Is it harder for people in wheelchairs to lose weight? The weight poses an extreme hazard to the cardiovascular system, in many cases. What can be done about it? Diet obviously plays a key, but if you cannot move, then you cannot burn the weight.

Would I be wrong?

What can a fitness trainer do about it?

If the user can use the arms, for instance, can they burn the fat contained in the stomach and legs?


  • 1
    If the user can use the arms, for instance, can they burn the fat contained in the stomach and legs? - You cannot target weight loss. Can you edit your question? As it is, it's somewhat broad.
    – rrirower
    Sep 23, 2016 at 15:28
  • What can I target then. Isn't weight loss an add-on of physical fitness training? Sep 23, 2016 at 15:42
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    You cannot dictate where the weight is "burned". You lose weight over the entire body, not just one spot. You do that by decreasing caloric intake and increasing caloric expenditure.
    – rrirower
    Sep 23, 2016 at 15:46
  • That wss helpful, thanks. A friend of mine though told me you lose the weight in one part of the body and then the fat readjusts itself around the body to maintain the same overall proportions of the body before the weight loss. Is this true? Sep 26, 2016 at 9:03
  • No. What your friend told you is incorrect.
    – rrirower
    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:42

2 Answers 2


Basically its not as simple as "more exercise means less fat" though in my opinion it might help. The answer is for them to start seeing a nutritionist who can help get to a balanced diet.

My only reference is a documentary "Fed Up" (2014)... well and testimony from everybody who says they gain weight by looking at a doughnut.

As a fitness trainer I think the best thing you can do is not help them lose weight but help them improve their cardio and raise their spirits. There are many things that a good healthy heart can help avoid, and having a good outlook will help them also be more healthy. Generally being more active can help improve lives in many different ways but its not a garrantee to lose weight so I think you should avoid using that as an argument and help them avoid it as well.

I can testify that running for more than 5 hours will result in an appetite that will not go away for a few days no matter how much I eat. That to me is evidence for some form of a biological control that you have no control over and can be thrown off balance by exercise.

I can also testify that a coworker changed his diet with the help of a doctor to start eating many small healthy meals and lost ALOT of weight. I don't know the details but I've heard of this diet from several different places over the last few years. So they should see a doctor or a nutritionist to get a good weight loss result instead of trying to use exercise to do it.

I would like to say fasting from food and water during the daytime may help but only 1-2 times a week. I don't think many people do this though, just another opinion of mine. It puts your body into a fat burning mode where your likely to have ketosis to some degree during the fast.

Hope this helps some. Kudos to you for taking on such a challenge to help other people.

  • Yeah, fasting will do it. And you must be consistent, otherwise, you risk putting the weight back on up as soon as you don't fast. And there is also something called ZLS medical which is an algae-based weight loss product that you can get from your farmacist. As far as the exercise, the fading probably beats it; your answer contradicts @sCodeZone's answer. As to the cardio, what is the best way for a wheelchair person to train their cardio? Should I make this a separate question? Thanks. Sep 26, 2016 at 9:22
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    Cardio is probably a separate question, and I think Ive seen that question posted a week or two ago. I think you'll get lots of feedback on that. For @xCodeZone's answer Id say its not impossible to lose weight by exercising but I do think its not guaranteed either. There are some Loser TV show winners that have been coming out about dealing with this conventional wisdom that you can exercise the fat off of yourself, so its possible but not guaranteed.
    – Jason
    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:40
  • By possible but not guaranteed, do do you mean that it may work for some but not for others, or that you do not know the answer? Sep 26, 2016 at 10:43
  • Also, does extensive fasting place stress on the liver, muscles, and bones? I've had a doctor say something about these lines about my fasting. (?) Sep 26, 2016 at 10:45
  • I mean possible for some but not guaranteed for everyone. For fasting, I dont know much - especially medically, but part of the set of rules I use is that it is very important not to fast too much.
    – Jason
    Sep 27, 2016 at 2:13

The short answer to your question, if using arm can result in fat loss in belly and legs, is yes, it can. To lose fat you need to lose overall body fat. There's no exercise targeted to lose body fat from any specific body part. So, by using your arms if you burn enough calories, it would result in fat loss wherever required and your body is quite intelligent to figure that out. Red Nick Scott's interview if you like,


He's wheelchair bound since he was a teenager, but not only he successfully lost tremendous amount of fat, he built an impressive physique as well.So, by having a control over your diet, working out regularly and having adequate rest, you can achieve any goal you want. Best wishes to you.

  • So diet, workout, and rest, are the the pillars of fat burn thought the body for everyone. Thanks for your answer, I'm just about to watch the video. Best Regards. Sep 26, 2016 at 9:14

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