How to maintain weight while on bed rest

Many a time it happens, that we start to change our lifestyle, make changes in our food habits, start exercising and also start losing fat and weight.

But somehow, suddenly we may suffer from some illness or sprains and end up in a bed rest situation.
So whatever we had started goes for a toss.
We are now worried that whatever we have achieved till now will come back to square one.
But if you are dedicated and positive, you can easily maintain your weight while on bed rest and then once back on track, can reduce further.

Some food habit tips while on bed rest….

Have small meals

When on bed rest, requirement of calories is less as compared to when we are active.
Hence comparatively we need to eat less, which can be achieved by having small meals.
What exactly is a small meal….
For example, if for lunch I was having 2 roti, sabji, dal, rice, curd or buttermilk.
Then having all that stuff together, becomes a big meal. As there is not much activity, body needs one roti at a time for energy, then it will again need after 2 hours.
So if I eat 2 rotis together, one roti will be used for energy and other roti will get converted into fats.
But if you divide that meal into small meals, then every 2 hours it will get converted into energy. So you can eat everything, and not put on also.

For example
I can have dal at around 12 pm
Can have salad, 1 roti sabji and buttermilk at 1:30 – 2 pm
Can have 1 roti again or masala rice at 4 pm.

Then each time, the meal is small, you will be utilising it as a source of energy and nothing goes into fats.

Also, while on bed rest, if you have small meals like above, then you can prevent ACIDITY and FLATULENCE.

Have small or no naps during day time

Proper sleep helps a lot to regulate your food pattern, that is hunger and satiety.
If we sleep long hours during day time, it will disturb our night sleep.
Due to this, we tend to eat more the next day as hunger and satiety feelings are disturbed.
So, best is take small naps and a small nap is a 15 minutes NAP.

Don’t skip your essentials

When on bed rest, though there is no activities, but all your systems are working. Hence, do not skip your essentials.

What are essentials..
Essentials means our body cannot prepare it and we have to get it from our food. Those are essential amino acids, means proteins and essential fatty acids means fats.
So have good quality proteins like milk and milk products, sprouts, beans, eggs etc. and good fats like ghee, walnuts, alomonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, fish oil etc.


Another common issue, while on bed rest is constipation. This happens because of restrictions in movement.
Hence, good amount of fibres helps in keeping bowels clear. For some people, eating raw salads becomes difficult to digest and may cause flatulence, because of which they entirely stop eating fibres, leading to constipation. It also disturbs Our satiety, because of which we may tend to eat more, as fibres keep us full and limit our hunger level.
So if raw salad is difficult, then opt for soft fibres like fibre rich fruits, take vegetables in the form of soup or vegetable juice or boiled vegetables.


Water is always know as a forgotten nutrient.
Hydration is important for maintaining your hunger as well as your muscles and recovery.
Make sure to Drink water on an hourly basis as per need.

Keep carbohydrates at last

As we know, we are on bed rest and physical activity is less, energy requirement is less. Now main source of energy in our food is carbohydrates.
So, make sure that you have your entire day water, have fibres, have proteins and fats, and see how much carbs is needed and eat accordingly. This way carbs will be always in required amount.
Make sure you have carbs, as we need energy as well, but in the amount we use it and not more.

I understand that above all changes seem difficult to follow, but these small small changes will help you maintain your weight and with all essentials coming in, it will give you a faster recovery.

Wishing you a Healthy bed rest.. 🙂

Dr. Mansi Pujara

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