Diet Tips. Lets Help Each Other.: I, like many others I... - LSN


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Diet Tips. Lets Help Each Other.

clown profile image

I, like many others I am sure, have been told to lose weight to help my lymphedema. I am finding it sooo difficult. I am taking letrozole and thyroxine. I do feel quite restricted - I have lymphedema on both arms, chest and back.

25 Replies

I suggest you join a local walking group. See: to find your nearest local group. I've found that keeping fit takes your mind off food! Also walking is fantastic exercise to make you feel good. The British Heart Foundation publish a good guide on how to lose weight and this should be available from your GP. Losing weight really is difficult. I wish you all the best for the New Year.

hiya clown

i'm disabled & v limited in what i can do about 'calories out' so have had to go pretty rabid on the 'calories in' front

especially while on aromatase inhibitors - friends were managing by doing zumba classes every day, & if you do go walking it has to be brisk, & everyone was raving about using nordic poles as they get your arms moving (but do some sld to get it drained when you get home, & apparently the cheaper nordic poles on ebay are cr*p)

i've done little things like

- making a soup but instead of browning veg in a bit of oil just put them straight into stock with no fat

- eating more pulses - cheap, easy if you get them in tins, & low gi protein

- swapping potatoes for sweet potatoes - again, sweet potatoes are lower gi so for the same portion size you feel fuller for longer

- drastically reducing the size of my plate, & making sure it's 1/2 full of greens & other veg just steamed a bit or cooked in stock

- making hummus at home with no fat (take any recipe, & instead of oil add some of the water from the chick pea tin)

- making porridge with almost all water & just a bit of milk (cow's / soya / kara) & adding different grains, like quinoa flakes or rice flakes, which again gives you protein so fuller for longer

- having a salad with every meal (not breakfast!) - just a bit of lettuce, cucumber, celery, coriander etc

- chewing 3 times more than i used to & infuriating everybody by how slowly i eat (difficult if you mind the food going cold) - apparently it takes 20mn from food getting in your stomach for your brain to register, so if you eat more slowly you're more likely to feel fuller after fewer calories

- if people give me chocolate as a present i give it away asap to the next person who comes thru the front door

- rejoined slimming world - paying to get weighed works for me!

& with all that & more i was losing at most 1/2lb a week!

to be honest, i looked at my risk profile & at how much weight i'd need to lose to get anywhere near 'normal range' bmi (3 stone +) & decided to stop taking the ai's

i'm NOT advocating that for anyone else tho, & it's against medical advice so not to be decided on lightly

hope 1 or 2 of those ideas help - if i were to choose 2, it'd be smaller plates & stuffing more veg (no sauces or dressings! but plenty of herbs & spices)

good luck - be good to see what ideas other people come up with


Hi Clown,

I hope my story helps you.

I did the Cambridge Diet years ago which took 6 months to lose 2st.

excellent diet but then the weight crept back on as I gave in and start having cereal with a banana or Toast and Jam for breakfast. This was not filling enough and I was always feeling hungry. I was having roast potatoes with meat and lots of veg. for Dinner. I used to snack on cakes and chocolate. What a bad move that was.

Because I am limited in what exercises I can do my weight escalated very quickly.

I asked for Slimming Tablets to get me started as I have 5st to lose but GP's not very helpful.

I have just started the Atkins Low Carb Diet here are a few books which may help you.


Daily I now have Eggs and Bacon I feel full to about 1pm then I have salad and Black Coffee.

I love EGGS and BACON for breakfast with MUSHROOMS or TOMATOES - BUT NO BREAD Its filling and I don't feel hungry.

I drink numerous cups of mild black coffee throughout the day.

I grill 3 rashers of Bacon and use 3 eggs for scrambled egg or as an omelette.

BUT if you can't do without chocolates you can have only 2 small chocolates at night as a treat. So this keeps me going as its something to look forward to.

BOOKS TO READ: available from Amazon.

