How To Lose Weight With A Broken Arm

If you’ve been working on slimming down but have recently broken your arm, you may be wondering how you can continue to lose weight while healing.

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If you’ve been working on slimming down but have recently broken your arm, you may be wondering how you can continue to lose weight while healing.

This can be such a frustrating predicament. Here you are, working hard to take care of your body and shed some unwanted pounds, and suddenly, an injury like a broken arm threatens to slow the whole process down or maybe stop it altogether. It’s hard to imagine how you are going to be able to keep losing when now your focus is on healing your broken bone.

You can do several things to continue to lose weight with a broken arm, such as engage in exercises that don’t require arm use, modify your diet, manage your pain appropriately, and stay engaged and active.

Getting enough exercise and eating the right foods is not always easy for most of us. But, throw in an injury like a broken arm, and it becomes much more challenging to ensure our bodies are getting what they need. A broken bone poses a whole host of its issues and will take up plenty of our time and attention while we heal. Trying to manage a weight loss program at the same time can be difficult, but if you follow some simple steps, it can be done.

A few months ago, I fell off a horse and tore some ligaments in my right arm. The healing process has been slow and annoying. Getting back “in the saddle” of taking good care of myself has been a challenge at times, but there are some things I’ve learned along the way that have helped me stay focused and move forward.

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How Can I Lose Weight With a Broken Arm?

An arm is a relatively easy limb to break. Though our arms are made up of three different bones, a common break can happen when a person falls on their hand in an attempt to brace themselves. Though some breaks are minor, and will only require a sling, others can be more significant, resulting in the arm being placed in a cast, or even needing surgery to fix it.

A broken arm is not only annoying – it’s painful and can really limit your ability to do certain things. Depending on which arm you broke, you may not be able to drive, write, do certain parts of your job or perform basic household and personal needs.

On top of all that, trying to eat right may be more than you can manage, and trying to exercise? Way down the list of priorities.

But you are determined to continue to lose the weight you set out to, and you are not willing to let your broken arm deter you from your goal. Here are some ways to stay the course with your weight loss.

1. Engage in Exercises That Don’t Require You to Use Your Arm

It’s interesting how much we don’t appreciate something until we don’t have it. Once you break an arm, you’ll be amazed at all the things you can’t do. Sure, there are the obvious ones, but even small tasks like tying your sneakers, holding your dog’s leash, or pulling up your favorite playlist on your phone may prove to be tough. Before you can even get yourself out the door for some non-arm use exercise, you may be too worn out to continue.

This is when you need to really think outside the box. Maybe – before you broke your arm – your favorite form of physical activity was your daily dog walks around the neighborhood. And though walking may still be very feasible (as it does not require you to use your arm) you will want to think through what steps you need to take to get there.

If you need help with your sneakers, see if someone can tie them for you, or wear slip-on shoes for now.  Maybe you can hold your dog’s leash in your other hand, or leave your furball behind for now and go out solo. Finding ways to maximize what you can do physically but minimize the effort will come in handy when you find your motivation starting to slip.

Another option on the exercise front would be to go farther outside the box and choose an activity that is different from the one you love, but it’s easier for you to do with a broken arm. Instead of your favorite dog walk, maybe you do laps around your house (perhaps your pooch will join you!)

Exercise is an important part of our weight loss journey and is great for our mental health as well. Finding a way to still move your body while your arm heals will be a big part of your continued success in dropping those pounds.

2. Modify Your Diet

We all know the adage “calories in/calories out”, especially if we are engaging in a weight loss program. Unfortunately, that means if we are unable to move our bodies as much, we are going to have to focus more on those calories that are going in and we can’t get rid of as easily.

This can be a challenge, especially if you’re feeling unmotivated because you are unable to do as many things with your broken arm. It can also be harder to shop for food and prepare healthy meals, so you may find yourself reaching for pre-made foods that are laden with extra calories, or even eating out more and letting someone else cook your food so you don’t have to.

Like with exercise, you’re going to have to spend more time thinking outside that proverbial box if you want to continue to lose weight while nursing your broken arm. Filling your pantry and fridge with easy-to-prepare but good-for-weight-loss foods can be tricky, but it can be done.

Think about the tools that can help you as well. Things like your food processor and blender can mix things in a snap. Your microwave can be a great convenience when your arm is broken and you need quick help. And items like casserole dishes and your crockpot make it easy to throw things in and let them do the rest.

Another way to modify your diet and lose weight while your arm is broken is to think about the things you don’t want to eat. Most people who are trying to lose weight know to stay away from processed foods, but when you’re healing from an injury like a broken arm, it’s even more imperative to stay away from things like cookies, chips, and snacks.

These foods are full of empty calories. They won’t give you the nutrition you need to heal, and they will leave you feeling hungry – and grabbing for more food – later.

3. Manage Your Pain Appropriately

This is a pretty straightforward concept but is important to note, not only for your overall healing but also for weight-loss management. If you are in pain, it’s much more likely you will not be able to lose weight.

Many studies have suggested that individuals who are suffering from chronic pain conditions have a much higher likelihood to also be struggling with excess weight. It also has been shown that people are much less likely to keep off the weight that they’ve lost when they have suffered an injury or even when they are recovering from one.

The concept behind this actually makes sense. When we don’t feel good, we are more likely to engage in sedentary activities, like sleeping, watching television, or eating comfort foods. Our bodies all react to pain differently, but most of our brains don’t desire physical activity when our bodies hurt.

Making sure you are managing your pain while your arm is broken is going to also help you manage your weight loss and stick to your goals. Seeing your health care provider regularly and following their medical advice for pain management will ensure your arm continues to heal as needed and that your weight stays where you want it to.

4. Stay Engaged and Active

Finally, this one is big when it comes to continuing to lose weight while your broken arm heals.

Many people trying to lose weight will say that boredom is one of the biggest obstacles. Standing in front of the fridge, staring at its contents, is something we’ve all been guilty of doing. When we are bored, we tend to make decisions about our health that aren’t always positive, especially when it comes to food choices or over-consumption.

Having a broken arm will limit many of the things you can do. But trying to replace some of those things with new activities will help you stay away from the kitchen when you are restless and looking for something to do.

Consider taking up an activity or engaging in a hobby that you are curious about or used to love but haven’t had time for. Whether it’s reading a good book, playing a new board game with your family, or going for a hike with an old friend, keeping yourself active and distracted will also keep you away from gaining back those pounds you worked hard to get rid of.

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