Jun 09 2009
In the initial acute stage of mono, it is common to lose weight. This can be due to a poor appetite, nausea or loss of muscle tone due to bed rest. Mononucleosis treatment should be focused on resting the body and boosting the immune system in order to fight the virus.
After the acute stage of mono, appetite normally improves, however fatigue and the resulting inactivity can last for many weeks or months. In these cases, weight gain can be triggered by inactivity caused by being ill, by inflammation in the body, or from the hormonal changes like an under active thyroid that the illness can precipitate. In some cases, boredom or feeling low can drive people to find solace in food.
If you have post mononucleosis weight gain, then before you jump back onto your favourite diet, just a word of warning. Dieting might actually be making you fatter!
The truth is that many diets will help you lose weight only temporarily. Weight loss from conventional dieting is usually only fluid initially and valuable muscle later on. Studies have shown that women on typical diets lose up to 25% of their weight loss as water, muscle, bones and other lean tissue. These are vital body tissues that you can’t afford to lose during mononucleosis treatment.
If you lose precious muscle you will experience a drop in your metabolic rate. This is because muscle is a biologically active tissue – fat is fairly inert. Muscle burns 30-50 calories a day, compared to fat which burns only 2 calories a day. When you eat normally again your weight will rebound, often above previous levels! This is because you have lost valuable muscle and the higher metabolic rate that goes with it.
People who do lose muscle, water and fat on the conventional diets tend to look drawn and haggard with a reduced muscle tone. Due to the low calories and the restrictive intake of vitamins, minerals and essential fats in many weight loss diets, most people will experience lowered vitality, irritability, food cravings and often depression. Their hair and nails may become brittle, their skin dry, and their eyes dull. Effective mononucleosis treatment requires good quality foods and adequate calories in order to support the immune system and fight the virus.
On very low calorie diets the body goes into ‘famine’ mode and the body starts to store fat in anticipation of a reduced food intake. When normal eating resumes, weight starts to creep back on, and often exceeds the original problem weight! So don’t think that by skipping meals or having all low fat and low calorie foods that you are doing your body a favor. Even if you skip one meal a day, your body will make up for it at the next meal by storing more fat! Effective mononucleosis treatment in fact requires small frequent meals in order to avoid blood sugar drops that can worsen fatigue.
Repeated dieting will deprive the body of all the essential nutrients needed to maintain cell efficiency and hormonal balance. Studies have shown that repeated dieting, or yo yo dieting, is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. It is also a stress to your body which you don’t need during mononucleosis treatment.
Unfortunately there is no quick fix for post mononucleosis weight gain. Despite all the claims there is no magic potion, pill or crash diet that will permanently eliminate your weight problem.
In order to lose your weight during mononucleosis treatment, you have to establish the factors contributing to your weight gain. Treat the causes of your post mononucleosis weight gain and your symptoms will be gone forever.
My suggestion to you during your mononucleosis treatment is to work through the most common underlying causes of weight gain in mono pateints. These triggers include toxins in the body, blood sugar imbalances, intolerances to carbohydrates, a sluggish metabolism, hormonal disturbances, inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, unresolved stress, overeating and lack of exercise.
By working on these areas you will also be improving your overall health and vitality. I have found in so many cases that if you make health your goal, weight loss will automatically follow. You can then fine tune your mononucleosis treatment program to allow for your particular weaknesses. Remember, it is not always as simple as counting calories. Find the underlying causes for your mononucleosis weight gain, work on them, and your weight problem will be gone forever.
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