Two Other Weight-Loss Myths, Debunked
Muscle turns into fat. Wrong. If you are unable to exercise, your muscles will shrink, but they will not turn into fat. Wayne, a skier who broke his leg, was shocked to see how scrawny his leg muscles looked when the doctor removed the cast six weeks later. Once he started exercising, he rebuilt the muscles to their original size.
More: 50 Ways to Feed Your Muscles
Lack of exercise means you'll get fat. Wrong. If you overeat while you are injured (as can easily happen if you are bored or depressed), you can indeed easily get fat. Joseph, a frustrated football player with a bad concussion, quickly gained 15 pounds post-injury because he continued to eat lumberjack portions. But if you eat mindfully, your body can regulate a proper intake. Before diving into meals and snacks, ask yourself, “How much of this fuel does my body actually need?”
More: 10 Light Snacks That Won't Derail Your Diet
When injured, some underweight runners gain to their genetic weight. For example, Jessica, a 15-year-old high school runner, perceived her body was “getting fat” while she recuperated from a knee injury. She was simply catching up and attaining the physique appropriate for her age and genetics.
More: 3 Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
Do Eat “Clean”
To enhance healing, you want to choose a variety of quality foods that supply the plethora of nutrients your body needs to function and heal. Don't eliminate food groups; they all work together synergistically. Offer your body:
Carbohydrates from grains, fruits and vegetables. By having carbs for fuel, the protein you eat can be used to heal and repair muscles. If you eat too few carbs, and too few calories, your body will burn protein for fuel. That hinders healing.
More: 5 Best Carbs for Athletes