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Fibromyalgia Weight Loss Impossible Dream? ~ 5 Changes That Make A Real Difference

Are sufferers of FMS really destined to live a life of being overweight?

Fibromyalgia weight loss impossible dream? No. Hard as hell? Yes! Now, given that I’ve made this statement, you may be seriously angry at me right now. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you just cursed at me through the screen in front of you.

What makes us different from the average Sally who wants to shed those excess pounds? Well, for one:

  • Abnormal Brain Chemicals ~ hormone deficiencies that decrease metabolic function/increased sensitivity to insulin, which turns our bodies into ‘fat-making machines’

  • Decreased Sleep Time ~ inadequate amount of time in stage 4 ‘restorative sleep’ mode further decreases metabolism, and can create cravings for high carb/sugar processed foods.

  • Medications ~ so many of the meds that are available for FMS patients have the dreaded side effect of ‘weight gain’.


ALL FIBROMYALGIA Fibromyalgia Weight Loss Impossible Dream

Okay, more than just ‘one’. Notice that I did not put ‘decreased’ activity here? Why? Simply put, how much you eat is far more impacting than how much you exercise. In fact, the ratio is approximately 80/20.  This is great news for those of us with chronic illnesses!

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I realize this is controversial. Look, I’m not saying don’t move if you can. What I am saying is, if you believe one of the impediments to weight loss is your inability to do cardio 5 x’s a week, maybe that’s not the case. However, we may be required to restrict our caloric intake even more than the average person. You will have to find that magic number for yourself.

...it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight with Fibromyalgia! Click To Tweet

If you take in too few calories your body becomes even more efficient at storing fat, but too many calories will keep you at a maintaining weight. We need to diet ‘smarter not harder’. To reinvent a way of getting maximum nutrition with minimal calories that will satisfy our body and minds.


Fibromyalgia Weight Loss Impossible Dream? ~ 5 Changes That Make A Real Difference

  1. Eat a high protein meal as your first meal of the day. Protein and healthy fat (olive oil/coconut oil) keep you full for hours after eating. Both are digested slowly, keeping your blood sugar levels steady and even over many hours.

  2. DO NOT eat until you feel REAL hunger. Make yourself resist the urge to eat until your body gives you clear signals that it is time to eat. You may think this will cause you to want to eat too much, but by allowing the stomach to empty to a point where true hunger is felt, you will be able to correctly determine when you have eaten ‘just enough’.

  3. Be a ‘MINDFUL EATER’. Be ‘aware’ in the act of eating. Pay close attention to the tastes/textures/smell of your food. In other words, take the time to actually ENJOY your meal. Take smaller bites, and chew slower.

  4. Train yourself to STOP EATING just short of full. The point where you may have had enough, but you’re not sure. Simply give it 5 minutes. Set the plate away from you. If you still want more after 5 min, go ahead and eat more. Knowing that you can still eat, keeps you from that feeling of ‘deprivation’ that can play tricks with your mind, and sabotage your weight loss. This also prevents you from overeating, and missing the ‘satisfied’ stage.

  5. Cut anything processed to 25%. Buy in season fresh fruits and vegetables. Make snacks & meals that you find delicious, but that are good for you. For instance; instead of ice cream I have a cup of whole fat vanilla yoghurt (Mountain High is my favorite!) with fresh fruit and a little granola, for breakfast I have ONE piece of toast (a hearty bread that’s dense and tasty so one slice satisfies, like Dave’s Killer Bread) along with a fresh vegetable omelet, I eat a handful of corn tortilla chips in small bites to satisfy the crunchy/salt craving instead of mindlessly eating potato chips, I forgo cheese on the burger and snag about 5 french fries from ‘D’s’ order instead of ordering a side for myself. Also NO SODA! If you like carbonated beverages try plain soda water with a lime/lemon wedge. (find whatever works for you!)

...how much you eat is far more impacting than how much you exercise! Click To Tweet

It takes purpose, creativity, and time. But, it is not IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight with Fibromyalgia. It’s the little changes that will make a huge difference over time. They will become something you can live with in the long-run, rather than just a short-term solution.

