Obesity is a public health concern that has nearly tripled since 1975. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 71.6% of Americans over 20 are overweight or obese. Being overweight can increase your risk of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, among others. As we discussed in one of the most recent bulletins, obesity can also increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Being overweight can put a lot of stress on your joints and can cause or aggravate previous joint issues. In fact, for every pound of weight gain you are putting extra “four” pounds of pressure on each of your knee joints.
For example, if you gained three pounds during the holiday season, your spine, hips, knees, and ankles are carrying the pressure of 12 extra pounds. If you are young and in your ideal body weight this might not impact your quality of life, but if you are in your 50’s or above and/or have previous knee or other joint problems you may star having more complications.
Losing the extra weight would be the goal, but starting with realistic goals of losing 5-10% of your weight will translate not just in benefits for your joints, but also will bring you metabolic benefits. Studies have reported that a sustained 5-10% weight loss can improve your blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol, among other benefits. Research shows that a sustained 10- to 15-pound weight loss in obese young people can translate to a much lower risk of osteoarthritis later in life.
Healthy Weight Loss
People who lose weight gradually and steadily are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) involves ongoing lifestyle changes that will require daily decisions about healthier food choices and making time to exercise.
The First Step
First, you might want to know that every pound represents 3,500 calories. So, in order to lose half a pound to one pound a week, you will need to knock off 250 to 500 calories a day. You can try to burn 200 calories through exercise and eat 300 fewer calories each day.
If you have several extra pounds, physical activity with low impact might cause less discomfort in your joints. Examples might include stationary bike, swimming, elliptical, etc. You can ask your personal trainer which option would be best for you.To learn more about how many calories physical activity burns click here.
Sometimes we eat for the wrong reasons (on schedule, because we are bored, stress, etc.)
-To learn about the benefits of mindful eating visit our website.
-For tips on healthy substitutions and how to cut down some calories click here.
-To learn more about healthy eating click here.
-To calculate the calorie content in your food click here or you can use an apps, such as MyFitness Pal ®.
Remember, weight loss will translate in physical health, but also energy levels, physical mobility, general mood, and self-confidence.