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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Division of Transplantation

Controlling Your Weight After Transplant

drawing of feet and scale

Maintaining your weight after transplant can be quite challenging. Being on an unrestricted diet, together with an increased appetite can quickly lead to excess weight gain, especially if you are not exercising regularly. Choose foods that are healthy and nutritious such as fruits and vegetables and avoid “empty calories” such as high fat high sodium fast foods and snacks.

Choose foods from the basic food groups and limit your intake of fried or highly processed foods. Snack on low fat foods such as fruits, and limit your intake of highly sweetened soft drinks, cakes and sweets. We will be happy to arrange for you to meet with a dietician for specific meal planning if you wish. This can be easily arranged through the Transplant Nurse Practitioner.


Believe it or not, regular exercise will make you feel better and speed your recovery.

drawing of hands tieing a hiking boot

You may begin a regular exercise program after discharge from the hospital. You should begin by walking 10-15 minutes each day and increase your activity daily as you feel better. Build up your strength and stamina slowly when doing regular exercise. Walking, swimming and bicycling are exercises that are healthy and fun to do.

You should not lift anything over 15 pounds (7 kilograms) for about three (3) months after the transplant. Avoid strenuous activities such as running or jogging for about six (6) weeks.

As a transplant recipient you should not participate in contact sports such as football, hockey or rugby as these may result in injury to the kidney.

Things to Remember...

Intake and Output

Measure your intake using the conversion table below and record it on a log as you were taught, for one (1) month after surgery. Measure your urine output using the graduated cylinder as you were taught, for one (1) month after surgery. If you think you are urinating less and your weight goes up, call the Transplant Nurse Practitioner.

Approximate Equivalents (Household Metric)

1 Quart (32 oz.) 1,000 ml.
1 Pint (16 oz.) 500 ml.
1 measuring cupful (8 oz.) 240 ml.
2 Tablespoons (1 oz.) 30 ml.

If you drive a car you can resume driving after three (3) weeks. You should always wear a seat belt when in a car even if the belt is over your kidney.