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  • Reply
    June 21 at 10:56 am

    Kristine, these are all great tips for those of us over 40. Once things begin to change in the body it gets so much harder to lose or maintain our weight, doesn’t it? Once I removed gluten I lost 25 pounds in a few weeks, the inflammation it was causing in my body was tremendous. And it forces me to eat more fresh foods, no processed foods as most of them have gluten. It also reduced the pain that I feel due to my AI. I now weigh less than I have in 15-20 years and I’m much less active.

    But, I didn’t know about all the issues related to weight with those diagnosed with Fibromyalgia! Wow. It does seem daunting, but kudos to you for figuring things out and making it work despite the odds!
    Nikki recently posted…Is your Facebook Page a Desert Wasteland?My Profile

    • Reply
      June 21 at 3:21 pm

      I know EXACTLY what you mean Nikki! I can’t even have the smallest bit of baked/sugar/processed food without feeling it immediately. I just baked mini cupcakes with the kids right now, and all I did was have a few small licks of frosting. UGH! My heart is racing, my stomach feels ‘Blah’, it’s true, we hit a certain age and….KAPOOT! Have a great rest of the week Nikki!

  • Reply
    Katie Jenkins
    June 22 at 3:25 am

    Hi there, Kristine. First of all, I just want to let you know how strong you are. You are pretty flipping incredible. Thank you for being an inspiration. Secondly, these are really great tips. In addition to Fibromyalgia, I would think these tips would make a big difference for many autoimmune diseases.

    Currently, I’m working on getting my Hashimoto’s under control. As you can definitely relate, the fatigue is overwhelming. In the past 48 hours, I have slept for 42 of them. And now it’s 3:30 in the morning and I’m awake. Argh!

    Will be pinning this!

    Thanks so much for your post. #smallvictories
    Katie Jenkins recently posted…7 Reasons You’re Not Seeing Results From Your WorkoutMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 22 at 12:31 pm

      Now, THAT’S what you want to see when you open the ‘comments’ section up on your dashboard! 😉 HAHA! Thank you Katie, that was really sweet of you! SO stinking sorry you are having to deal with Hashimoto’s! I have a friend who struggles with this. Not sure what meds you are on, but check out this link: Stop The Thyroid Madness . Especially the section an ‘dessicated hormone’ meds. SUCH a HUGE difference than synthetic medication. Also, in the sidebar is a link to materials from an online conference held this past weekend on Healing Hashimoto’s, you can still get the tapes. Hope to see you here again!!! ♥♥♥

  • Reply
    Brandi Clevinger
    June 23 at 6:21 am

    I no longer read, work, or watch TV while eating. I focus on my food at the dinner table. It makes me more aware of what I’m doing. Peppermint is a great way to get that full feeling. Rub a little on the hands, then cup it around the nose. It works wonders for an upset stomach, too.

    I hate the word “diet” because it has a negative connotation. I’m changing the way I eat to last a lifetime, not a season. It is hard to exercise and move, so you’re right to say it’s more about the food you’re putting into your body that makes a difference.
    Brandi Clevinger recently posted…Wake Up Happy by Michael StrahanMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 23 at 11:28 am

      OOO! I’m definately trying the ‘peppermint’ thing! Thanks Brandi! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 15 at 9:55 am

    excellent advice. I really struggle with my weight gain. It is so frustrating. I have fallen away from some of these habits, but have recently been working towards doing them again.

