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Managing Diet

Nutrition in the Rehabilitation phase – weight gain/loss

Weight loss, particularly if it happens fast, in the period following a stroke, is not desired as it would usually indicate a loss of muscle as well as fat stores. It is important to keep muscle for rehabilitation; in fact, you need to be building up muscle to regain independence. If you have lost a lot of weight, it is important to reach and maintain a healthy weight. The dietary aims at this stage are to help resume as near normal eating habits as possible, ensure nutritional adequacy, address any persisting nutritional problems (for exmaple under or over weight) and minimising the risk of another stroke.

Those who are aiming to regain weight lost and those with eating difficulties or a persisting poor appetite, should continue with a high energy and protein diet as advised by the dietician in the initial stages after their stroke.

Some people gain weight after their stroke, often due to reduced mobility and eating differently to their usual diet. At this stage, those who are overweight should aim to adopt a diet that will gradually bring weight down to a ‘healthy’ level as being overweight can make mobilising more difficult and is a risk factor for further illnesses.

It would be advised that some sort of physical exercise would be adopted as part of your new lifestyle. A doctor or Physiotherapist may be able to advise further on this.

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