Diet & Exercise : Hello everyone! I was just... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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Diet & Exercise

10 Replies

Hello everyone!

I was just curious on if anyone had any tips about losing weight before a transplant? I would like ideas on what to eat, what exercise would be best without straining myself, and have you tried diet supplements? (I wanted to before, but it’s hard to find anything like that when you have CKD).. When I was younger, I was quite “chubby” but lost all the weight. Now that I’m in my early 20s, I kinda gained back all that weight I lost 😐 My main focus would be fat about the belly area. I’m only 140 pounds but for being 5’1, I’m like a little teacup, short and stout 🤣

10 Replies
Ladybug_05 profile image


I do yoga! I find that it's one of the few things I can do that doesn't put any strain. I also try to use a rowing machine once or twice a week on a lower setting. I recommend Yoga with Adrienne on youtube- she has a lot of good videos for beginners too! I also go for short walks and have a fitbit that reminds me to move once every hour. It keeps me accountable and I can set a goal fairly easily. It also tracks your progress on the fitbit app on your phone!

Personally, I don't use dietary supplements, so I wouldn't know anything about that...but as for food, I try to eat lighter meals throughout the day (roughly every 2 hours). I stay away from processed foods as best I can and eat a lot of fruits and veggies. I eat a plant-based diet, so I don't eat a lot of meat- only usually with dinner and sometimes lunch if I have leftovers. I also only really drink water, with the occasional juice or soda.

I use a 90/10 policy. 90% of the time I'm very disciplined in what I eat and how I portion my food, and 10% of the time I treat myself to a soda or something (let's be real: taco bell is my weakness, so usually it's a burrito lol). I've found that it keeps me on track if I let myself splurge every once in a while. Some weeks are better than others, but holding yourself accountable is key. I recommend using to track your progress!

I hope this helps! Good luck!

in reply to Ladybug_05

Thank you for replying! What kind of Fitbit do you have? There’s so many types lol.

The Taco Bell thing, I can second that. 🙄😂 I have a terrible problem with eating when I’m stressed.. What’s a rowing machine? I never heard of it.

& I tried to start Yoga but I can never get the energy around to start doing it. 😒

Philipjm profile image
Philipjm in reply to


Dieting is never easy,

I am type 2 diabetic, not over weight but did have to much “belly” fat.


On a sugar free diet and sensible portion sizes. Lost 2kilos in a month and have now gone into remission for my type 2diabetes after being diabetic for 15 years.

I do walk most evenings, around 4miles brisk walking, I use a Fitbit Versa which also records my cycling.

My resting heart beat as dropped from 84 to 78 after a month of regular exercise.

Exercise does not help much with weight loss, we all eat to much sugar, bread and processed foods, cut them out gradually over a period of 2/3 months and I am sure you will find you will lose weight and feel so much better.


Ladybug_05 profile image
Ladybug_05 in reply to

I have the fitbit alta I believe. It's really comfortable and it also reminds me to move every hour, which helps a lot!

A rowing machine minics the motion of rowing a boat. You sit on a seat with your feet strapped onto pedals and when you pull the pully (thing? i guess?) You also extend your legs, pushing yourself backwards up the track. It works your core, legs, glutes and arms/upper back. There's plenty of settings too! I like it because it works a lot of areas simultaneously, so you don't have to use multiple machines. You can also just push yourself backwards on the seat ( I do it all the time) if you're looking for something that gets you moving somewhat, but won't make you tired.

I also recommend getting an exercise ball! If for nothing else, they're really fun to bounce on! They can be used for a wide array of things, from stretching to exercises and posture while being low impact. I like to sit on my ball when working on my laptop so I'm still technically exercising my core and practicing coordination (it is similar to a wall sit) while checking emails and things.

Bassetmommer profile image
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador

Hello Tazer,

You said you lost weight when you were younger and have gained it back. You did not say what level you are for CKD. Fluid retention can be a problem for people with CKD. Make sure your doctor is aware of your concerns in case extra weight on the abdomen is fluid retention due to CKD.

I recommend that you see a renal dietician before you go it on your own. There is so much conflicting information out there. I was constantly dieting and found out that the foods I was consuming were actually harmful to the kidneys. When I saw my renal dietician, I also found out that I was not eating enough calories and for me that was a shock. She reviewed my journal which I highly recommend you keep one. It will really open your eyes to what you eat. I use

Switching to a renal diet was very easy. I have lost 30 pounds. I eat very limited animal protein and enjoy mostly veggies. It was not fast (5 months) but it has stayed off. My dietician said to go slow and be consistent. I am giving myself a break for the holidays but being mindful to maintain, not gain.

As far as exercise, I just make sure that I am active for at least two hours a day. That means cleaning, gardening, and other activities that involve movement. As Philipjm said, "exercise does not help with weight loss...." if that is the only thing you change. The first place to change is in your head. Lose weight for you. Do not lost weight for someone else. And make it about a lifestyle change. I do not think that numbers define us. "BMI" and scales can be your enemy. They are not true indicators of your health.

Supplements are not good for CKD. Losing weight because of something you took is dangerous and will have a rebound effect once you stop them. There is no miracle solution other that consistent lifestyle change.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.

in reply to Bassetmommer

I am stage 5. & I also have some stomach issues due to acid reflux. I was worried that might interfere with my transplant in some way, so I talked with my nephrologist about seeing a GI doctor in the same building that I see her in. I don’t really think my stomach is really “fat”, I feel like it’s bloated due to the indigestion.

Bassetmommer profile image
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador in reply to

Oh that makes a big difference. Do you do dialysis? I was told that it is real easy to have fluid issues prior to dialysis and that once your on it, you can lose a lot of water weight.

I think in your case that you check with your doctor BEFORE you embark on any kind of diet. And you are probably right that you have bloating because of all of your issues. Unless your doctor recommended you lose weight, I would be very careful about dieting. If you haven't, you should see a renal dietician.

But please check out this information

in reply to Bassetmommer

No I don’t do dialysis. I’m at the point where I don’t need it just yet, but they’re still keeping a close eye on me. My GFR likes to fluctuate between 20 and 17. Has been all year.

Charlene_Coxhead profile image

Hi Tazer98

My exercise tips would be to start walking, start steady but slowly build up your speed. I use fitbit 2 it maps my walks and shows me my pace per mile so you can challenge yourself. I didn't do walking to lose weight but improve my overall fitness for my transplant when it comes. I have multiple food allergies so only eat unprocessed foods. Stick to natural foods, like fruit and vegetables meats and fish unless your a veggie. Try to eat smaller portions this really will help. You don't have to deprive yourself just have smaller portions of what you want.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

sharonlyn profile image

join natural kidney journey on facebook...i have been able to raise my gfr from 26 to 41 in less than a month...that was my situation it is different for everyone...this fb group is dedicated to changing your diet...supporting your goals and so much is admin by a couple where the wife was able to get her husband off of dialysis...she raised his gfr from 3 to 39-41...he has been off dialysises for over 14 months...there is another person on site that achieved that same numerous others who have raised their gfr significantly by diet and determination... here is the link... tps:// answer the 3 questions when you click on the site to join or you will automatically be deleted...

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