The prescription drug prednisone reduces inflammation and treats a variety of conditions, such as arthritis and polymyositis. Although effective, weight gain is a common side effect of long-term prednisone use due to an increased appetite and fluid retention. But fortunately, there are ways to maintain your weight while taking this medication.
Check packages for their sodium content. Sodium contributes to water weight, and processed or frozen foods typically have a higher salt content. Lower your salt intake to below 2,400 mg a day, and replace processed foods with fresh fruits and vegetables and low-sodium alternatives.
Modify your carb intake. Carbohydrates affect your weight on prednisone by increasing water retention and food cravings. Stick with a low-carb diet to maintain your weight and eat no more than 20 to 30 grams of carbs a day.
Incorporate more potassium into your diet. Potassium keeps your body's water level balanced, and a low-potassium diet stimulates the storing of water. Consume potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, cereals and apricots, to reduce fluid retention and lose weight on prednisone.
Modify eating habits. Food cravings and an increased appetite contribute to weight gain. Maintain your weight by reducing or eliminating fatty and sugary foods from your diet. Eat four to six smaller meals a day to stay full longer and lower your caloric intake.
Drink plenty of water. Losing weight on prednisone often calls for flushing excess water and salt from your body. Keep your body hydrated and flushed by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
Exercise regularly. A fitness routine helps your body burn excess calories and fat, and exercise releases stored water through perspiration. Work out for 30 to 60 minutes three to five times a week.