Living Low Carb:

Controlled-Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss by Jonny Bowden

The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth:

The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About How to Make the Healthiest Slow Cooker Dishes

by Jonny Bowden

Diabetes Diet: by Dr Bernstein's Low Carbohydrate Solution

New Atkins For a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great

Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution:

The No-hunger, Luxurious Weight Loss Plan That Really Works

1001 Low-Carb Recipes:

Recipes That Let You Eat All of the Foods You Love and Have Your Low-Carb Diet

by Dana Carpender

Low-carb Slow Cooker Classics by Dana Carpender

500 Low Carb Recipes:

500 Recipes from Snacks to Desserts That the Whole Family Will Love by Dana Carpender

500 More Low-Carb Recipes:

500 All-New Recipes from Around the World by Dana Carpender

I know several fit people who have done the Low Carb Diet with excellent results so I hope to give you some good news in 4 weeks time with an update as I am keeping a daily log.

I will weigh myself weekly.

I hope the above will give you some inspiration.

Andy13 profile image
Andy13 in reply to alfie19

Another suggestion for breakfast is kippers. I used to have bacon, egg and sausage with mushroom for breakfast. BTW absolutely agree that you need to avoid bread, wheat and other forms of carbs (read the ingredients on sausages before eating). Even before I used the Atkins diet I noticed that I got hungrier if I eat toast after bacon, egg etc than if I omitted it. Thanks for book list, I will go look them up.

Mike my husband has lymphedema and lots of weight to lose. He's made a great start with the 5/2 diet. For two days every week, they mustn't follow each other, he eats just 600 calories a day, for the rest of the time he eats what he wants. The weight has fallen off. 3 stone in 3 months and it isn't at all hard as all you've got to do is fast/cut down drastically for one day knowing the next you can eat what you like.

I've done it too and lost inches off my waist.

Believe me it works.

unlucky profile image
unlucky in reply to mis2

thats a fantastic weight loss well done to your husband & yourself do you know were i can get more information about this please i have lots of weight to lose

Hi Mis2,

Brilliant fantastic news

Can you please put on here what I need to do.

How do I get started on this it sounds great.

What are the Menus or foods to eat.

Can you give me any tips.

I have problems dieting with lymphoedema ..i honestly find if I restrict myself and i mean restrict my self to cutting down salt, sugar and fat.... with in a week my swelling has gone right down..the small watery lumps on my legs go down..I also have to take a mild diuretic

hi again all

mis2, we saw the programme on the 5 days on / 2 days off diet as well & were definitely intrigued

apparently there's a website about it but i couldn't find it by typing the obvious into google - anyone know its address?

Don't know about the website but there is a new book coming out on Amazon available from the 10th Jan at about £5-6 that outlines it and gives all recipes etc by the guy who undertook it for the documentary last summer, sorry his name escapes but is easy to locate on Amazon

Hello there,

I've been on the alternate day fasting regime since the end of August 2012 and have lost almost 30Kg.

It was after the BBC Horizon programme called "Eat, Fast and Longer" presented by Dr Michael Moseley last August After watching the programme things made sense to me and I then found that our Prophet Muhammad (Yes, I am a Muslim) fasted for two days a week as a minimum throughout his life. Extrapolating Dr Moseley's experiences of then going on a 5-2 fast regime (Eat normally for 5 days and fast for 2) with this I knew it was safe.

I started the regime almost immediately after Ramadhan (Islamic month of fasting) so the transition to fast wasn't that bad for me.

My lymphoedema therapist has now suggested having liposuction on my thighs (I suffer from Lipodema as well) since they have no lymph left. She also informed me that weight loss generally makes it easier for the lymph nodes to work effectively.

If you are having doubts - I suggest you fast for a single day and see if you can contemplate doing it regularly. I actually found that fasting made me more alert and active intellectually and leaves me slightly more energetic. Also on 'feast' days you'll find it hard to eat what you used to eat. I used to have two toasts with my cup of tea in the morning - I now feel full after having just one.

What I have said may sound fantastic but I assure you that it does work. Couple that with the scientific and Islamic evidence - I know it's safe and it continues to work for me.

