Losing weight on Prednosolone

Has ayone successfully lost weight while on steroids. I dont have take aways, neveer eat fried foods, cook by halogen so no fat needed. I have a small appetite but still have put on nearly 3 stone and have a face like a chipmonk. Any help would be appreciated. I dont drink either.

19 Replies

  • I think many of us have the same problems, certainly I can sympathise with you. On the higher doses I blew up like - well, my nearest and dearest called me a 'barrel on matchsticks' as all the weight went on round my middle. I actually looked eight months pregnant, not a good look if you are over 60!

    What has worked for many of us is a low-carb diet so that might be worth a try? And the good news is that the weight does go down as you lower the dose of Pred. One of the more common side effects is a sugar craving (I used to lurch from sugar cravings to salt cravings and never knew if I wanted a packet of crisps or a large cream cake).

    The moon face (hamster, chipmunk - I've heard several descriptions) is also a side effect and again is one which will go down as you reduce the dose. But be careful - don't force reductions just for the sake of it, it's a game no one can win. I found in the grand scheme of things, a couple more weeks with a larger face was worth it for the pain relief and a smoother taper was much better than yo-yoing on doses.

  • I cut out simple carbs, although I may have the odd biscuit sometimes in a moment of weakness, I also cut out gluten. So far it has worked re the moon face and the weight gain. I started pred in January. I have been having Manual Lymphatic Drainage as I have had fluid retention and my feet look like a dinosaur's. I have actually lost a pound or two due to that, but not a vast amount.

  • Hi angelone2 I really do feel for you I had lost 49lbs with Weight Watchers and have to say was very proud of myself then I got GCA and pred and the rot set in. I always remained in touch with the class leader and earlier in the year members offered to come for me (I am housebound ) take me and bring me back . I took advantage of their kind offer in the first month I lost 6LBS so pleased with myself then the rot set in and I could not go as I was far from well.(Important to note. I was and am on 10mg of pred). oddly enough I spoke to the class leader yesterday as I am keen to do something which makes ne feel better about myself so fingers crossed I will be back in the old routine very soon. Keep your chin up and hope it all comes good for you Best wishes Val X

  • It is possible but it does require a lot of discipline. Some is fluid retention and some is just the pred changing how your body metabolises carbs. Restricting carbs drastically has helped for several and also helps prevent diabetes problems. WW worked for another lady. The weight will go as your pred dose reduces - honestly.

  • Have been down to 5mg on many occasi ons

    over the [ast eight years but get such violent reactions

    I have been up to 25mg as an emergency. WW said they cant help people with steroid weight gain. Will try and reduce carbs but will find there is very little else to eat!!!

  • It is quite simple. Remove potatoes, bread, pasta, cereals, sugar from your diet.

    Eat as normally without the above. Eat full fat, throw away anything low fat no fat. Fat is essential to success. Drink plenty of fluids, 2 to 3 litres a day. Throw away sweets, choccy, cakes etc.

    Have eggs, 2 a day if you can. Mushrooms, pulses, beans, fish, meat, full fat yoghurt tea, coffee with blue top milk but no sugar.

    Count calories up to 800 a day. A few more won't hurt but less could hurt. Its only for 8 weeks.


  • I have heard that places like WW say losing weight is very different for steroid takers and they can diet like everyone else but the results can be very unsatisfactory. You can still eat proteins, dairy and complex carbs, but cut out simple carbs and gluten. I must admit I don't eat red meat either. I saw a TV programme recently showing that saturated fat need not be bad but simple carbs do tend to be.

  • I have been on pred now for 6months, actually lost half a stone in sheer determination. No carbs, sugar and gave up salt completely. Also drinking 2-3 litres of water a day which keeps away the hunger pangs, which I have to say has been quite easy. Really feel that giving up salt and drinking plnty of water has benn my saviour. Good luck.

  • Hi Angelone,

    I too had put on a lot of weight with Prednisolone and also developed the "moon" face.

