For various reasons at some time in your life you may find yourself having to follow a special diet. Diabetics have to watch their sugar intake and be careful with carbohydrates. Those who have celiac disease need to stay away from foods containing gluten. If you have heart disease you should be following a diet that is low in fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol. Others with chronic illnesses may develop a problem swallowing solid food and therefore need a soft food diet. Whatever your reason and whichever diet you need, sometimes limiting certain foods can lead to weight gain.
How can you manage your weight if your diet is confined to certain types of foods?
- Focus on your overall nutrition. The quality of what you are eating counts more than anything else in managing your weight. For example, those with swallowing difficulties may tend to eat foods such as mashed potatoes or jello. Substituting yogurt or vegetable broths are healthier alternatives that will help keep them from gaining unnecessary weight.
- Figure out your cravings. We all have cravings at times. Our bodies want something sweet or salty, sour or crunchy. Stay away from the potato chips. There are healthier alternatives available now that can satisfy that desire for something salty and crunchy. Look for something baked or air popped or fall back on that good old standby. Pickles! They comes in so many flavours.
- Work with what you have. Special diets sound confining but with the variety of foods available at all times of the year in our stores, eating healthy and keeping your weight under control should be easier than ever. Find a cookbook or look online for healthy recipes containing foods that you can eat. Learning to cook and make your own meals is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Remember a special diet is also called a therapeutic diet. It’s made up of the foods that will keep you the healthiest while you manage your chronic illness. Speak with your healthcare provider and a dietician to find a diet that is suitable for you and satisfies you at the same time.