weight: hi everyone i hope you are all okay! been... - NRAS


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hi everyone i hope you are all okay!

been struggling with my appearance lately in terms of weight wise. i tried on some jeans that fit me at the start of the year but now cant get them past my thighs. felt pretty deflated because when they did fit they were baggy!!

i know we’ve all put on a little weight because of lockdown etc but i’d been exercising near enough every day during lockdown and going on lots of walks and i just feel that it’s all been for nothing :(

i try to do exercises on the floor and in my own house as i cant afford to go to the gym regularly and my joints can’t handle running or cycling outside etc. i focus on legs, arms and abs but sometimes have to adjust the exercises to my ability so that i can do them, as some are quite difficult and i don’t want to put strain on my joints.

i was thinking i may have gained weight due to my medication but i’ve been on my current medication for a while and it’s been fine. no changes or increases of dosages etc etc.

i was wondering what i could do to lose weight as i find it so difficult to get motivated when i’m having a flare up or feeling fatigued. it’s so annoying wanting to be slimmer yet your body doesn’t want you to exercise, and even when it does it’s not for long. i want to start going back swimming (i have just had some tattoos done so i am waiting for them to heal) and i’ve started doing 30-40 mins exercise on my fitness mat every other day.

i don’t have the best diet as i’m a fussy eater however i am trying to cut down on the fast food. i drink lots of water and have a lot of fruit.

does anyone have any tips on how to lose some weight? i wouldn’t say i have put on a lot however it’s just upsetting for me knowing i could fit into those jeans at one point and now i can’t. i feel so insecure and ugly :(

thankyou x

49 Replies

I’ve got the same problem and we’re not alone. I’m on steroids too which makes weight loss so much harder.

Unfortunately the best way to lose weight is to eat less and to choose to eat the right foods. Ready meals and takeaways are not good For weight loss and cooking from scratch Is recommended. Exercise will boost the metabolism so it does help but lowering the food intake is what counts. Like you I really miss my swimming and Aqua Fit classes.

I know the Mediterranean diet is recommended for R.A., which includes lots of fruit and veg, fish and lean meat. Some people find the 5:2 diet good too I think.

The alternative is to buy a larger size pair of jeans!

thankyou hopefully eating less and more healthy will pay off soon!! and it looks like i’ll have to 😂 fingers crossed they’ll fit me again one day

your beautiful!! you know when I first got RA I lost so much weight, my body was saggy and my boobs were horrible, my arms were just hanging skin

I always say it was like having a pillow case with no pillow in it,I had no strengh

none tells you that about losing so much weight

now I put it all back on and I am glad I don't look so old too

so don't worry, its how your looking at yourself which isn't true, your beautiful!!!

thankyou i needed to hear that :) i’ll try not to let it bother me too much!! hopefully it’ll pass x

I was big before this illness but steroids etc and especially this latest increased dose is messing with how much food I want and what type of food I crave. Bread is big a killer for me. I’m back to making sure I don’t add bread biscuits crisps and so on to my shopping basket because anything in the house like that just gets munched for the sake of it... before steroids and MXT increase... these foods just didn’t satisfy so stayed in the cupboard until I had visitors. Have you considered your thighs may have got stronger with all the great and brilliant exercising you’ve been doing?

I’m starting longingly at my indoor bicycle that I got off Facebook market place for £10 and I’m not allowed to use because it has made my knees worse... once meds start letting the tide turn... I’ll be on that.

i think my thighs may have gotten stronger as i only used to focus on legs exercises during lockdown so it could be that!! i think i have a bike in the shed, i’ll have to get that out and see if i can ride if 😂x

😁 go gently. I did my knees in more and more using my exercise bike even on the lowest setting.

If it is that your legs have got stronger and then 🙌🏻 and buy the right size for the fitter thigh you 🥳

Hello! I was in the same boat, on daily prednisone and too much wine and too much food. Then I got a high blood pressure test at my Dr apt and it made me stop and take stock of where I want to be.

So I cut out a lot of the alcohol, (it's so hard....lol) and my plate is 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 lean protein and 1/4 whole grain starches.

Nothing is off limits (except boxed/tinned/prepared foods)as long as it fits in that schematic. I also cut out salt unless I put t on myself, that means no tinned soups, no freezer meals, no fast food 95% of the time. I don't like fast food anymore, tastes like rancid oil to me now.

I do splurge occasionally, but when I saw that I lost 25lb in about 3 months I was determined to keep it up.

I'm no saint, I have days where I am just physically drained and have no desire to cook, so I cook my family packaged meals and I have whole grain rice, black beans and shrimp that I made myself and freeze. Or whole grain pasta, chicken and broccoli I froze, or sometimes as simple as a bag of frozen mixed veg with 1 slice of havaarti cheese melted on top and a bit of boiled barley - yum!

