HomeHealth & Wellness after SCINutrition, Dietary and Weight ManagementWeight Management and SCI Factsheet- Published by the RRTC on Secondary Conditions in the Rehabilitation of Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

4.1. Weight Management and SCI Factsheet- Published by the RRTC on Secondary Conditions in the Rehabilitation of Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT AND SCI

Weight management is hard for many of us no matter what time of the year. For individuals with SCI, it is even harder to maintain a healthy weight and avoid putting on some extra pounds due to the reduced ability to move around. Trying to eat healthy will not only help you to maintain your weight, but it is also important for bowel/bladder management, prevention of skin breakdown, and for your overall health.

No matter what time of the year it is, there are always delicious foods to enjoy that might contribute to unwanted weight gain. Although we can all splurge from time to time, trying to maintain a healthy eating pattern and avoiding overeating is always a good practice.

To put things into perspective, consuming one cup of French fries each day for one week will cause one pound of weight gain.  Listed below are some common foods to show where extra pounds and calories may be coming from:

Food

Serving Size

Calories

Pounds

Cheeseburger

1 small, 4 inch width

360

0.103

Chicken Caesar Salad

2 cups

560

0.160

Tuna Salad Wrap

1 wrap

580

0.166

Chicken Quesadilla

1 tortilla

300

0.086

Pizza with cheese only

1/8 of pie

140

0.040

French Fries

1 cup

460 

0.131

Macaroni & Cheese

1 cup

360

0.103

Honey-Glazed Ham

4 ounces

230

0.066

Mashed Potatoes with Gravy

½ cup with ¼ cup gravy

170

0.049

Dinner Roll

2 rolls

220

0.063

Soda, coca-cola

2 cups

194

0.055

Apple juice, 100%

2 cups

234

0.067

Orange juice, 100%

2 cups

224

0.064

Cranberry juice, 100%

2 cups

240

0.069

Hot Chocolate

1 cup

190

0.054

 Controlling portion size is one way to cut calories and curb possible weight gain. In the example above, the ham is served as a 4 oz. portion although it is not uncommon for a single serving of meat in a restaurant to be closer to 8-10 oz and for side dishes to be larger than ½ cup. Below are illustrations of common objects you can use to estimate portion size:

 ½ cup = Light bulb     

1 cup= Baseball         

                                                                                                

1 tbsp= Poker chip     

1 oz or 2 tbsp= Golf ball  

                             

 
For more portion guidelines and a Portion Guide, see:

http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/media/pdf/diet/portion-control-guide.pdf

HOW MUCH SHOULD I WEIGH?
While there are no specific weight guidelines for individuals with SCI, the general rule is to subtract 5-10% from general weight guidelines for paraplegia, and 10-15% for tetraplegia.

For example, the target weight for a 6'0" man with paraplegia is 150-158 lbs, while a 6'0" man with tetraplegia has a target weight of 142-150lbs.  A 5'6" female with paraplegia's target weight is 126-133 lbs. If she has tetraplegia, it's 119-126 lbs.

DAILY CALORIE INTAKE

Depending on level of activity, people with SCI tend to need fewer calories per day. Cox et al[2] developed a formula to calculate caloric needs. The formula is:

The formula is based on your target weight. Although this formula is still being used, it has several limitations:

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT TIPS

RESOURCES

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: For those of you who have made a commitment to do something about weight management or who are just interested in learning more about it, the University of Alabama Spinal Cord Injury Model System has designed a 12 week program specifically for individuals with spinal cord injury. The EatRight program includes a weekly  workbook and a video of the topic of the week.

http://www.uab.edu/medicine/sci/uab-scims-information/eatrightr-weight-management-program

NUTRITION FACTSHEET

http://sci-health.org/RRTC/publications/PDF/SCI-Nutrition.pdf

REFERENCES


[1] Height and Weight Ratio Chart. Disabled World - Disability News for all the Family. Available at http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/height_weight.shtml#ixzz2Gv7yoIpD

[2] Energy expenditure after spinal cord injury: an evaluation of stable rehabilitating patients. Cox SA, Weiss SM, Posuniak EA, Worthington P, Prioleau M, Heffley G. J Trauma 1985;May 25(5):419-23.

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