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Trying to Lose Weight?
Losing weight can be difficult at the best of times but as a renal patient the information given about healthy eating can conflict with dietary restrictions.
This article contains information about how to lose weight if you are following a low potassium diet.
If you are overweight losing 10% of you body weight can:
  • Decrease your blood pressure, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Lowers your cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart and blood vessel disease.
  • Reduce strain on your joints.
  • Decrease the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Increase your feeling of wellbeing, you feel better about yourself, have more energy and feel more positive.
It is important that when trying to lose weight you set yourself realistic targets and goals. Aim for 0.5-1kg (1-2lbs) dry weight loss a week. If you lose weight gradually and steadily it is more likely to stay off in the long term!

When losing weight it is often necessary to make changes to not only your dietary intake but also your lifestyle.

Changing your Dietary Intake:
  • Reducing fat intake
    • Choose low fat options where possible, i.e. choose semi skimmed milk rather than full cream.
    • Bake, boil, poach and grill you food rather than fry.
    • Take the fat off your meat and avoid the skin on chicken.
    • Try to avoid pastry, cream and creamy sauces.
    • Choose low fat or reduced fat cheeses e.g. edam.
  • Reducing sugar intake
    • Sugar provides no other nutrition except calories, therefore try to avoid adding it to drinks or try to reduce the amount you do add.
    • Use sweetener in drinks and on cereals, if necessary.
    • Go easy on sweets, cakes and biscuits. They all contain sugar and fat.
    • Choose diet drinks and no added sugar squash within your fluid allowance.
  • Increasing Fibre intake
    • Foods high in fibre can help to fill you up and satisfy your appetite quicker and for longer.
    • Choose wholemeal bread rather than white
    • Choose high fibre breakfast cereals, e.g. Weetabix, porridge, Shreddies, Shredded Wheat. Cereals with dried fruit and nuts in will be high in potassium and should be avoided.
    • Choose 2 portions of fruit and 2 portions of vegetables each day.
  • Helpful Hints
    • Aim for 3 meals a day.
    • Avoid snacking between meals where possible, if hungry choose fruit from your allowance or choose plain crackers, toast or cereals from the above list.
    • Do not shop on an empty stomach, make a list and stick to it!
    • An occasional treat is not forbidden as long as you keep to a health eating plan the rest of the time.
  • Exercise will help with weight loss. Any increase in physical activity level with help.
  • Talk to your doctor about what types of exercise are suitable for you.
The best way to lose weight and maintain weight loss is to follow a sensible healthy eating meal pattern. Fad diets may seem like a good option; however, they rarely offer long term weight loss and may pose some health issues that make them unsuitable for those people with kidney problems.

Remember long term weight loss can mean hard work and perseverance but it is worth it!


Renal Dietitians
UHB NHS Foundation Trust.