Keeping your diet and fitness on track when you’re sick

Thanks for tuning in this week! It’s been a rough week for me, as I seemed to have caught some sort of flu that kept me in bed most of the week. This also means I wasn’t feeling up for my regular gym visits, and my healthy diet took a bit of a break, as my appetite was either non-existent or all over the place. This week I’ll discuss how you can keep up with your healthy lifestyle even when you’re not feeling healthy.

No more weighting

what to do when

you aren’t feeling well

It’s been a rough week for me, as I seemed to have caught some sort of flu that kept me in bed most of the week. This also means I wasn’t feeling up for my regular gym visits, and my healthy diet took a bit of a break, as my appetite was either non-existent or all over the place.

This week I’ll discuss how you can keep up with your healthy lifestyle even when you’re not feeling healthy.

September hits, and so does the start of another school year, the colder weather and germs. I learned that the hard way, since I work at a university and must have been exposed to a nasty flu that left me with night chills, nausea, exhaustion and a lack of appetite. What did this mean for my healthy diet and fitness plan? It kind of took a back seat.

Taking a break is OK

Woman with the flu

If your body is achy and you’re still thinking you’ve got to get to the gym, stop right there. When you’re fighting off a bad flu, your body is doing everything it can to keep you healthy and ward off infection, so taking a break and resting in bed is much better for you than exhausting your body and further compromising your immune system. This doesn’t mean you should lie in bed and not move for days, but you do deserve a bit of a time out to simply rest. Skipping the kick-boxing classes for a few days will not make you gain weight.

While having the flu often means a suppressed appetite, I found that when I was hungry, I only craved sweets for some reason. I allowed myself to have a cookie, and I allowed myself to eat late when I finally would feel hungry — two things I rarely do. Eventually I realized that being sick shouldn’t be used as an excuse to eat unhealthy foods. This was a time when I needed to eat the most healthily.

Tips to stay on track

While I was in bed and needed assistance with getting food and drinks, I still made the effort to make healthy food choices. I avoided the late-night munchies by having a small snack earlier when I should have eaten but just wasn’t hungry. I drank natural orange juice for a boost of vitamin C, but I avoided this close to bedtime, since it’s loaded with natural sugars. Making healthy choices is still important even if you are sick.

I cheated and ate one oatmeal cookie because I was really craving one, but I figured it was OK since I wasn’t eating much in the early stages of my flu. On the days that I started to feel better, I’d make sure not to use my flu as an excuse to consume sugars and startches, since I was consuming a more normal range of calories by this point. Because of my fever and night sweats, I found I was losing more water, so I made sure to drink more water to stay well hydrated and flush out the bug that was making me sick.

When I felt well enough, I did some mild stretches to keep my muscles activated, since lying in bed for days can also mean achy joints and weakened muscles. This will defintely help me out when I get back to the gym once I’m feeling completely better next week.

In the end, feeling under the weather allows you to bend the rules a bit, but within reason. Remember, when you’re feeling 100 per cent better, you have no excuses!

More on weight loss

When is it time to buy new clothes when dieting?
Why is there no easy weight loss fix?
Do food journals work?

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