How to Lose Weight With a Broken Leg

How to Lose Weight With a Broken Leg

Breaking your leg can be painful and stressful in its own right, keeping you off your feet for 6 to 8 weeks or longer.

What can be more stressful is if breaking your leg interrupts your usual workout routine making you feel sluggish and uncomfortable. Or worse yet if breaking your leg has interrupted your weight loss program, delaying results you had planned on.

Perhaps it’s as simple as losing a few pounds before swim season, or maybe you were hoping to make a splash at your high school or college reunion. Maybe you just want that old suit to fit the way it used to.

Don’t fret, all is not lost!

There are a few simple steps that can help you with how to lose weight with a broken leg while maintaining health and safety measures…

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Step 1: Talk to Your Doctor

Express your concerns and your doctor can help determine healthy and safe measures you can take to begin or continue your weight loss program.

Step 2: Eat Healthy

Maintain a well-balanced diet with properly portioned fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats.

Step 3: Speed up Your Metabolism

Eating several small meals throughout the day, say five small meals as opposed to three large meals, has been shown to raise your metabolism.

This can also help you cut down on the amount of downtime between meals and decrease your urges to snack on unhealthy items that can through your diet off balance.

Step 4: Watch Your Calorie Intake

Avoid high sugar products including sports drinks and alcohol in your liquid diet. Stick to plenty of water, low-fat milk, and low calorie juices.

For your solid diet, consider reducing your daily calorie intake. The average calorie count suggested to maintain weight without exercise is between 1,800 and 2,000.

The National Institutes of Health state women should eat a minimum of 1,200 calories per day to remain healthy. Men require a slightly higher intake of at least 1,500 calories per day.

Step 5: Continue Your Upper Body Workout Routine

Just because your leg is broken does not mean the rest of you is out of commission as well. While you are unable to put weight on your broken leg, continue or start an upper body routine.

Elevate your broken leg, and use free weights. Perform up-lifts (raising the weight above your head), bicep and tricep curls while sitting in a chair.

Perform crunches, side twists, and sit-ups sitting on the floor to strengthen your core and slim your abs. Complete 10 repetitions per exercise, two or three times per week.

Step 6: Get Moving

While you are still in the cast and on crutches, tend to yourself. Instead of asking someone to get your drink from the kitchen, get up on the crutches and do so yourself.

Go for a walk on your crutches, outdoors if possible, in an open space such as a mall or shopping center if not. This exercise is an effective form of cardiovascular workout, and the fresh air and movement will keep your from feeling bound to the couch.

When your doctor says it is safe to do so, begin some light resistance training on your leg. The Sports Injury Clinic states that one of the first exercises you should start after a broken leg is ankle rotations to increase mobility.

Sit with leg extended, bend your foot as far forward as possible, hold for five seconds. Bend backward, and once to each side, then repeat for 10 times total.

The Summit Medical Group suggests another similar exercise which calls for sitting with your leg extended, knee straight, loop a towel around the ball of your foot, and pull lightly towards your body.You should feel a stretch in your calf, hold for 15 seconds, release, and repeat for 10 times total.

Both of these exercises will help to reduce the likely hood of your leg going into atrophy, and allow you to return to your regular workout routine more swiftly. 

Losing Weight With a Broken Leg

These 6 simple steps that should help you with how to lose weight with a broken leg without disrupting the natural healing process.

Always remember to consider health and safety before all else, and consult your doctor concerning your specific limitations and capabilities so as not to disrupt the natural healing process.

Best of luck to you in your continued weight loss routine, and of course with the healing of your leg.

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14 thoughts on “How to Lose Weight With a Broken Leg

  1. This is awesome seeing stuff like this:). I get clients all the time looking to loose weight, but I never have to factor in a broken leg!

    The calorie ninja and banner at the top is a genius too, a very good idea and design. I run fitness site called gymbulk fitness if you want to check it out because I think it would maybe give you some ideas to things you can add in the future. No pressure, just trying to offer more ideas:).

    I wish you the best of luck
    Thad P.

  2. The tips are very useful! I had an injury few years ago and I couldn’t step on my foot. But I still exercised! Exercising was a lot easier after I recoverd and my mind stayed fresh at all times. I like the step 5, it says 10 repetitions per exercise. It’s enough and not too much. If somebody desires they can do 2×10. That’s what I think at least. 🙂

  3. Hi Chris Losing weight is enough of a challenge let alone trying to lose weight when you have a broken leg. Eating healthy and watching your calorie intake can still be done, although there may be more temptation for junk food when your immobile due to an injury.

    Doing any type of exercise will definitely help you get back on your feet faster. When I was quite young I had back surgery and was flat in bed for approx. 4 months. I had to stay flat not even allowed to lift my head. My mom used to get grocery bags and put some stuff in them to act as weight and I would lift them one leg at a time. That was about the only exercise I was allowed to do.

    Even doing that faithful twice at day everyday my legs were so weak that when I first stood after getting the cast off I collapsed.

    So I am hoping your readers will heed your advice about exercising even if you are injured. Not only will it help with the weight loss but it will help you heal quicker.

    1. Wow that’s quite a story Maureen – 4 months in bed not able to move! I think I’d go nuts! Glad to hear that you got your back sorted in the end.

  4. This is awesome seeing stuff like this. I get clients all the time looking to lose weight, but I never have to factor in a broken leg! The calorie ninja and banner at the top is a genius too, a very good idea and design

    1. Do us a favor and try using your real name next time – you also may have noticed we’ve removed your link. We are not a link farm and we are not a stepping stone to help you rank your site. Thanks for the comment though – we always welcome them! 🙂

  5. As always great ideas Chris and it just goes to show that we can always do something.
    I haven’t had a broken leg but I’ve had sprained ankles and had to stop running and walking and actually ended up losing body fat because I upped m resistance training and was more careful with my diet.

    There is always a way around anything.
    Love the Calorie Ninja!


    1. Love your visits here as well Alison!

      Yeah we can always get something done – as long as we set our minds to it and make sure we research the problem first!

      Great to have you here once again!

  6. Thanks for the tips! I think watching your calorie intake is probably what will help most. Because by doing so, you are making sure that you are consuming not more than what your body needs.

    Also, watching your intake of calories is probably the easiest method to take up when you are carrying an injury…and probably the least pain right? 🙂

    If I may add, everyone has an ideal “suggested” daily calorie intake that is dependent on their height as well as lifestyle.

    Even people who are too busy to do upper body workouts can lose weight if they make their calorie intake “negative” – so that the body will burn into the reserved fats.



    1. Of course Pitin – everyone’s ideal calorie intake is always going to be different….that’s just common sense really!

      I’m 6 foot 4 and I can get away with consuming a lot more daily calories than my mate who is a bit of a short lad (he’s only 5 foot 8…so don’t tell him I called him a ‘short lad’).

      If you are ever able to keep your calorie count negative you are always going to see certain weight loss results!

  7. Great tips. I especially like #4, Watch your calorie intake. I just broke my leg last week and it’s easy to continue eating like I did before I broke my leg. Now being somewhat immobile, I have to rethink my food intake. Thinking about food has been a conscience effort the last week!

    1. Cheers Ang – glad you enjoyed the article!
      Sorry to hear about your leg – hope it heals up soon for ya! 🙂

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