Top Tips for Managing Unintentional Weight Loss

Some people may lose weight without trying (unintentional weight loss) which can have a number of negative impacts on health as well as be concerning for the person experiencing it.

Dietitians are here to support people who are experiencing unintentional weight loss and can help clients include nourishing foods to support their weight and health.

Unintentional weight loss can happen due to:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Chewing or swallowing problems
  • Higher energy needs than you are able to meet with regular food intake
  • Sickness
  • Vomiting that continues for a longer than normal time period
  • Diarrhoea that continues for a longer than normal time period
  • Mental health struggles, which can reduce appetite
  • Difficulty accessing nourishing foods

Long-term unintentional weight loss can lead to reduced energy levels, reduced ability to move around safely, and reduced ability to complete daily tasks due to these being more taxing, muscle wasting, malnutrition and loss of general strength which can make things, like opening jars, more difficult.

So, what can be done to manage unintentional weight loss?

Including high protein, high energy foods regularly is one way to help manage unintentional weight loss. These foods provide extra fuel to the body to help maintain and regain weight, and extra protein to keep muscles healthy to support everyday functions such as getting out of bed and going for walks.

Here are some top tips for increasing the intake of high protein, high energy foods:

  • Include nourishing drinks 🥛
    • These can include smoothies with extra yoghurt, nuts and seeds in them;
    • Fortified milk drinks – regular milk with added milk powder
    • Milo with milk
    • Sustagen or Ensure-type drinks
  • Include cheese, yoghurt or nuts with snacks 🥜
    • Add nuts with a piece of fruit
    • Have cheese and crackers for afternoon tea
    • Enjoy yoghurt with sliced banana for a morning snack
  • Add nourishing “extras” to sandwiches 🥑
    • Add sliced avocado
    • Spread bread with mayonnaise
    • Include cheese on a sandwich
  • Include extra toppings or sides with main meals 🧀
    • Have sour cream on the side of curries and Mexican dishes
    • Use generous amounts of olive oil in the cooking process of meals
    • Add avocado/olives/cheese to salads
  • Have the protein part of the meal first 🐟
    • Eat the chicken/red meat/egg/fish/tofu/beans/lentils in the meal first as these foods are the most nourishing to help with managing unintentional weight loss

Dietitians can support clients with unintentional weight loss by tailoring strategies to their needs. Dietitians can also provide recommendations on nourishing drinks such as Sustagen, Ensure, Resource, Fortisip etc. which can support the management of unintentional weight loss.

DVA and Home Care Package clients can access these products through dietitian recommendations to their GP or Home Care Package Case Manager. All clients are able to access Sustagen and Ensure through their local pharmacy.

Our Dietitians service the Sunshine Coast community and are available to support those with unintentional weight loss, as well as many other conditions.

Get in touch with the Total Rehab Solutions team today to book with our friendly Dietitians.