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Portable Oxygen Concentrator Resource Center

How to Avoid Weight Loss for Those with COPD

Posted by Erin Lowry on Jun 12, 2018 9:50:00 AM


how to avoid weight loss for those with copd

Why Am I Losing Weight?

Having COPD can make it easier to lose weight, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Those with COPD can become very thin if it is not monitored or prevented as their breathing requires more energy and in turn it can cause them to burn more calories.

Eating too little, on top of COPD can cause too much calories burned compared to calories consumed.

Finding about how many calories you are burning, compared to how much you are consuming can help you figure out what you should be eating.

Your lungs can also expand from being inflamed, taking away room for your stomach, so you may feel full more quickly.


copd lungs can become inflamed enough that they take away room from the stomach


Speaking with your doctor to find the right balance is key to a healthy lifestyle.

Mini Meals

If you and your doctor feel you are losing too much weight, eating multiple, small meals throughout the day versus a couple big meals will allow you to get more food into your body without feeling too full and exhausted at mealtime.

These small meals also give you time to digest the food and catch up on energy.

It is very common to feel tired during/after eating, as your body is trying to focus on digesting your food versus everything else.

These smaller meals allow you to digest the food without feeling too tired or too full.

The Importance of Nutrition

It is also very important to consume the right foods with COPD, making sure to eat healthy and eat foods with nutritional value.

If you consume food that has no nutritional value, it can make you feel sluggish or tired for a longer period of time.

Some foods that are good for those with COPD are healthy fats such as fish, nuts and eggs.


salmon is full of healthy fat and can be easy to consume for those with copd


These fats are easier to digest and it produces less carbon dioxide, making it easier to exhale while consuming.

Dessert First?

We have given you an excuse to eat dessert first, as many desserts are made with eggs!

Ice cream, pudding, cake and custard are all great desserts that have a lot of eggs, which are full of healthy fats.

By eating your dessert first you are getting the healthy fats your body needs before you eat the rest of your meal.

Dessert first is a good option as those with COPD can get full quickly, so getting the important nutrients into their body first is key.

By consuming healthy fats first, those with COPD, don’t have to worry about getting full because they have consumed nutritional foods first.

Sneaky Ways to Get More Nutritional Foods into Your Body

You can also try adding an extra tablespoon of olive oil, mayonnaise, sour cream or butter to your meals can help get more healthy fats into your body.

Cheese and peanut butter both contain healthy fats that are good to snack on with some crackers or a bagel.

Milk powder is another important part of a healthy diet, as milk powder adds calories, protein and calcium to meals.

Throwing some powder in your eggs, potatoes, cereal, smoothie or even your dessert can get you the protein and calcium you need without feeling the need to drink a lot of milk each day.

Avoiding the Bad Stuff

Avoid sodium in your meals, instead use other herbs and spices to give your food flavor.

If you buy food items, look for low sodium and avoid any processed foods that have about 300 mg of sodium or less.

If you do need to use salt, stick to real salt, as salt substitutes can contain harmful chemicals that may be worse for you than the salt.

Avoid non-nutritious drinks like coffee and tea, as well as non-nutritious foods such as potato chips, candy and similar snack foods.

When eating, try to drink after your meal, as you can get full on liquids before you can consume the more nutrient rich foods.

Some important foods that are filled with nutrients such as salmon, eggs, peanut butter, milk powder, and fruit (fresh or dried).

The Importance of Preparation

ziplock bags can makemeal preparation easier for those with copd

Preparing your meals, make it easier on yourself later in the day as you get tired.

Preparing your meals can be as easy as making an extra serving and freezing it, then all that you need to do is heat it up when you get hungry.

You can also prepare snacks for yourself by dividing up dried fruit and nuts into small containers or ziplock bags, you can grab food when you are hungry.

Asking your family to help can make it easier on you as well. Requesting meals to be premade for you can make it as simple as heating up the meal.

Resting before eating can also make eating a meal more enjoyable and a less exhausting task.



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