The importance of diet in physical therapy

Updated: Oct 11

Diet plays a more important role than we can think of in physical therapy. A good diet can help reduce the risk of suffering important diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes or obesity, but beyond this, food is the engine of all activity we do and marks our energy level.

Within each food there are certain substances that are very important such as carbohydrates, proteins or lipids and others that are only unnecessary waste. That is why it is important to watch your diet to prevent injuries and aid recovery.

An example can be found with muscle contractures, caused by poor position. To reduce contracture, the patient has to increase the consumption of foods rich in vitamin B2 and calcium.

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to lead a healthy life, it also improves our mood and increases our productivity.

Nutrition is health, since by achieving a good nutrition and a healthy diet you will achieve a healthier life without frights.

NUTRITION - Nutritional tips

We are going to try to explain and make you understand a series of guidelines to be able to correct some bad eating habits that you may have, and thus facilitate the process of losing fat mass that we seek through exercise and good nutrition. We will detail them below:

Eat at least 5 meals a day.

This way we will avoid arriving on an empty stomach to the main meals, which causes us to eat more food than we need. The body and its metabolism have a great capacity to adapt, when you reduce your caloric intake (decrease in food) without any type of control and drastically, with the premise of "eating less = losing weight", is when that feeling of have an empty stomach. Your body needs energy to be able to continue working (generate and repair tissues, maintain body temperature, etc.), the body realizes that the necessary calories are not ingested in due time, and this what it generates at first is to decrease its basal metabolism (that is, it consumes less energy than before when we are at rest), together with the fact that the body is eager to convert any nutrient into fat, thus ensuring that it has energy reserves available. Hence the problems of hypocaloric diets (low in calories) where the famous rebound effect occurs, eating the same makes you fatter. In addition, it takes about a year in general, depending on the individual, it will be more or less time, so that the body destroys adipocytes (cells in which fat is stored) that no longer contain fat (closely related to the effect rebound), that is why it is very important in the first stages of nutritional reeducation, to be consistent and not look for results instantly. During this period of time, even after losing weight, the body still has fat stores available (adipocytes), so that everything that we eat in excess will go to adipocytes to be stored as fat. This does not mean that we cannot lose weight during this time, it is simply informative so that you know how the body works a little and that we understand why constancy is requested.

Within these 5 meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner are essential, the other two will be more focused on the complementary intake of fruit, yogurt, sandwiches (tomato, lettuce, tuna, chicken, light cheese or York ham), and food of this style.

Main meals:

Breakfast: this meal is compulsory and should be one of the ones that should worry us least when it comes to eating, since it is the beginning of the day. You can choose several options; tea, milk (if it can be with sweetener or cinnamon better than with sugar) and some toast, if possible with whole wheat bread, with tomato, tuna, serrano ham, light marmalade, etc. You can also eat a yogurt if you can't satisfy your appetite.

Snack: we will have this meal about two or three hours after breakfast. We will try to eat one or two pieces of fruit according to tastes, although we can also choose rice cakes that are pleasant to the palate and nutritionally serve us to achieve our objectives. If that seems not enough, we can substitute the fruit for a sandwich of whole wheat bread with chicken and / or tuna, tomato, light cheese, lettuce, etc.

Lunch: in the first place it would be advisable to add a salad to this meal. If this is not possible, it would be interesting to eat an orange, tangerine, peach, etc. half an hour before eating, so we will feel more satisfied at the main meal. It is important that we alternate meat with fish, if possible between lunch and dinner, that is, if we eat meat at noon, we eat fish for dinner and vice versa. Although the ideal would be to leave the fish for the night, as they have an easier digestion for the body. We also include a small amount of carbohydrates (all those derived from pasta or rice with the fewest possible sauces). We will avoid lengthening the meal until we feel excessively satiated, we must find the middle ground between excess and deficit. We learn to listen to our body!

Snack: about two and a half or three hours after the meal, as we have already mentioned, a small sandwich with whole wheat bread if possible, or some fruit and / or yogurt (the last two options are better), rice cakes , corn, oats, etc.

Dinner: it should be as light as possible, since we are at the end of the day and now the body is going to rest and recover to be well the next day, so it is not necessary to exceed our calorie intake. We must avoid eating sugars or excessive fruit, since the body assimilates it quickly and it is energy that we are not going to consume at that very moment, with which it will become part of the fat reserves in case of having full storage tanks . We continue with the salad before dinner (avoiding using corn and carrots this time, as it produces the same effect as fruits at this time) and then some meat or fish fillets (we can add a little bread to dinner, but the smallest possible). If we feel hungry we can have a glass of milk with sweetener (saccharin or fructose) or cinnamon before going to bed (in addition, milk contains amino acids that can help rest).