BTW the book is called "The Fast Diet"

anami profile image
anami in reply to anami

'fast' in this context limiting your daily calorie intake to 600 calories (for a man, 500 for a woman)

sala'am alaikum alami

v useful info, thank you - & of course it fits with ramadam except you can't break the fast with a sunset feast i guess

i'm v interested in giving it a go - it's just fitting it round the family ,,,

could you give us an idea of the kind of stuff you eat on your 500 / 600 calorie day?


i've bought the book - haven't finished reading it yet but they seem too be suggesting that on fasting days you have something with protein for breakfast, drink lots (water / herb teas / black coffee or tea), skip lunch or have something like an apple, then use most of your calories for sthg like a stir fry or salad for a main meal in the evening, again with some protein

they're keen on low gi as well, & suggest avoiding v sugary fruits (strawberries have a gi of 0, apparently)

& make the 2 days non-consecutive - that way, if you feel hungry you can think about what you're gonna eat tomorrow!

will post more when i've read it properly

anami profile image
anami in reply to norberte

Having protein in the morning seems to be a new idea. I usually have a cup of tea (normal with milk and sugar) with toast in the morning, an apple at lunch time and three bean soup in the evening. I drink copious amounts of green/white tea throughout the day.

This may sound boring - I'm one of those who just wants familiar things in life.

I do supplement the fast day with a one-a-day A-Z Vitamin/mineral pill.

As for your family - you just need to educate them that what you are doing is for the better and the route to better health is worth a little sacrifice.

That's right - I wait for the day that I can eat. Recently I don't find the 'feast' days as enjoyable...

Good luck...

anami profile image
anami in reply to anami

** I meant the programme didn't mention that you *should* have protein in the morning..

hi anami

i think sometimes 'boring' is a good way of staying on track, & if it ain't broke ...

but i guess if the fast days are becoming a chore it might be time to make a small change - have you got enough calories to have a banana instead of the apple? or enough money to have strawberries?? (they do rave about strawberries in the book)

they have menus for fast days that seem like quite a lot of food to me - let me know if you want me to post a couple

& i make completely fat-free soups all the time - a really nice one is to fill a big pan with any green veg you fancy - mixture eg of leek, broccoli, cabbage etc - & whatever seasoning you like including a decent bit of stock (i use marigold bouillon powder), boil it all up & whizz then add your can of pulses - you'll get a gorgeous green coloured soup & can freeze portions of it, but it's surprisingly filling

& home-made fat-free hummus is good too (just use the water from the chick pea can instead of oil)

i just need to get on with it - went to get weighed yesterday & i'd put on 4lb in the last month, which might not sound like tons to some people but given that i usually manage to get 1/2lb off a week that's 8 weeks' work ... unless the fasting thing helps

off to chop some spring greens! wish me luck with keeping motivated!

I am now a type 2 diabetic, I have always eaten relatively low carbs but now I of course HAVE to keep that low as well as keeping low GI (I think south beach diet covers how to not eat too high GI?).

I agree with the suggestion of keeping carbs low, and just have bread for the very occasional treat. I do eat a wrap or pitta at lunch. I personally find berries and natural yoghurt the best breakfast.

Many diabetics advise atkins type diets as a good low carb diet, but I advise caution. Lymph as well as lipo relate to problems to tolerate and handle fats. I can eat things like olive oil till the cows come home but if I have a pizza the very next day I have a big puffy face off the bac of the carbs and cheese. BE WARNED! I personally would be COVERED with lymph if I tried to eat the atkins diet. So be clear with yourself are you trying to loose fat or lymph fluid, the approaches are different I would say. I can't personally eat high fat it causes a massive lymph flare up in my primary lymphedema so be cautious.

I don't personally 'diet' as in have a fixed term eating plan I intend to end and I wouldn't know a calorie from a hedgehog. But I do eat relatively low carb, sugar and saturated fat relatively strictly or I would be massive.