    What are you writing on next? Come guest write for me sometime.
    GGMandy recently posted…Peace So SecureMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 15 at 10:02 am

    Just noticed I posted the wrong link. Here’s my fibro link
    GGMandy recently posted…Peace So SecureMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 25 at 5:09 am

    In the 6 years I have had Fibromyalgia and 8 other autoimmune diseases, I gained 35 lbs. I have been overweight most of my life and b4 Fibro I was a gym rat and a pilates maven. I wore a bikini for the first time in 2008 and felt like a Goddess for the first time I’m my life. Then 3 years later…..hello Fibro and all its evil friends!
    Losing weight now has been a tremendously difficult journey! I stopped eating gluten 5 years ago, lost 20 lbs….but the weight crept back on…I try everyday to eat as clean as I can and keep the calories low. I haven’t worked out for the past 2 years, all my diseases killed that, I finally had to stop working a year ago and now it’s also killed my marriage, (my hustand literally snuck out and left me in the middle of the night) and took all my self worth. I don’t sleep very much and if I do its when the rest of the world awake. Like right now. My life is in such a terrible place right now, if I never got sick, I would still be wearing that damn bikini, employed and close to the top of the ladder I worked so hardcto get to and married hopefilly happy. I am at my breaking point and I don’t know how to fix it and ALL my doctors SUCK! I feel tremendous guilt for not being able to be who/what I once was. Being sick has cost me everything and I have to start all over again at 47 makes my anxiety go thru the roof. Not sure where all this came from in a post about weightloss…..sorry, I was venting….maybe I lost a lb or 2! 😉

    • Reply
      November 25 at 8:18 am

      I truly feel heart break for all you have lost Maxx. I would encourage you to continue to fight to move on and see what the rest of your life has ahead. I believe so often (because I have been there myself), that we can feel like a powerless victim of our circumstances (i.e. ‘chronic illness’), and allow our lives to be stolen from us.
      It is so true, that there are a great many things in our lives we have no control over. One of the hardest ones to deal with is ‘what other people choose to do’. People may leave us because our health and/or situation changes, but whats to say that would not have happened even if we had never become ill?
      Its not easy to live this life with chronic pain (I am one of the many who have been asked to walk this path), but it is important to fight that trap of believeing that all would be well if we just had not contracted (fill in the blank). The truth is, if it was not this, it would have been something else. Life is just plain hard, and can completely & utterly suck sometimes. Personally, I would NEVER make it through without Jesus Christ. I seldom write about my relationship with Him here. For me, who I am needs to say far more than any words I could use that most have heard over & over again (and that usually by scared/weak ‘Christians’ who manifest a lot of their guilt through hypocrisy). I am the first to admit I follow Him imperfectly and many times poorly. BUT my failings & imperfection does not change the REALITY of His existence, and the fact that He is PERFECT LOVE.
      I encourage you to find out if He is really there. You’ve got NOTHING to lose, and believe me, you’ve EVERYTHING to gain. Or, you may be His already and need to turn back to your first love.
      BTW, 35lbs is not that much weight, it just seems like a thousand to us 😉
      Good luck to you Maxx, and much ♥ from me~

  • Reply
    April 14 at 12:21 pm

    Hello I just found your blog, thank you! I am seriously struggling and have been getting worse for the last two years, unable to work and in constant pain on pain pills daily. I have such bad stomach problems when I try to eat salads and lots of vegetables it makes me really sick. My doctor, who is a functional medicine doctor and is absolutely awesome said my stomach can’t take digesting the raw veggies right now. I’m allergic to eggs I’m not supposed to do dairy or gluten so I’m struggling on what I can eat. I have been eating Chex gluten free cereal in the morning with almond milk but that doesn’t sound right due to the low protein. So if I have like chicken or turkey sausage… what else do I do? Uugg steamed broccoli for breakfast doesn’t sound very appetizing. Do you have meal plans for restricted diet?

    • Reply
      April 14 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Shawna, and welcome! Well, I would make a list of ‘types’ of foods you CAN eat: whole grains? cooked veg/fruits? lean meats? ect. Then I would Google or Pinterest recipes that have those foods as main ing. (substituting any Non-digest. foods in recipe {again, Googling/Pinterest for substitutions})
      I would create a list of recipes that work for me, say around 4 for break/4 for lunch/4 for dinner. Then, I would alternate those recipes around on days of the week so I don’t get bored eating the same thing all the time.
      As you have time, you can research and find more recipes to add to your meal arsenal.
      Good Luck Shawna! 🙂

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