Weighing In: How do I lose weight on a bland diet?

Patient Expert

Question: I recently found out that I have stomach ulcers and I need to be on a bland food diet for awhile. I also recently quit smoking and gained 10 pounds. I really want to lose this weight that I have gained, but every thing I have read about bland food diets tells me to stay away from whole grains and fiber so how am I suppose to lose this weight without making my ulcers worse?

Heather: Yes it is true, if you are following a bland diet you should avoid high fiber foods like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. You should also steer clear of spicy foods, pepper and caffeine. But there are a lot of other low calorie, nutritious foods that you can eat.

While a diet rich in high fiber foods is recommended for weight loss, you can still lose weight on a low fiber, bland diet. Cutting down portion sizes and monitoring your calorie intake will result in weight loss no matter what you eat.

Of course a well-balanced, nutritious diet is recommended for overall health and some foods, particularly those high in fiber, help you stay fuller longer. But as long as you don't exceed your calories for weight loss, even if you are eating low fiber foods, you are going to lose weight. To find out how many calories you should eat per day, visit www.mypyramid.gov.

One benefit of eating foods that are high in fiber, is that you stay fuller longer. For this reason I would try to focus on eating foods that are low in calories, this way you can eat more so you feel full longer. You may also want to eat small frequent meals so that you don't get overly hungry and overeat.

Also, remember that physical activity is an important part of weight loss. It is recommended that you be physically active at least 30 minutes a day and doing so will also help you lose weight. If you aren't currently engaging in regular physical activity and your doctor allows you to do so, I would encourage you to start moving more. However, since you have recently been under the care of a physician I would clear it with him or her first.

Congratulations on quitting smoking, that is a huge accomplishment. It is common for people to put on a few pounds when they quit smoking, and the health benefits from quitting smoking far outweigh the downside of putting on 10 pounds. However, I can appreciate your eagerness to lose the extra weight. Good luck.