Dr. Bicos was asked by Beaumont Hospital to discuss Jones fractures in regards to Kevin Durant’s injury.

Can you Still Lose Weight when Injured?

What happens when you’re in the middle of your weight loss journey and you suddenly get an injury? It could be a broken fracture, a sprain, a torn ligament or tendon that prevents you for exercising for a few weeks.

Or worse still, it could be an injury requiring surgery meaning none of your usual exercise for months.

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The simple answer is ‘no’ – with a little effort, you can continue to lose weight through your recovery.

It’s a Balancing Act

It’s not just your body that you need to keep balanced after an injury. Understandably, many clients panic when they can’t exercise as they worry about where all those calories they usually burn are going to go. But there’s no need to worry too much because the experts tell us that, “Exercise is not part of the weight-loss formula,” according to Wendy Scinta, MD and President-elect of the Obesity Medicine Association. “Weight loss is all about what goes into your mouth.” In other words, if you take in fewer calories than your body needs to just function (even with little movement), you should still lose weight.

This may seem like a conflicting message, but what we are actually saying is that, although exercise is preferable, it’s not absolutely necessary. Exercise won’t technically drop the number on the scale (without concentrating on diet), but it can help you look slimmer, since muscle is denser than fat. Plus exercise will speed up your resting metabolic rate, meaning you burn slightly more calories while you sleep. That and the fact that it contributes to your overall health means people who regularly exercise hate the idea of not being able to do their usual regime, but sometimes it just can’t be helped and we need to come up with plan B.

Putting Plan B into Action

The focus is now solely on your food. Make it count. Follow our tips to ensure you don’t over consume calories while in the recovery stage of your injury. Also, consider how many calories you used to burn each day through exercise and see if you can cut that from your diet. It may not be as much as you think – for instance, a one-hour walk may just burn roughly 250 calories each day so you don’t have a huge amount to cut.

This is the surgical fixation for a Jones fracture.  A screw can be seen in the 5th metatarsal bone.  (Note:  This is NOT a picture of Kevin Durant's foot)

This is the surgical fixation for a Jones fracture. A screw can be seen in the 5th metatarsal bone. (Note: This is NOT a picture of Kevin Durant’s foot)

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Dr. Bicos is an Assistant Professor in Orthopedics at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

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