How to not get fat when you’re dealing with injuries.

We’ve all seen training partners drop off from injuries, when they come back they’re gassing out and overweight.

Now it’s you who’s injured and sitting out, or me. I broke my fibula a week ago. I have had to make adjustments to how I live so I don’t lose my cardio or gain weight. Here’s how:

Make a plan around your injury

The first thing you need to do is make a list of what you can still do. Day one there definitely pain but immobility gives you a lot of free time. With so much free time, I made a list of exercises that won’t make me cry. Since I cannot drive myself anywhere because my right leg is the broken one, I made a list comprised of both weighted and non-weighted exercises.

Exercises like one leg push ups, sit-ups, planks, leg lifts(the boot makes it heavier —flexes–), dips off the couch, crunches, and that superman lift let me get work in from home. I set a timer and at 2 minute intervals would swap exercise while working through the circuit I made. Taking no breaks allows me to work up my cardio too, not as much as an hour of Muay Thai training but much better than sitting calmly on the couch.

For the gym, I had many more options. My gym exercises included seated shrugs, neck lifts, curls, skull crushers, bench press, seated shoulder raises, banded pec flys, crunches, sit-ups to name some. I’m sure you could get creative and come up with more. For me, this circuit works pretty well and I could do it with out the use of my right leg. As with the home exercises, instead of taking breaks I swap to a different exercise and hit that cardio a little.

Tip: your’re going to sweat, if you have a boot or splint on, bring an extra sock or set of wraps so that you can change them out quickly to avoid sweating up your brace.

Now for the most important and probably the hardest piece.

Diet is the most important piece of weight management

Diet is the number one component to avoid getting fat when you’re injured. You are going to have to reduce calories but that doesn’t mean eating less if you’re smart about it.

I transitioned from a 1000 calorie breakfast to an equally large but smaller 500 calorie breakfast by swapping out steel cut oats for celery sticks for example. It’s not the same satisfying taste but it gets the job done. I do this with all of my meals, swapping my normal calories dense nuts and grains for veggies galore. My swapping even more veggies into my diet I have taken my calorie intake from about 3500 a day to 2600 a day and I have seen no fat gain so far (fingers crossed).

I am also bringing in more calcium and protein rich foods. I am incorporating more cottage cheese into my diet. Cottage cheese is high in calcium and protein so it encourages optimal healing. Any cheese would do, but some may also have more fats. Avoid alcohol while healing and sugars, both of which are the enemy to healing bones.