Change normal meals for light

  • It is recommended that cheese, milk, jams, etc. they are light, skimmed or low in calories. We will always cook, or we will try, to cook with the least amount of oil possible (if we have to fry some food, the olive oil, and we will wait until it is boiling, to avoid that the food absorbs excess fat) and in Instead of sugar we will use sweetener, at first they will have a somewhat strange taste, but the palate will get used to it.

  • An important concept that we must know is that of “energy balance”. Which is nothing more than the calories we consume through diet, and the calories our body uses in the different processes that occur in the body. If we eat more calories than our body will use, the excess calories (whether from fat, carbohydrates or proteins) will be stored in the form of fat. For this reason, it is important to do two things, firstly having good eating habits that allow us to ingest the necessary calories without exceeding ourselves, and on the other hand, increasing the calories expended by the body through exercise, thus eliminating those calories that may be left over.

We do not have to obsess over calories, we simply have to take care of what we eat, in terms of quality and quantity, and at what time we eat one type of food or another. If we accompany all this with physical exercise controlled by a professional, and with a little motivation and patience, we can achieve our goals.

We attach a link so that you get an idea of ​​the calories of each food, being able to see the foods that you like the most and eat in your daily life. For example, a woman of about 20-30 years of the general population who does not practice sports, her basal metabolism (the calories that her body needs daily to function) has an average caloric consumption of approximately 1500 Kcal / day, while in a man it is between about 1800 Kcal / day. If you do sports, your daily caloric intake will go up, including the days you don't, that is, you will have a more active basal metabolism.

It is recommended to always eat with water, fizzy drinks are less recommended.

These contain many sugars and therefore many calories. The water will help to replenish your cells and make them work better, in addition the level of hydration is closely related to the capacity of muscular extensibility, which will improve our flexibility with all that this entails. We avoid (this is the most complicated) drinking alcohol. It contains many empty calories that will become fat in most cases.


You have to take it as a good for your health and well-being, not as an obligation. Over time, sports will become essential, since the body secretes substances in the body that make you feel good.

It is important to eat something immediately after exercise (fruit, toast with tomato, turkey, tuna, etc.).

Give yourself a day off

With this we do not want you to go hungry or suffer, but to improve your quality of life and feel good physically and psychologically. One day of the week, if we cannot avoid it, we can indulge ourselves, and go out to dinner at a restaurant, not eat more than necessary, we will order one plate at a time and if we are hungry we will order another. The more food we have on the table, the more we will eat unconsciously even if we don't need it.

With this we should not go hungry (we have more than enough food) adapt it to you to find you satisfied and never full. The moment we feel hungry, before thinking of chocolate or pastries, we will try to eat a piece of fruit, after that you will see how the desire for chocolate fades. If we also do physical exercise, the percentage of fat will decrease, which in the end is what we are looking for, we do not only seek to lose weight, we seek to feel good about ourselves, since “fat weighs less than muscle and if you start to exercise, you will gain weight at the beginning due to the gain in muscle mass ”, which can generate a bit of frustration, demotivation and a feeling of abandonment.

We will set small goals, but never weight, we will start with the first goal of having 5 well-cooked meals for a couple of weeks, once we achieve it we will propose to take time for exercise, incorporating it into our routine. If we can go up the stairs instead of the elevator, or we can walk to buy bread instead of by car, or similar things, we will be working to improve our quality of life, and these are small details that in the end add to our favor.

Some curious facts:

When you cook with oil, the food absorbs 20% of its weight in the form of oil, that is, if we put 100g of potatoes to fry, it will absorb 20g of oil, if we take into account that for every gram of oil we are adding 9 kcal 180 extra kcal of fat, which will probably be stored. One way to avoid this is to heat the oil very well, so that when we introduce the food a small layer is created around it that makes it very difficult for the oil to enter the food. That is why it is recommended to put the food in when the oil is at its maximum temperature, if we cook meat, for example, it will create a layer that will make the food absorb less oil. In addition to this, try to cook with a minimal amount of oil as discussed above.

There are no prohibited foods, there are less recommended foods such as chocolate, butter, pates. Fat is what gives food its flavor, therefore, things with more fat are usually the most palatable, but your body will not appreciate it, and not for aesthetics, if not because the accumulation of disproportionate fat ends Being a problem for oneself in terms of health and pathologies, with bad habits we are predisposed to suffer diseases and these can (although not always) become irreversible such as type II diabetes, hypertension, coronary diseases, etc.

Kyros Therapy - Sports & Recovery



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2020 by  Oscar Artacho