My problem is that I don't like to exercise (painful) unless it is walking, but I've had a foot issue that I FINALLY went and had a steroid shot in me foot - the pain is gone, time to get busy walking again! (oy, but then there's my sciatic and my hips, lol)

Brilliant! Apart from the boiled barley which to me is 🤮

i hate exercising too, just the thought of having to do it makes me want to cry haha, i think it’s mainly my diet, i just crave fast food and i LOVE bread!! i’ve been eating more protein and veg so fingers crossed i can keep at it !!

Bread... love it but it’s one of the worst things for wanting even more food. Doesn’t fill me up at all. Protein needed for that... though goodness knows why decades and decades of nutritionists and diet specialists and doctors never told me this. Only realised about 2 years ago.

Hello - When you exercise try splitting into 2 sessions one in morning and one in the afternoon, morning workout is great as your burning calories and toning, afternoon will give your performance a boost as you would had eaten a meal or 2 by afternoon, not forgetting anytime we eat our sugar rises. Try writing down what your eating. Juicing from fresh fruit try to be careful although fruit contains natural sugars but if you think how much fruit you would have if eaten whole, would be less than if you were to have a juice, I would add a little more water with little less fruit. I would say when you go back swimming try to deficit 250 - 300 calories to what you are eating if you can, you will get there!

Best wishes xx

thankyou :) i think the issue is i try and do all my exercises in one go and i just get fed up halfway through. and i will!! cant wait to get back at it :)

You will get there. We all know it takes time nothing happens quick, I exercise in morning and afternoon although use to only be in the morning 🙂

I use the app My fitness pal (free version) it has a daily diary where you enter what you are eating everyday and it tells you the nutritional and calorific value and you can track things there.

I was surprised at what u thought I was eating and what I actually was.

Also mindset is the key for me , i think to myself "will this piece of bread make me feel better" "am I hungry or bored. Most of the times I'm bored !

I followed weight loss accounts in instagram , not the ones trying to sell you things but everyday people who are successful in loosing weight.

Its slow but slow amd steady is the way to go, i lost over 3 stone in about a year and a half and kept it off for years. Due to illness I've put about 2.5 back on so I am starting to loose weight again.

Now I'm telling myself junk food, sugary things are no good for my RA and got to cut them out. I remember a Dr where i worked said alot of foods are empty calories, they don't help your body , think twice about eating them so crisps for example our body doesn't really need them do they ? It's so easy saying this but they taste nice ha ha .

Once you get your mind on board it's totally achievable, you can her back in those jeans, just be kind to yourself on your journey, persistence not perfection , slow amd steady 😄

I’ve used My Fitness Pal too for several years and it really does help keep a track on what you are really eating. I’ve lost 1 1/2 stone and now healthy weight but I still use it. There is nothing I won’t eat if I fancy it but small portions plus fresh food for the majority of time.

thankyou i appreciate it :) and me too!! i’m always bored unless i’m at work. i’m starting uni soon so hopefully i won’t be as bored 😂 i like to comfort eat but it needs to stop. i will check out the app thankyou!!

If you have YouTube if you put in walk a mile (for example in front of tv) you could do in small pieces during the day plus you don’t need to do a whole mile just part, you could time yourself 3-4 minutes depending on your wellness. You will be surprised what you could achieve, some have backgrounds as though your walking in woods etc. I know days are difficult with joints but on a good day you could walk a little at home.

Best wishes xx

I actually started the PAddison Program and one thing I hadn’t expected was weight loss. Effortless weight loss. I have had stubborn excess weight until now (nothing crazy) and I feel like I’m deflating. I’ve always had a pretty good diet. I’m on max methotrexate and went on baricitinib and blew up like a balloon. Stopped it. Curious to see how this all pans out. ..nothing but whole good food goes in now. It’s a treat!

how do you cope eating out with that diet? well before restrictions if you don't mind me asking?

