Easy Weight Loss With Simple Changes

Lower Your Pain With Lower Weight.

I know what you’re thinking, yet another blog about the benefits of weight loss. While that may be true, I want to give you a different perspective and new reasons to start the weight loss journey.

As a pain management physician, I see patients suffering from pain all day long. The causes of pain for most patients are largely out of their control. Some of their pain is caused by sports injuries, car accidents, or work-related accidents. Others may suffer from a genetic predisposition or a disease. However, there are some causes of pain within their control such as weight loss.

I have seen excess weight put undue stress on necks, backs and knees. After time, the additional weight damages joints and soft tissue. As a result, patients may need pain medication, physical therapy, injections, and in the most severe cases, surgery.

Thankfully, when patients make the decision to shed unwanted pounds in a slow and safe fashion, they reduce the inflammation, require less medication and can avoid invasive procedures.

Losing Weight Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated.

The Wrong Fix

Losing weight isn’t a sprint. Fretting about how many pounds you’ve gained and how to quickly lose it is overwhelming. Without immediate results, it is easy to feel discouraged and give up. Even with initial success, people frequently gain their weight back because they didn’t make the right kind of changes.

There are many reasons people return to the same bad habits that made them overweight. Fad diets fail because people invariably throw in the towel. Though there may be initial success, the fad diets below are unhealthy and unsustainable:

  1. Crash diets. People who drastically reduce overall food consumption and essentially starve themselves are set up for headaches, fatigue, and illnesses.
  2. Liquid diets. This diet lacks vital nutrients such as proteins, the building blocks of your body. Patients also feel tired, fatigued, and are prone to getting sick. They always feel hungry and miserable.
  3. The no _____ diet. Cutting out a macronutrient or food group is unhealthy and unsustainable. The body required proteins and fats to optimally function. You don’t have to give up a juicy burger or pizza to lose weight.

The Right Fix

The drastic, short-term “fixes” above should be replaced with sustainable, healthier lifestyle changes. Simpler changes allow you to feel healthier, improve your mood, your sleep, even your sex-life.

It basically comes down to changes you can maintain for the long-term:

  1. Low _____ diet instead of no _____ diet. A low carb or low fat diet is much easier to maintain than a no carb or no fat diet. The body functions best with all nutrients.
  2. Eat slowly. Eating slowly gives your stomach the time it needs to signal the brain that it’s full. Your brain takes 20 minutes to feel satiated.
  3. Track your food. Most people do not realize just how many calories they eat. Keeping a log is the first step to taking control of your weight. There are great free apps for smartphones that help you track both food and activities. Dr. Vidyarthi loves Lose It or My Fitness Pal.
  4. Portion control. The restaurant’s portions are too large. As soon as your food arrives, try immediately parceling out a portion in a to-go container. You’ll find you are not hungry and that you can enjoy your meal a second time!
  5. Realistic calorie intake. Aim for 1 pound per week weight loss. Losing more than this may be unhealthy. Also, drastically cutting too many calories from your diet is harder to sustain long-term and no fun.
  6. Recognize triggers. If you are a binge or stress eater, pay attention to what triggers your stress. Finding healthier ways to cope with stress like exercise will help you melt the pounds away.
  7. Exercise. You don’t have to join a gym or run a marathon. Simple changes such as taking the stairs or parking at the back of the lot are a great way to start being active. Dr. Vidyarthi’s rule of exercising is, “Don’t just do something, do something you like.” You’ll be more likely to make it a habit. Don’t forget, to see your physician before starting an exercise program.

Have Fun Being Successful!

Every meal is an opportunity to win a battle. Every set of stairs or parking lot is an opportunity to burn calories. Losing a few pounds per month will ultimately result in less pain and a great success story at the end of the year.