In collaboration with Fat Disorders Research Society :

Dr. Herbst says, "Exercise in combination with a healthy diet is the cornerstone of treatment for people with fat disorders."

At this time we do not know which nutrition plan ('diet') works best for people with fat disorders. However, we know of many self-reported anecdotal stories of people who change the types of food they eat and consequently have:

* less pain

* less inflammation 

* more mobility

* less fatigue

* more vitamins and nutrients

* less weight

80% of the body's lymphatic system is in the gut [1], so by taking is easy on your gut, your body can focus on the rest of the lymph system.

We know of several people whose lipedema was worsened by cutting calories too low over long periods of time. 

It is worth noting that much of the research says "diets don't work" for people with fat disorders; but few of the papers say which 'diets' were used in the research. It's quite possible the diets in question were based on severe calorie restriction, and what the literature means is that reducing calories alone does not work.

It is likely that the lipedemic fat may not be reduced, however it is possible to reduce the volume of non-lipedemic fat. By reducing your weight you make it easier for your body to become more mobile and more active. Activity helps your body function better, especially the lymphatic system. Reducing weight helps joints like knees and feet.

For the people who are prone to retaining fluid through edema, lipedema, or lymphedema, it may be very difficult to determine if any health improvement attempt is working. Please give yourself SEVERAL MONTHS of being reasonably strict with your diet and exercise and DO NOT GIVE UP if the improvements aren't immediately obvious!

The folks in the various Groups are happy to share their experiences as well as answer any questions you may have on the different diets.

There are many different types of diets recommended by many different people, groups, agencies and standards bodies. We have attempted to summarize the various diets that people with fat disorders have anecdotally self-reported to be helpful. 

The diets people with fat disorders have found success have some things in common such as:

* replacing processed foods with whole foods. The more ingredients listed on a package, the more likely something is to be overly processed. Look for things that have 4 or fewer ingredients. An example of a "whole food" is an apple. For example compare the nutrition info of this cheese product http://www.thelaughingcow.com/products/the-laughing-cow-wedges/ with http://www.organicvalley.coop/products/cheese/cheddar/vermont-extra-sharp-16-oz/ . The former has many ingredients and the latter has just a few.

* avoid chemicals and artificial sweeteners

* low salt 

In order to have more control over the ingredients in your food, you may find it helpful to prepare your own meals. Foods that are meant to be low cost, or meant to last a long time may be higher in chemicals and salt. Therefore fast food, chain restaurants, and chain coffee shops, may have be worse than preparing your own meals. By their nature, farm-to-table restaurants have minimal processing.

And while we're on the soap box, it will probably not hurt to examine the materials you may use like plastic bottles and non-stick pots and pans; this is a 4-page review of toxic chemicals http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1976909_1976908_1976938,00.html . Some chemicals impact hormones which may have an impact on fat disorders.

A full analysis of all the diets is not possible so we are trying to summarize them and provide some links to some more information. This is not an exhaustive list. Do your research and check out the links for more information. Discuss changes in your nutrition with your medical team.