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Weight Loss and losing weight | Back pain and weight loss

To change to a healthy lifestyle you may have to change the type of food and drink you nromally buy, change the type of meals that you eat and also take more exercise.

To lose weight you need to use up more energy than your body takes from drink or food. You can do this by eating and drinking less, becoming more active or a combination of both. Build new habits into your life and make the changes permanent.

Healthy Eating

If you are overweight or obese you should be thinking about losing some weight. A healthy weight is your long term goal but in the short term set yourself a goal of losing 5 to 10lb (3 to 5KG). If the weight that you aim for is too low, you are likely to become fed up of the slow progress and give up. It is best not to lose weight oo quickly. If you lose more than a kilogram a week you may lose muscle tissue rather than fat. It is best to lose an average of 1/2 to 1 KG a week (1-2 lb). Only weight yourself once a week and look for the overall trend over several months. Or it may be helpful to be weighed regularly by your nurse or dietician who can also give extra support and encouragement.

Healthy Eating

A health diet is one that is high in carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables but low in fat, sugar, alcohol and salt. Eating three regular meals a day is important to stop you feeling hungry. Skipping meals means you become hungry and then snack later and overeat at the next meal. When watching your weight it is also the quantity of food that matters, not just the quality. Try smaller portions, eating more slowly and waiting give minutes before taking second helpings. You may not really be hungry, but doing things out of habit. It may be helpful to keep a food diary to see what you normally eat and to see what changes you can make to switch to a healthier diet.

Exercise

Exercise is an important part of losing weight and can make a real difference. Being more active will help use up more calories as well as keeping your mind off food.

Keeping the weight off

One steps towards improving eating habits is to change the food you buy and the recipes you cook. Look at the labels to see what you are buying and try out new healthier recipes. Don't stop when you are hungry and it may helpt to stick to a shopping list rather than be tempted. Another way to cut calories is to drink water as your main drink. Drinks such as cola, tea and coffee with milk or sugar and alcohol all contain calories.

Many people eat as a comfort or as a way of coping with stress or unhappiness. Think about your eating patterns and why you overeat. Maybe you could try relaxtion techniques to help reduce stress. It may help talking to a friend or your doctor. You could try taking your mind off food by going for a walk or taking up an activity. It is important to recognise that holidays, eating out and special occasions can be difficult times. It may be helpful to think of coping strategies in advance.

Try to enlist the help of friends and family. Support is vital to help keep up your morale. A group can be helpful in providing encouragement and support. To keep the weight off for good you need to make permanent changes in the way you eat and the food you cook.

Happy weight loss and may you look fantastic for the summer ;)