Prednisone is the generic name for a drug prescribed to treat and prevent inflammation. Among the side effects of prednisone, rapid weight gain is very common. When taking prednisone, it is important to lose the gained weight in a safe, healthy manner by making some basic lifestyle changes. The lifestyle changes are the same for basic weight loss, including changing your diet and adding exercise to your daily routine.
Eat a diet that is healthy and well-balanced. This includes a variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Choose healthy sources of protein, like beans, eggs, nuts and lean, white meats. Cut back on the amounts of sugar, salt and unhealthy fats that you eat.
Cut out continual snacking throughout the day, which can cause overeating and unnecessary calorie intake. It is recommended to eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day to help you feel fuller and eat a healthier diet. Eat only when you're hungry, and pay attention to the signals that your body is sending to you.
Drink more water throughout the day. Water is a great way to help your body feel fuller and prevent overeating. As opposed to juices, sodas, alcohol or coffee and tea, water doesn't contain any sugar, calories or additives. It also keeps your body hydrated, prevents bloating and helps your body to flush unwanted toxins. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water each day.
Exercise regularly. Exercising may be difficult, especially if taking prednisone for a health condition that makes exercise difficult. Any physical activity is better than none, so find something you enjoy and get moving.
Begin to exercise slowly and gradually build to a more intense routine. Don't do too much all at once. Pick a type of exercise to do three times a week for 15 minutes the first week, then add another day and 5 more minutes until you're exercising five or six days a week for 30 minutes.
Include cardiovascular exercise in your routine. Go swimming or take a brisk walk around your neighborhood. Join a class at your local gym or recreation center, or build your own personal routine to do at home when the weather is poor. Find an exercise buddy to increase motivation.
Since these are lifestyle changes, pick one or two things to work on and then add a few more in a week, instead of drastically changing habits overnight, which is difficult to maintain.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that healthy weight loss is 1.5 to 2 lb. a week.
Talk to your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise regimen to determine what is safe for your personal health.