Low Back Pain and Obesity Part 2

Losing weight can dramatically reduce low back pain (LBP). Like last month, we will look at easy ways to lose weight without the need for fancy, hard to follow diets. As the saying goes, this is a “no-brainer.”

  1. Alcohol hints. When consuming alcohol, follow the first beverage with a glass of water. This will reduce the amount of calories you consume and it often reduces the urge for unhealthy snacks like chips or nuts.
  2. Go “green” (as in tea)! Studies show green tea can “rev up” calorie burning.
  3. Try Yoga! According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, women who do Yoga tend to weigh less. Plus, yoga is calming and promotes self-awareness!
  4. Eat at home. According to Consumer Reports, eating at home at least 5 days a week was a top habit of “successful losers.” Emphasize foods like fruits and vegetables!
  5. Chew strong mint gum! Studies have shown a strong flavored sugarless gum can curb your risk for a snack attack. Chewing gum is a great substitute for “mindless eating” when socializing, watching TV, studying, or working on a computer project.
  6. Shrink your dishes! By choosing a 10” vs. 12” plate, the amount eaten automatically reduces by 100-200 calories a day (according to Cornell University research)!
  7. The “80-20 rule.” Eating until you are 80% full vs. 100% can be accomplished two ways: 1. Stop eating at the 80% full point or 2. Dish out 20% less food.
  8. Eating out options: A. Split an entrée with a friend; B. Order an appetizer as a meal; C. Use a small plate; D. Have them pack ½ the meal into a “doggie bag” BEFORE serving it and order a salad or extra veggies to substitute for the other half.
  9. Reach for Red Sauce: Choose marinara over Alfredo sauce as it has fewer calories and much less fat than cream-based sauces. A serving = the size of a tennis ball.
  10. Go meatless more often. Consider bean burgers, lentil soup, veggies, and fruit and when you have to have meat, make it a lean variety, remove the fat, and cook in olive oil.
  11. Burn 100 calories by doing one of the following: A. Walk a mile; B. Pull weeds or plant flowers for 20 minutes; C. Mow the lawn (walking) for 20 minutes; D. Clean the house for 30 minutes; E. Jog for 10 minutes.

CELEBRATE! Once you’ve successfully kicked the habit of sugary drinks, ice cream, or other “calorie-poor” foods, be PROUD of your accomplishment! You’ve also improved your quality of life, longevity, and reduced your chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues. PLUS, you’ll feel better!

Dr. James Sheehan Dr. James Sheehan is an expert in the treatment of neck and back pain.

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