The health benefits of weight loss have been studied for decades, and it is well documented that even a 10% weight loss can result in significant physiological improvements. This means that if you weigh 225lbs, even if your ideal body weight is 180lbs, a 22.5lb weight loss will significantly improve your health; high blood pressure and high cholesterol can return to normal levels, as well as blood sugar levels.
Additionally, losing weight reduces strain on the spinal column and musculature as well as joints. Orthopedic surgeon Geoffrey Westrich, MD states “For every pound people lose, they lose 3 pounds of stress across their knee and 6 pounds of stress on their hip, on average.” This means that if you lose just 10lbs, you will relieve about 30lbs of pressure from the knees, and 60lbs of pressure from the hips.
If you have chronic back or joint pain, it may be time to start making lifestyle changes. Losing weight can be challenging for many reasons, but it can have a profound impact on your health – and pain level. There are many simple adjustments that can add up to a big change. For example, instead of ordering a soda with a meal, choose water! Reduce your fast food intake by one meal per week! Park a bit further from the store than usual and enjoy getting in some extra steps!
Feeling overwhelmed is normal. The key is to make small changes that add up over time. Trying to make too many big changes at once will be too difficult to maintain. Daily discipline is what will result in long term change. Working with a nutrition coach can help alleviate some of the initial stress; having a plan makes things much easier than trying to figure it out as you go.
Remember, every step you take to make lifestyle modifications will improve your overall health and reduce the impact on your spine and joints. You will be feeling better in no time!