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Healthy Weight Center

Can I Still Lose Weight With Iron Deficiency?



I eat healthy as I can. Since I am lactose intolant I can`t drink the right amount of milk. I tryed to follow the Canadian Food Guide but there is no way I can eat that much food in one day. I also don`t eat that much grain or meat a day. I might have 2 servings of grain a week. I can eat a little bit of meat but if I eat any more I throw up trying to eat it. I mostly eat fruit, veggies and chicken. The only thing I drink is water and I drink 3-4 liters a day.

I have iron defenncy anemia. I have RA and my doctor told me that I have to slow down and not do so much. I am over weight but can`t find a way to lose the weight. I try to do more exercise and my RA flares that I can`t walk or get out of bed.
I can take a bowl of raw brochili and califlower, banana and an orange for my lunch at work. I might take a sandwich once a week. I have high blood pressure from the Prednisone I take for my RA so I don`t eat or cook with salt. Is there any thing else that I can do to lose the weight in a healthy way?

The other thing that I was think of becoming a vegetarian but I already have anemia I am afaird to stop eating the little bit of red meat that I do eat. What are your thoughts on being a vegetarian, and are tthere any good websites on what food that could be eaten to meet iron needs?


Thanks for your question. As your diet is already very limited and you have iron deficiency, I would not recommend a vegetarian diet if you are trying to lose weight.

Although animal foods (eggs, butter, cheese, meat, ice cream, etc) can be higher in fat and calories, protein from lean meat or fish provides satiety, which means you eat less in between each meal. Iron deficiency may also impact your metabolism by lowering it, so you'd be wise to take an iron supplement if you are going to limit your meat consumption.

Your difficulty in losing weight may stem from limiting calories too much, which can then drop your metabolism. My best advice is to meet with a Registered Dietitian who can give you an individualized meal plan based on your calorie needs, lifestyle and food preferences. The Canadian Dietetic Association may be able to help you locate one.

In regards to lactose intolerance, you may be able to tolerate yogurt and low fat cheese. Both are good sources of calcium and protein, which may aid in weight reduction.

Finally, regular aerobic exercise like walking, biking, running, etc. should be done at least 5 days/week to burn calories and maintain muscle for weight loss, as well as maintenance of weight loss.

Keep up the fruit and vegetable intake as well.

Good luck!

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati