Weight Loss For Quadriplegics — Reeve Connect
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Weight Loss For Quadriplegics

WAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 379 Moderator
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Hello Everyone

We are interested to see if anyone out there who is a Quad (or has a quad partner) has had success losing weight on a specific diet or program?

As we all know, losing size is particularly hard when you have a slower metabolism after SCI and have little movement throughout your entire body. Many women on our private group have posted about this as their partners also have trouble losing weight and keeping it off, especially because they're sedentary. 

This is an article done by SCI BC researchers on calorie consumption for someone with an SCI. We have found it very helpful, but are also interested in YOUR insights or what you have found success with.

Please comment below with your thoughts. 

- Brooke (WAGS of SCI)
Your WAGS of SCI
(Elena and Brooke)


  • Sterlion
    Sterlion Moderator Posts: 108 Moderator
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    The best advice I can give is exercise. I use a manual chair as my primary chair and the weight I’ve gained comes from muscle. The transition from a power to manual chair isn’t easy but it’s worth it. For a quad with paralysis from neck down I would recommend an automatic arm/leg bike with estim. 
  • ambercollie
    ambercollie Moderator Posts: 187 Moderator
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    Exercise is great! for so many things, strength, building muscle, endurance, mental health etc.. I find for weight loss
    (expecially a Quadriplegic) it's almost all about the foods you eat! Start with things like only drinking water no or very little soda, juice, alcohol, carbs & sugar, low dairy
    (I know what's left!?) Lots of veggies, salads, lean protein, some nuts etc..Do the best you can if you mess up just start again....
  • ColeandCharisma
    ColeandCharisma Moderator Posts: 12 Moderator
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    I love this thread! I myself have had some difficulties losing weight, so it is great reading you all's advice. I found that dieting benefits me the most when losing weight and it comes off rather quickly. My issue is continuing to keep the weight off especially in the winter time. It seems like my body wants to stay at a certain weight that's too high for my liking. Charisma and I are moving out this summer and we plan on working together to maintain a healthy diet as well as working out regularly. Most of my weight is around my abdomen, which is frustrating. Have any of you tried E-Stim on your abs and has it helped with the "quad gut"? 

  • VitoLucido
    VitoLucido Member Posts: 1
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    I broke my neck in 1983 (C5-C6 incomplete). I got more return to my legs than my upper body so I could at least walk with canes. That said I still had to create my own workout protocol back then which incorporated weight training, swimming, and walking with canes (took 2 hours to walk a mile). Along with this regiment that also included martial arts study and practice was following a sound diet based on Fit for Life written by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond. It's really the only book on nutrition that made sense to me. There were 2 books and I recommend both. Book one explained a lot about proper food combination and high water content food and circadian rhythms of the body, etc., and it had a plethora of wonderful recipes. Book 2 went deeper into the science behind it.  So for nutrition get Fit for Life 1 & 2. It made sense back then, and when I read it today, it makes even more sense now with all the fad diets books out there. It doesn't deprive you of anything, but rather explains the purpose of food, what and when to eat it, and the how and why of it. 
    -- Vito Lucido, St. Louis, MO
  • stephanie426
    stephanie426 Moderator Posts: 80 Moderator
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    As a para, I have struggled with weight because I LOVE sweets and carbs like no other, so even with exercise I had a hard time keeping a healthy weight.  However, this past summer I began getting severe migraines and am now taking migraine medicine that severely impacts my appetite.  Now I frequently forget to eat and am losing more weight than I'm comfortable with - even though I'm not eating incredibly healthy and I haven't been working out this winter.  I'm worried that I won't be able to maintain weight because of my migraine meds, so if anyone has tips on how to maintain weight when I have no appetite I'd really appreciate it! 
  • Sterlion
    Sterlion Moderator Posts: 108 Moderator
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    Have you spoke with your doctor about your appetite? Sometimes alternate medications can be recommended if you have problems with the side effects of one. I know it is also common for some quads to be on a med to help bring back appetite. 

    It's been a while since I did this but I would drink protein shakes in between meals. I did say in between meals and not in place of meals because you should still try to eat.
  • ambercollie
    ambercollie Moderator Posts: 187 Moderator
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    @stephanie426 how’s your weight these days? Migraines are awful so glad you have medication for those. I started a medication that took away my appetite and I lost more weight than I wanted, I eat at night it’s when I get the most hungry. I’ve gained enough back where I feel good.