    My weight gain was having a nasty effect upon the joints of my body. I was threatened with a Gastric Band :o( by my Rheumatologist but chose a diet instead. I was put on 1000 calories a day. Personally I thought that would be an impossible thing for me to do. But I did follow it, not too religiously as I allowed myself a day off the diet each week and lost over four and a half stone. I am not longer on the diet and have put some pounds back on, but nowhere near as many as I lost.

    You must avoid dressings for food as they contain heaps of calories. For salads I now put on lime juice rather then a salad dressing. You must also drink plenty of water while doing the diet. a). so it keeps you hydrated and b). so it fills your stomach with water so that you do not get to feel so hungry.

    Good luck and keep well.

  • Just found this thread ,only been on pred 3 weeks but have had trouble with wheat all my life .Then found the problem white flour so if made with white flour don't eat I buy 400g granary loads from Morrison s getting them to slice it then freeze it and take out as needed and my sister has come up with this trick if she needs to drop pounds she takes everything white out of her diet simple but it works

  • Happy & Healthy New Year to all.

  • Hi. I managed not to put on any weight while on steroids for 2 and a half years. I was determined not to as this was one of the side effects I dreaded. I cut out most carbs and sugar and restricted fruit intake to 1 or 2 pieces a day. I was very disciplined about not over eating, my daughter was getting married so this became my incentive to keep the weight off. I didn't go hungry but was very careful. I still got the moon face which is unavoidable on high doses of pre.

  • Thanks to all who answered my weight query. I was so ill recently I had nothing to eat or drink for 10 days and still didnt lose a pound. I am down to 5mg pred and dont seem to be able to get any lower without a bad flare up. Programmes since xmas are getting me annoyed they assume that everyone who is overweight overeat. And then there is the advice about exercising which we would all love to do but sometimes takes energy just to walk never mind exercise. PMR victims are never given any advice because it is largely a hidden disease which needs to be investigated as a higher level.

  • Angelone have you joined the forum at patient.co.uk, there is a brilliant reduction programme they use and everyone gets below 5mg and off pred! Sounds to me like you need to follow it! All the best

  • Hi I have started to count calories as I have also gained weight. I discussed how to loose weight with my GP who recommended the Carbs and Cals book. I have lost approx 1lb per month over the last 4 months. Slow progress but moving in the right direction. If you have an iPhone there is also a very good app called my plate which tracks your progress. I hope this helps

  • Very interesting thread. I can agree with Janniew, as this has been my way for the last ten years or so, and keeps me at a normal weight for my height. The dressings are ultra improtant, I found. I always use lemon juice. Also very strict with carbs. Also about three pints of water a day. One in the morning first thing. No epxerience of pred yet though. Only had a few days of 40mg/day so far. Have to wait til Monday to see the GP. So still 'old' but slim.

  • This is my second time around with PMR. First time was 13 years ago and I put on 21 pounds. This time I read how Steroids stop your body from metabolising carbs......that was all I needed to hear. Sugar is/was out as well as cakes sweets etc. I still allow myself very small portions of rice and pasta and bread, sometimes. I have lost a few pounds and I have NOT gained any since being on steroids., which I restarted 10 months ago. I find celery helps with water retention and of course lots of good water, as was mentioned before. Avocados are an excellent source of good fat and actually help burn off the bad stuff. That's what I've heard and it seems to work for me. AND! It keeps me filling fuller longer. No hunger pains. Even with my weight down, my waist and face still have that full look and feel with steroids.

  • Yes. I lost 2 stone on the 8 week blood sugar diet. Also reversed my steroid induced diabetes. Still on 11 mg pred and maintaining weight loss. No exercise done at all.

  • After reading about the 8 week blood sugar diet on here, I decided to give it a go & so far have lost a stone. I was diagnosed with PMR Dec 2014 & currently on 1mg - 1/2mg pred reducing very slowly. I've also increased my level of walking every day, at lunch time I walk as quickly as I am able to for 30 minutes, after dinner I go for a 15 / 20 minute walk. The walking is making me feel stronger. Each day is different, some days I walk slower, I don't push myself too hard & I listen to what my body is telling me so that I don't overdo it. Putting on weight on top of everything else is hard to deal with, but this forum has been a tremendous help & support to help deal with it. I am so grateful for everyone on here who share their own experience.

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