Well there really is no eating out in restaurants as oils are a no no and restaurants us a lot of oils. I went out for brunch with a friend and ordered quacamole on lettuce but avocado is considered a more advanced food cause of the fat content. I had planned to have tea while my buddy ate. So I won’t lie it’s challenging...in time there are certain restaurants that will work ie Indian or Mexican as I introduce more advanced foods . I was invited to someone’s home and brought my own meal cause I can’t be “that girl” giving the hostess a laundry list of limitations and it was fine and a great nite out. I’m not going to lie, it is a complete life change however prior to starting my rheumi called me to say she had concerns about my kidneys. Since paddison my blood pressure has gone way down, I’ve lost weight, and had my first normal alt/ast liver readings and kidney readings in years! I couldn’t believe it. I have plenty of energy, no junk food cravings at all and it’s actually not felt hard to do at all. In terms of pain no results yet as I dropped my baricitinib and so I’m in a flare at the moment. Trying to figure all that out. I became desperate to either reduce or get off my drugs completely before my kidneys packed it in. I love that I am filling my body full of only nutritious food. Feels like a gift to myself really. I’m in my 60’s now and want to live a long healthy life. I have no idea how it will work for travelling though when the world finally opens up but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Never in my life have I only given my body good food with no cheating. It feels really special actually. Like a gift 🎁. Oh and I excercise a lot (walk 10 k a day ) no prob eating this way. I’m getting faster! I felt it was a great time to start during covid as I’ve put a hold on restaurants since our numbers are rising in British Columbia Canada. Wish me luck with the whole thing. I really hope things work out for you. Oh and I joined the paddison support group, can’t believe the weath of info he offers. It is amazing. Even second opinions with rheumatologist. Really neat.

good for you, !!!

i tend to eat just veg and chicken or turkey no fats, no oils no gravy ect, although I have eaten choc just plan one

breakfast have oats but do have goats milk, no breads ect

but I find it hard when going out and broke it a few weeks ago, got away with it twice but 3rd week by having TFC I have suffered in all ways including acid reflux since

When I want to lose weight I cut out bread and potatoes, (and biscuits, sweets). I don’t eat fast food although saying that I’ve had gluten free fish and chips twice from our chippy recently which I haven’t done since the start of lockdown.

I don’t buy low fat versions of foods because they substitute the fat with sweeteners. I don’t drink fizzy drinks either - just good old water or tea or coffee - both black

I cook all my own food from scratch so that I know exactly what is in it and there are so many foods you can cook in less time than it takes to get a takeaway or heat up convenience foods.

Saying that I don’t think it’s easy when you are taking meds.

Portion control is really important- even if you eat all the right things, too much of them is still not good. I like the book / app Carbs and Cals. It shows you photos of all sorts of foods - look it up on Amazon or in a bookstore. You will be surprised at how things increase because of portion size.

Lastly as Professor Roy Taylor says when he is talking about exercising when trying to reduce weight in his book about eating to reverse T2 diabetes ‘You can’t outrun a good diet’ and I’d agree with him. I do a lot of weight bearing exercise for my bones but I wouldn’t say it reduces my weight - I have to eat less and in my case get my carbs from green leafy veg.

Keep at it and you’ll get into those jeans eventually 😉

thankyou very much!! i’m actually going to the seaside today so i’ll let myself off with some fish and chips then it’s back to eating healthily!! i will check out the app for sure :)

Don’t stress yourself about exercise. Do what you can, when you can and perhaps focus on simple range of movement exercises to keep your mobility and flexibility. Or look for a video of an exercise session you like and try to learn that....trying to do things by yourself at home is hard.

As others have said what is more important to loosing weight is sorting out your diet. Don’t try to totally revolutionise everything in one go, as that will set you up for failure. But small changes to get rid of processed food that are stuffed with fats and salt and chemicals can make a big difference. Every time you go shopping and want to put some ultra-processed food in your trolley think whether you could replace it with something healthier, or whether you could a better version yourself. For example, if you like crisps, slice up veg (beetroot is good on a mandoline) as thinly as you can, pop in a plastic bag or bowl with a tiny bit of oil and flavourings then bake in over at high heat.

thankyou :) i will try the crisp alternative! and it definitely is hard doing work outs at home alone, especially when you don’t feel 100%

I always say too there are nice mirrors and horrible ones, I find some that just don't like me at all, so I just go and I find one that does.

an example

M&S horrible mirrors, dorothy P mirrors love me I could spend all day in those mirrors

J1707 in reply to VeronicaF


Cut down on unrefined carbs and eat lots (I mean lots) of veg/ salad, protein (fish, eggs, chicken, cheese, beans/pulses) and full fat Greek yogurt.

I watched Dr. Michael Moseley's recent TV programme where overweight people were put on an 800 calorie diet for 3 or 4 weeks then started eating a more healthy diet. It was not only to lose weight but to boost immunity and improve general health. All of them lost weight so I, my husband and daughter have tried it ourselves at home - it works, we all lost weight!

I've recently bought the recipe book that goes with it - "The Fast 800". I can't recommend it enough. Think of it as life style changing rather than a diet. Good luck with whatever you choose.

Your diet sounds like mine BoneyC - apart from the Greek yoghurt, I just can’t get to like that no matter how often I try it.

