Post-Transplant diet

Weight gain

In the first few weeks weight gain is likely to occur because of fluid retention after the transplant operation. However, in the long term many patients gain weight after their kidney transplant. This can be caused by:

• Steroids, for example prednisolone, which increase your appetite and make you eat more.

• Relaxation of dietary restrictions enables you to eat more freely, which can cause weight gain.

• Reduced activity immediately after transplant can promote unwanted weight gain.

If you are concerned about your weight, please ask to be referred to the dietitian in the renal transplant clinic.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Your BMI indicates whether you are a healthy weight for your height. To work out your BMI, use the following formula: BMI = weight (kg) / Height2 (m)

BMI (kg/m2)
Less than16 severely underweight
16-19 underweight
20-25 normal range
25-30 overweight
More than 30 obese

Healthy balanced lifestyle

A healthy, balanced diet combined with exercise will help prevent unwanted weight gain, helping to keep you fit and healthy.

Fruit and vegetables

As your potassium restrictions are relaxed you will be able to enjoy a wider variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. They are naturally low in fat and high in fibre so can help fill you up and prevent snacking on other high fat/high sugar foods. Try to include a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables and aim for five portions per day.


There are two main types of fat, saturated and unsaturated:

  • Saturated: animal fats such as fat in milk, cheese, cream, fat on meat.
  • Unsaturated: There are two types of unsaturated:
    • Monounsaturated, for example olive oil.
    • Polyunsaturated fats such as sunflower oil, omega 3 fish oils.

Saturated and unsaturated fats contain the same amount of calories (energy). Therefore only use small amounts of fat in your diet. Saturated fats can increase your cholesterol levels, which may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Unsaturated fats will not increase your cholesterol levels and so should be used in place of saturated fats wherever possible.

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