It’s one of the most age old questions that is asked of any dieter. Should I diet when I’m sick? The answer is alittle trickier: It depends.
Is Your Diet Causing Your Illness?
Some diets severely deplete you of the nutrients that you need. And that can cause your immune system to become depleted and cause you to be susceptible to illnesses more frequently. First, before starting a diet have a nutritionist or dietician look over the diet you want to start and make sure that it is balanced and right for you and your specific needs. The little extra money you spend having someone look over your diet (or developing a balanced one for you) will offset the cost you will spend in copayments, medicine and lost days at work.
Also, if your diet causes problems like headaches, depression, or hair loss you may want to visit with your doctor. Be sure to mention the diet you are on. He or she may recommend that you stop dieting altogether or see a dietician to evaluate the amount of daily nutrition you are getting from your diet. They may have you do a blood draw too to see what vitamins or minerals your body may be deficient of.
Learning What Your Body Needs
We are all going to get sick at one point or another. It inevitable. But often it’s not the healthy salads or perfectly portioned meats that our body craves when we are under the weather–it’s the fluids. Smoothies, broths, and other nutrient rich liquids are great ways to continue to get the necessary fluids and nutrition your body may need while it is sick. Consider switching to these until you’re able to get back to your regular diet foods again.
And remember, just drinking bottled water vitamin drinks, eating breads or cereals won’t help your body either. Often these are fortified with nutrients. Our bodies don’t respond the same way that they do to fortified vitamins in the way that they respond to vitamins that come from the foods we eat. While they are great to help supplement what we can’t get when we eat, they shouldn’t be the only drinks that we drink while we are sick. Continue to make your focus eating healthy nutrient rich foods and consuming nutrient rich drinks that will help your body to recover quickly.
Take a Break if Needed
Did you know that your body naturally is burning calories while you are sick in an effort to repair your body? Allow your body to take a break if needed to recover. As stated above, eat good, nutritious foods, and take a break from strenuous exercise if necessary for a few days. Do light, brisk walks, short jogs, or cut down the amount of time you workout until you feel better and are back to full strength.
You will recover faster and more importantly stay healthier after you are sick by taking a break when aren’t feeling well.