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Fibromyalgia Disorder, Exercise and Weight Loss

Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia tend to gain weight because of pain and lack of exercise. This article will show you how to lose weight and keep it off, even if you suffer from fibromyalgi.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by pain, fatigue and depression. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men. Over 4 million Americans in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia. There is no cure for this painful disease and treatment is based upon symptomatic relief.

Many painful symptoms arise with fibromyalgia, making it hard to exercise and lose weight. Weight gain is common when you are too painful and fatigued to get out of bed. Eating right is also difficult when you are too tired to cook most of the time. You end up snacking or eating junk all day. Depression can also lead to unhealthy eating.

As sufferers of fibromyalgia, you need to be aware of the way you eat and the lack of activity and how it effects you and your health and vow  to change them. It can be done. I have had severe fibromyalgia since 1997. I gained 30 pounds in 2009 from not eating right and not exercising because of pain and fatigue. I have since lost 27 pounds and am still losing.

How much weight loss is good:?

Too much weight loss, too fast can be bad for anyone, but especially for people who suffer from fibromyalgia. A fast change in weight could send your fibromyalgia into a painful flair-up. Losing 1-3 pounds of weight each week is a better, safer way to go. This may take longer, but you are more likely to keep the weight off this way.

Fibromyalgia and diet:

Dieting when you have fibromyalgia is the same as if you were healthy. Cut out all junk food.  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Cut out as much fat as you can by eating lean meat like chicken breast. Cut down on butter and oil consumption. I do this by grilling my meat, which allows the fat in the meat to drain off.

Other things you can do is cut down on portion size. I have cut my portion size in half and still leave food on my plate when finished eating. Chew well. Chewing takes time and gives your stomach time to “catch up” and tell you it’s full. I chew each bite about 20 times. It takes 20 minutes for the food to get to your stomach, allow your stomach to “feel” it and tell you it’s full.

Fibromyalgia and exercise:

If you have fibromyalgia, the last thing you want to do is exercise. You are in pain and your tired. But, exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself if you have fibromyalgia. You just need to change the way you think about exercise. Forget running a mile or jumping around, swinging your arms, legs, hips, etc. Doing that will hurt.

You need to start slow, by doing some gentle stretching first. Workout on the floor of your living room and do only “floor exercises” like scrunches, leg lifts and balancing exercises. Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30-45 minutes (slowly!). There are many exercises you can do right in your own living room floor that are gentle, yet effective (search the internet for floor exercises). You can even graduate into light weight lifting to tone up the flabby areas. I said “light” weights. Keep your weight lifting under 10 pounds, but start with only 3-5 pounds. Lifting heavy weights may cause an increase in pain.

You may not notice a decrease in pain right away. Give the exercise routine about a month and you will start seeing the benefits. The benefits I have seen are weight loss, muscle toning and an increase in strength, endurance and especially balance. My balance was really bad when I started. Now it’s much improved and I no longer worry about falling and breaking a bone.

Losing weight when you are suffering from fibromyalgia can be done, but it takes time and patience. It’s not going to happen over night. But, once you do lose the weight using the methods in this article, you will be able to keep it off easier than if you would have lost it faster.

So, be patient, follow the above tips and you will be on your way to weight loss and decreased pain sooner than you think. Fibromyalgia doesn’t have to mean gaining weight, eating junk and staying in bed. With a good diet and some light exercise, you can be on your way to a more healthy you today!

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