Putting on Pounds is a Pain in the Back!

How To Survive "Couch Potato" Recuperation Time Without Tipping The Scale!

Overweight woman kneeling on a scaleWeight gain commonly occurs after back surgery and/or injury. Decreased activity levels and boredom associated with immobility and depression, secondary to back pain, all can contribute to increased eating. Unfortunately excess weight only fuels the vicious cycle of increased pain, immobility, and depression.

The following suggestions may be helpful in preventing excess eating and weight gain after back surgery.

1) Drink at least 2 quarts (8 cups) of water each day. This will help you feel full and you will feel inclined to eat smaller portions of food.

2) Choose foods with a lot of "chewing power." It actually takes 20 minutes for your stomach to "tell" your brain it is full. If you are chewing a long time, you will be satisfied with smaller portions. Examples of these foods are: bagels, French rolls, popcorn, pretzels, apples, carrots, and celery. Ask yourself, "How many apples can I eat in 20 minutes?" vs. "How much ice cream can I eat in 20 minutes?" Most would agree they can eat much more ice cream than apples.

3) Keep your hands and mind busy. TV programs are filled with food commercials created to entice us to eat "recreationally." Try reading crossword puzzles, model building, needlepoint or knitting, anything that diverts your attention from the television that can lead you to the refrigerator. But if you do fall prey to this powerful medium of persuasion and find yourself at the frig's door, don't be discouraged! You can fill your frig with snacks that are pleasing, nutritional and low in calories like, fat-free salsa and chips, and low or nonfat frozen yogurt that will satisfy a sweet tooth. A favorite cheese made from lowfat milk accompanied with lightly salted crackers are other options. Every supermarket carries these kinds of foods, just ask your grocer to point you in the direction of your lowfat food department.

These are just a few suggestions to combat weight gain following a back injury/surgery.

Material © San Franisco Spine Center. Used by Permission.


Updated on: 02/23/16