diet first,Taking protien first will help to slow down the carbohydrates absorption but activating the protein digestive enzymes.

Eat Until You’re Full. Eat 5 or  6 times a day in small quantities, never eat to full,cheers your food properly. You can take your food in the form of 2 regular meals and 3 small snacks,or you can take 2 small snacks with 3 regular meals or you can take small meals and 2 larger snacks or 5 small meals.Try it and see what suits you best.If you suffer from bowel syndrome then prefer taking small meals on and off.

Give Yourself a Break. Strictly follow the diet plan from the start of the week to the end and on weekends allow yourself to spend money freely.If you already know that you can enjoy on weekends will make you stick to the diet plan throughout the week.

Check With Your Doctor: Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise or diet plan.May be you want to talk to your doctor about thyroid,yeast  or fungal overgrowth, hypoglycemia and hormone deficiencies as these things are responsible for weight gain.

Fibromyalgia and the weight loss tips

Losing weight can seem like such a big task, so part of the challenge can know where to start. Set yourself a target weight, a practical one and create a unyielding plan on how to attain it. A lot of people recommend you stay away from the scales and take each day as it comes, but regularly weighing yourself can be a solid way to keep you focused against your goal .

Perform cardiovascular exercises such as walking, cycling or swimming. Begin with five minutes a day. Slowly increase your period by one to two minutes a day until you are able to perform 60 minutes of work out to burn calories that show the way to weight loss.


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You’ve started eating healthy, and this switch has probably by now made some constructive changes in your weight. Now, it’s time to take control of your caloric intake. In order to accurately lose weight at a healthy rate, you require cutting around 500 calories from your diet daily. But to know what your target caloric intake should be, you first need to know how many calories you burn on a regular basis. This number is called your AMR or active metabolic rate.

You can work out this number by finding an AMR calculator online that will take into concern your sex, age, height and work out level. From your AMR, deduct 500 calories, and this must be your goal caloric intake on an every day basis. Reducing your diet by 500 calories per day will help you to lose at least one or two pounds each week. Include aqua aerobics into your exercise routine as a no-impact activity to decrease pressure on your joints.

Swim or walk the pool for 15 minutes three times a week or participate in an aqua-aerobics class. Begin at a low-intensity and slowly increase your swimming tempo or increase your walk to a jog to burn a higher number of calories. Use an immobile bike if open-air cycling is not accessible, or as an exercise that is not weather dependent. Gauge your workout intensity by your target heart rate.

Pedal at a speed that increases your heart rate within your range for 10 to 60 minutes. Carry out your cycling workouts one to three days a week as one of your cardiovascular, calorie-burning actions. Lunch is particularly challenging, especially if you’re at work as opposed to at home with the contents of your kitchen cupboard. I now have soup or salad for lunch and a piece of fruit.

Again, you desire something that can see you all the way through the day with no need to snack, so a salad with protein and carbohydrates, such as tuna nicoise or feta and cous cous salad, is a fine choice. My view on snacks is where I seem to split the group. I think if you’re eating three good meals each day there is no need to snack. Yes, there are healthier munchies than cake and biscuits you could go for fruit or nuts but no snack is totally healthy so if they’re not entirely essential, just leave them alone.

When you have fibromyalgia, your workout goals are to improve daily function and fitness levels. Weight loss is an adequate goal, but do not push your body to the intense or you may acknowledge setbacks instead of improvements. Increase your rest between repetitions if you experience pain during strength training. For example, perform one arm curl and then rest for five to 10 seconds before you complete the second repetition. Speak with your doctor before you begin any exercise program to determine if it is safe for your condition.


  • Weight loss tips for fibromyalgia sufferers via Life Script
  • Fibromyalgia weight loss via Dieting Well
  • by Karen Lee Richards, ChronicPainConnection Expert Pellegrino, M (2005). Fibromyalgia: Up Close & Personal. Anadem Publishing. Kase, L (2007, October). Magic Power of Sleep. Reader’s Digest, 110-115. 

For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

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