When you’re trying to lose a lot of weight over time, it’s nearly inevitable that, at some point, you’ll get sick and have to cope with that. After all, the majority of us catch a cold twice per year and even if that’s all we get, the fates just love throwing wrenches into our plans. So if you’re doing great on your diet then you’ll need to have a strategy in place to cope with being ill and eating properly at the same time.
The first thing that you need to remember is that when you get sick, your main goal needs to shift from trying to lose weight to trying to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to get well again. This is not an excuse to suddenly start eating the junk food you’ve been restricting. Telling yourself it’s “comfort food” while you’re ill doesn’t change the fact that you’re not helping either your weight or your healing.
Instead, try to eat based on the illness you have. There are different foods that can help to support you through various conditions such as colds, the flu, diarrhea and other sicknesses that can keep you feeling lousy for days.
The BRAT diet, for example, is often considered to be a great option if you have the flu, particularly if you are nauseated and have been vomiting. This diet stands for bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. These foods are generally well tolerated and give your body the fast energy and nutrients it needs to overcome the illness.
The CRAM diet is a similar strategy. This one, though, is preferable for people suffering from diarrhea and gastroenteritis. This stands for cereal (meaning grains such as plain – not flavored oatmeal, as opposed to breakfast cereals), rice, applesauce and milk. This has more protein and fat than the BRAT diet and is supported by a considerable – and growing – amount of research. It is used as a standard diarrhea treatment in many hospitals around the world.
If you have a cold, try to load up on vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, while doing your best to hydrate. This includes broth-based soups, fresh (or frozen) berries, citrus fruits and dark green veggies. Hot decaf green or ginger tea is also a great way to hydrate while opening up the nasal passages and enjoying the benefits of anti-inflammatory ingredients. While spicy foods can be great for clearing the sinuses of people with colds, they should be avoided by individuals with stomach issues.