Good luck!!

hallo again suzie danger girl

i agree about atkins - ridiculously unhealthy way to lose weight & i don't know anybody who hasn't piled the weight back on and more again when they stop, usually cos buying protein all the time is so expensive

& i think there's growing evidence now that hearts don't like atkins

anami, sala'am

i'm on a 'fast' day today & feel fairly stuffed - banana & 2 satsumas for breakfast, a couple of corn thins (like rice cakes but made of corn & thinner - much nicer, slight popcorn taste & 50 calories the pair) for lunch & plan to have a huge bowl of greens with a small ladle of lentil & tomato soup later

(i was doing a fast day yesterday but friends came round & somehow fish & chips got bought ....! altho i didn't have the batter & just had a few chips & made a salad which no-one else touched, but i think that tipped the day well over the 500 mark so just did it today instead)

i think you're right that keeping it simple is key - let's see how long i last & perhaps i should take the advice i gave suzie & work out how much less the food bill gets then squirrel that away till there's enough for a treat??

hiya bigleg

i agree with a lot of what you say, i guess part of thee problem is that science gets commercialised & turned into something different

so everyone i know who's used atkins, every mag / paper article has concentrated on protein - & these are intelligent, sophisticated people (with some things but not others!)

& there is a price to pay for animal fat, of course - 'specially if you've got things like heart disease in the family

& if you stuff your face on the 5 days the only way you're gonna lose weight with fasting on the other 2 is if you chop off a limb! it reminds me of the first time i went to slimming world & the woman was saying you can eat 3 muller light yoghurts at once - when i said 'what's wrong with a bit of natural yoghurt & some fruit?' they all looked slightly horrified, it was a group where mock-foods that were low in naughty-points were the way to go (before anyone says something, she was an anomaly - no other group leader i've met has been like that)

same as having a gastric bypass then liquidising mars bars to restretch your stomach - that's not an urban myth, i saw people in my work who were food addicts & hadn't had that underlying problem dealt with (cold turkey not an option)

so i know i'm fat cos i've always had a v healthy diet with a thick blanket of chocolate & cheese over the top of it, i know what a pulse is, how to make things tasty without adding loads of chemicals that don't belong in food, what a portion of protein really looks like & 3,000 things to do with a pile of fresh veg

so people like me will do well on the 5:2 diet - with a massive added bonus that it can boost & repair your immune system so if you've got ra like me there's a potential for less flare-ups - or on any other diet we stick to cos we won't stuff our faces on the other days (rare fish & chip moments aside) - people who eat krispy kremes & tak-outs 5 days a week are gonna get fatter & people who think atkins means they can stuff as much protein (or fat) as they like in front of the tv are also gonna get fatter

isn't it lucky that one of the side effects of lymphoedema is a bit of nouse around food???? now, where are my willpower tablets???

I find it alarming when we talk about 'diets'. The best way to try to lose weight is to be balanced with small portions of cxarb and protein with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and plenty to drink. Diets are hard to stick to but if you still have foods you enjoy but smaller amounts then you dont feel restricted and wont binge. The hairy dieters have some fantastic recipes which are very tasty and low in fat. The lasagne and curry are great. use smaller plates as well so your plate looks full with a lot less food. Hope you have success x

I am just having smaller portions at mealtimes...have stopped eating candy cookies chippies and chocolate in the main...just have something in that range very occasionally and I don't miss it any more.... upped my fibre intake...I started this eating plan in early November and have lost 11 kg....I also do a daily walk which is prolly around 4500 steps in length legs have reduced in size...have lipo-lymphoedema and lipodermatosclerosis in both legs

i go to slimming world and find it is helping me a lot and i have been adviced to used any tinned stuff in your cupboard as weights to exercise your arms with hope this helps

bigleg, can i ask what your book says about pulses?

they're protein but also low gi carbs - are they on the banned list or the ok one?


I find that losing weight has positive effect on my lymphedema but gaining weight is so much more horrendous. 5 lbs of weight gain, I translate that into 5 more lbs of lymph I need to manage. I find that switching to a vegan diet / high fiber has really helped in preventing weight gain.

Also what helps for me in not taking that extra slice of cake is to envision all of those extra calories just morphing into more lymph to manage. That tends to stop me cold.

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