Battling The RA Bulge With Diet

Leslie Rott Health Guide
  • We all know that weight management can be a difficult thing, even more so when you are living with a disease that often makes it difficult to partake in any measure of physical activity. 


    It also doesn’t help that while we are told that weight management can be a key to avoiding further damage to our joints, we are put on medications (read Prednisone) that cause us to gain weight.


    Right now, I am about 10 pounds more than I feel comfortable with, and about 15 pounds from my ideal weight.  This is due to a lot of different factors, but mainly I feel it was caused by being back on daily Prednisone, even though I was only on 10 milligrams a day.

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    And don’t they say that it takes twice as long to drop the weight as it took to gain it in the first place?


    Anyway, after reading several different books on diet, here are some of the things I have done to change my diet:


    -          Eating more fiber


    -          Eating less carbohydrates


    -          Eating a bigger breakfast that helps me stay fuller longer


    -          Eating more protein


    -          Eating more fruits and vegetables, and seeing them as an adequate snack


    -          No pop/soda


    -          No Poptarts


    -          Having more variety within than between foods.


    Keep in mind that these were piecemeal suggestions from a variety of different sources. 


    I basically picked what I liked and got rid of the rest. I realize that a lot of this may seem commonsensical. Eating more fiber, but less carbs may seem counterintuitive, but you’d be surprised. I was very skeptical about eating a bigger breakfast because I didn’t think I could, but I can, and it works. Eating more protein has been helpful, although since I am a vegetarian, I have had to get creative with protein sources. Eating more fruits and vegetables is always a good thing. And then getting rid of some of my vices – pop and Poptarts.  Because really, who needs them?


    More than anything, though, I think that having a limited variety of foods in your diet can be helpful.  What I mean is that you have staples like fat-free yogurt and oatmeal, but you can eat any flavor or throw in any fruits and cereal or granola that you like.  Having too much variety in your diet is one way to get caught up in bad habits.  But if you put some limits on yourself, it is easier to keep yourself in check.  And when it comes to fruits and vegetables, the range is endless. 


    Although I have fallen off the wagon a little bit, I do see that the changes I’ve made have had a positive effect.  Not now because of the medication transition, but before that, I did notice that I had more energy.   


    Of course, before starting any significant diet or weight loss program, you should discuss it with your doctor. 


    Also, some of you may have food sensitivities, so those should be taken into account, as well.


    I’m not trying to sell you a diet plan here.  I’m not a dietician.  But I am an RA patient, who mainly do to meds, is struggling a bit with her weight. 


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    And to be honest, for me, at this point, it’s more of a vanity thing.  Some of you may think that the difference between 115 and 105 or 100 is not that much.  But on my 4’11” frame, it feels like a lot. 


    So I’m doing what I can to hopefully keep things in check. 

Published On: March 26, 2013