Weight Loss – On A Renal Diet? What I Didn’t Expect

weight loss

After 5 years, I felt it was time for a weight loss diet.  I have spent the last five years on a renal diet and I have finally gotten my prescription tuned and my life back, and guess what; I gained twenty pounds.  A month ago I decided to lose the extra weight.  But, Oh my gosh, the things I didn’t expect!

Weight Loss, How I Did It

I decided calorie counting was the best approach since there was no way I could exercise enough to make a big enough difference.  Of course I still keep an eye on my phosphorus, potassium, sodium and protein as I still needed good labs.  The first thing I did was find a calorie calculator  that I could use to determine how many calories I needed to lose a pound a week.  I found that if I ate about 1500 calories a day, I would lose a pound a week.  Not a crash weight loss diet, but a good steady diet that I could live with and hopefully keep my labs good.

I used the KDC Tracker and religiously monitored my calories as well as the other nutrients that are so important to a person on dialysis.

Kidney Diet

After three weeks, I had lost no weight!  I was starting to get discouraged.. But then I noticed something else, my blood pressure was rising, a lot!  What the heck was going on?  This doesn’t make any sense. How will I ever be able to lose weight? I’ll starve if I eat any less.

High BP? Oh My!

Weight Loss with High BP

At my clinic visit the nurse practitioner thought I was retaining fluid, even though I had no visible signs of edema, or fluid in my lungs.  Apparently, the fluid retention was the cause of the elevated blood pressure, but where was it coming from?

Then the light bulb came on. I must be losing weight, but I was not reducing my dry weight when I set up my dialysis, so I was not taking off enough water. If I was not taking the water off, then I had to be retaining it. For every kilogram of weight I lost with my diet, I was keeping a kilogram (liter) of water.

The result, no apparent weight loss! Not Fair!  What do I do now?

Did I Lose Weight?

So, I asked Bill to figure out how much weight I should have lost based on the Calorie Calculator, how much I was eating and how long I had been on my dialysis weight loss diet.  Over the next 3 weeks I removed that much extra fluid and my blood pressure started to come down, not enough and I’m guessing I have more fluid to remove.

Bill says he has no doubt and according to his calculations I have lost more weight than I thought.  I can only hope. I’ll keep you posted.

Now for the best part.  He has figured out that based on what I was eating, I should be losing .1Kg (.2lb) per day and has verified the weight loss with actual daily weight data.  So now at each treatment, I reduce my dry weight by that amount and twice as much after a day off!

So be careful when you try to lose weight, you can easily retain a lot of fluid.

We could not have determined what my losses should have been without the information gathered by the KDC Tracker!

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