Tag Archives: weight loss programs

osteoarthritis-overweight

Suffering From Osteoarthritis? Your Weight Could Increase Pain

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If you have any variation of arthritis, you know the pain can be unbearable.

I recently came across this article that shows the importance of weight loss to help reduce the pain in osteoarthritis patients. From the article:

Overweight and obese people with arthritis in their knees tend to report more pain than slimmer people with the chronic joint disease, suggests a new study. This study goes a step further. It suggests that people with a higher body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight in relation to height, may have more pain than normal-weight people with the same amount of arthritis-related damage.

We know from previous studies that fat cells produce toxins that induce inflammation in the body, including the joints. So when a person looses weight, they get relief of their pain due to reducing the inflammation in their joints and their weight loss.

Therefore, obese osteoarthritis patients can delay the need for surgery and knee and hip replacement by simply focusing on leading a healthier lifestyle and getting involved in a weight loss program.

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Weight Loss Advice: A “Should” Too Many

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One of the first things we hear when dieting is an enormous amount of weight loss advice in the form of shoulds from family, friends and even complete strangers.

You should use this new diet I read about…

You really should try eating this…

You know, you should start thinking about joining a gym…

With obesity such a pervasive health issue in this country, there are many people who have tried their hand at wellness programs with varying degrees of success – including those health conscious folks who have never suffered a day of true obesity in their lives!

And there are plenty of these individuals who are ready to dispense weight loss advice to you about your own program at almost every opportunity. There’s nothing wrong with getting advice, and some folks have great ideas to help lose weight that really work – but that’s not always the case.

A weight loss regimen really does need to be specific to you, and what works for a work friend or your favorite aunt might be the worst thing you can do for your personal wellness program. This is even more true when entering into a medical weight loss program. The recommendations you get from a weight loss physician, like Dr. Sam, simply have to take precedence over what advice you might get from your best friends.

When I first started on my current diet, I made it a full-blown lifestyle change – changing my eating habits, cooking methods and activity level. Dr. Sam had given me some specific guidelines regarding my diet and exercise options, which I tried to follow to the letter, but I still had plenty of weight loss advice from well-wishing family and friends trying to help me out. While I certainly appreciated all the support, many of the should suggestions weren’t going to work with what my doctor had instructed.

But some suggestions were useful, particularly when it came to foods and carb substitutions.  But in every instance, I did research online before I tried some new food option for my diet, and when it doubt, I asked Dr. Sam!

The bottom line is having a friendly support network is awesome when you’re working hard on a wellness plan. It’s tempting to try the weight loss advice of others, especially if they are successful dieters or naturally health inclined. But the reasons for our weight issues are so varied and so personal that we can’t be sure what is and is not going to work for us.

So when in doubt, you should do your research before you try anything new for wellness, and you should always consult your physician. Those two shoulds are the best shoulds to follow – after all, it’s your weight and your health that matter in the end!

Stay updated on all the weight loss news and tips we share by subscribing to the Virtual Weight Management blog via RSS or by entering your email in the top right corner.

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How to Manage Your Weight Loss With the Power of Negative Thinking

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We hear it all the time from friends, family and co-workers telling us there is power in “positive thinking.” And when you’re dieting and trying to reach your weight loss goal, thinking positive is great advice. It helps keep us upbeat when our goal seems far away and helps us to envision how good we’re going to feel when we reach a healthy weight.

Positive thinking leads to a positive attitude, and when making a major life change, we need to have a good mental outlook.

But you don’t hear much about how to manage your weight loss with “negative thinking.” This mindset can be a powerful tool in our weight loss arsenal to help keep us motivated and strong willed.

After I was diagnosed with non-diabetic insulin resistance as one of the main causes behind my trouble losing weight, I asked Dr. Sam what sort of diet I should be on. He gave me some fairly general guidelines, allowing me the latitude to make my own menus and food plans. But one guideline he gave me was the hardest to wrap my head around: No starches and no carb-heavy foods.

That meant I would have to give up bread, rice, potatoes, chips, pretzels, candy, sugary pop and a whole list of other foods that, let’s face it, are really great to eat and snack on. And the carbs I did allow myself to have had to come only from vegetables and low sugar fruits. But when you’re diagnosed with insulin resistance, high carb foods are completely counter to the medication you’re taking and will push back against all your diet and exercise plans.

The first few days after I gave up carbs were terrible! I felt deprived and angry. It felt unfair, especially watching other people around me enjoying “normal” foods without a care in the world.

But then I had a realization about how I needed to change my attitude about carbs, an attitude which would put some perspective on my new reality: an obese man with a dangerous disease that could kill me if left uncontrolled.

I needed to have a negative attitude about high carb foods and see them for what they truly were to me – TOXIC. I resolved to think about high-carb foods in exactly those terms.

From that point on, every time I saw a basket of bread, cake, pie or loaded baked potato, I thought to myself, “That’s toxic… if you eat that stuff, it’s as deadly to you as eating rat poison. Don’t do it!”

It may sound harsh to think like that, but it was also a very empowering. It allowed me to quickly push away temptations to snack on chips, or eat candy, or even think about making a sandwich with bread. It made those foods feel dangerous and risky to eat, which they are when you’re trying to control your blood sugar and insulin resistance.

Every meal I ate with no high carbs made it easier to eat my next meal without heavy starchy foods. Every day that went by that I succeeded in keeping my total carbs low, it became easier and easier, until I didn’t even think of carb-rich foods as anything I would want to eat regularly.

It’s not easy to live a low carb life in a world filled with high carb foods, but with the right negative attitude, you can put those carb-heavy foods in their place and give yourself the power to control what you eat and how you manage the food choices you make.

Have feedback or questions for me on how to manage your weight loss with negative thinking? Share in the comments.