If you have COPD, maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of managing your COPD. Being underweight makes you more susceptible infections, makes you more tired and can weaken your breathing muscles. On the other hand, being overweight taxes your heart and lungs, requires
more oxygen and can make breathing more difficult.
These food prep and nutrition tips can help you stay at your goal weight, conserve energy and make life easier for you:
- If you are underweight, eat more protein to add additional calories to your diet.
- Make larger meals that don’t require much food prep to save energy. The leftovers can also be used as meals for the next few days.
- Sit up during meals to avoid compromising your breathing.
- Eat smaller meals five to six times a day to keep your energy levels high throughout the day.
- For energy throughout the day, try to eat your “big” meal earlier in the day, instead of at dinner.
- If necessary, take a nap before eating a meal to give yourself enough energy.
- Avoid drinking liquids while eating so you don’t feel as full.
- Eat slowly to avoid overeating and help with digestion.
- Cut down on salt, which can cause bloating, making it more difficult to breathe.
- Don’t eat junk food – it’s a waste of energy on empty calories that won’t meet necessary nutritional goals.
- If you use oxygen all day, continue to use it while eating.
- Avoid foods that cause gas and bloating, which can make breathing uncomfortable.
Your doctor or a nutritionist can help you tailor a nutritional plan to your specific case of COPD.