I love the Fast 800 recipes - his 8 Week Blood Sugar Recipes has similar ideas and is very good too. I think it helps a lot (well it helps me) if the recipes are for the sorts of food you like anyway. And you’re right, don’t think diet - think of it as your new lifestyle. 😉

MJSlide1958 in reply to BoneyC

Hi, I read an article recently about putting on a lot of weight could affect the efficiency of Biologics? I wonder if there is any truth that the Biologic could stop working properly because of weight gain??

During a follow-up ultrasound scan of my gallbladder recently that I had 'a degree of non-alcoholic fatty liver' and they prescribed a low-carb diet going forward. I asked for help from my in this, and they have referred me to the dietitian, but my initial appointment isn't until Nov 5th.

I didn't wait for the dietitian but looked online re low-carb diets. To that end I cut out all granulated sugar, bread and potatoes. I also stopped having processed food as much as I could, pies, slices etc are now a no no.

In 6 weeks so far I have lost 6kg

Well done to you. At that rate when you visit the dietician he / she will think they are seeing the wrong person.

Sadly not, I still have another 23kg to lose before i can get to a decent BMI.

Damn steroids and lack of mobility.

But I am pleased with what I have done so far

Don’t worry, you are on your way down, if you get yourself a shopping bag and fill it with books or stuff to the same weight as what you’ve lost you will be amazed at how much it weighs.

Then every time you lose a kg put it in a bag and see how well you’re doing.

That's a Great idea!

Thank you!

Same here. Been on MTX for 4 years and my weight has slowly crept up about 2 stone I was exercising about 12 hours a week an avid walker but it still crept up. Feb 19 Ra became uncontrollable and I put on about 10lb . Started entanercept in January . I tried to exercise gently every day had a food diary ( I eat no more than 1400 calories a day) and put on another stone. Spoke to my nurse yesterday she thinks it is my medication. Starting new meds’ soon 🤞🤞 this will make a difference. I here your frustration x

my mtx isn’t really working so i don’t know why i’m on it if that’s what’s causing the weight gain, maybe i need to look at changing my meds too x

How long have you been on MTX?

started injection form at the start of 2019 but i was taking tablet form prior to that, so around 3 years ish

Are you getting more flares or are they more prolonged? It could be that it’s not working effectively for you.

my bloods are fine so i’m not sure if it’s the RA or if it’s something else. it seems to be managing my inflammation but i’m still in pain

I’m s-negative my bloods are always good. I don’t get much pain but I get swelling. Others on here say they get pain but no swelling 🤷🏽‍♀️have a chat with your team it’s on record then for future reference even if not relevant for now. Having pain is not right

I think it is wonderful that you can exercise. I can't. But I did find if I ate a low carb diet. The weight came off. My doctor told me it's best way to lose weight as you get older. If you do that with the exercise it should help. I can't exercise and I can lose weight on a low carb. Hope that will help. I gained 80 lbs on steroids. It makes you hold so much fluid. 🙂

i love my carbs 😂 i will try my best thankyou xxx

Hi there, I've lost a fair bit of weight recently, approaching 5 stone and am almost back to my pre RA weight, it has been a very slow process, but I have had success.

The main thing is I have cooked everything from scratch, no processed food.

I don't eat sugar, or sugary food as it really upsets my gut and mouth, so not a problem. I also don't drink any alcohol, at all.

Whilst the daily calorie count is important, I have not focussed in on it, rather have just eaten very healthy and tried to stay around 1200 - 1300 calories a day, minor deviation I don't worry about. I also have my last meal of the day around 5 - 6 PM and don't have anything to eat until breakfast the next day. My gut issues have really improved since introducing the overnight 'fast'.

I also eat lots of veg, fruit, fish and a wee bit red meat, but not much. I use all food groups..carbs, protien, fats and so on, no exclusions.

No 'slimming ' foods either.... butter, olive oil, cheese, yogurts .....everything...is all regular stuff. Low fat foods tend to have high sugar, low sugar high fat and both are generally full of additives.

I have freshly made soup each day with my soup maker, tasty, healthy and you can have several plates. Easy to use and it makes delicious soup with minimal hassle in 19 minutes.

Good luck.

VeronicaF in reply to Mmrr

love some of your soup rec Mrr

also if you don't mind me asking what issues do you have with your mouth?

Mmrr in reply to VeronicaF

Mainly mouth ulcers and mucositis, even a wee bit sugar in a scone example results in microscopic ulcers within a few minutes. My gut can feel quite hot / inflammed if I eat a lot or with sugary foods, i can get really bad indigestion too.

Eating well and the overnight fast seems to have helped a lot,

oliviagodfreyxx in reply to Mmrr

thank you very much, i hope i have the same success as you!! :)

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