Weight Loss: Empowered to Change

Back Pain and Obesity

A good attitude about weight loss will go a long way in helping you to be successful. Whether your weight problem has resulted from eating the wrong foods, lack of regular physical exercise, using food to fight stress, age, or genetics—you can help overcome that by setting sensible goals and realistic expectations.

scale, vegetables, tape measureThe first step to take is to discuss your readiness for weight loss and overall health with your doctor. Your doctor can help you make informed choices about therapies that include weight loss plans and exercise best suited to your needs.

  • Therapies include dietary, behavioral, drug, and for some patients, surgical modification of the digestive system to reduce the amount of food consumed. A realistic and safe weight loss plan can lead to success.
  • Your doctor may refer you to a weight loss or metabolic specialist.

Assessing your body weight is more involved than stepping on the scale. The assessment usually involves measuring your Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference, and medical history. This information is evaluated to determine your risks due to excess weight (eg, high blood pressure).

Nutrition Means to Feed Your Body
In case you haven't noticed, the 'D' word (Diet) has not been used in this article as it relates to weight reduction. Granted, a weight loss program will require caloric reduction. However, for many overweight or obese people, a weight loss program means making lifestyle changes, which may include relearning how to eat, managing stress, and exercising.

It is vitally important to feed your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy and survive. No one food contains all the essential nutrients—it takes combining a wide variety of foods to help meet your body's needs. If you have been overweight or obese for a long time, your body may actually be starving for necessary nutrients!

nutrients, their food sources and actions in the human body*Fats are essential in carrying the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. There are three types of fats:

  • Saturated Fat tends to increase blood cholesterol levels. These fats are found primarily in meat and diary products. For example, butter is high in saturated fat.
  • Polyunsaturated Fat tends to lower blood cholesterol levels. It is primarily found in plant sources such as safflower, sunflower, soybean, corn, and cottonseed.
  • Monounsaturated Fat tends to lower the bad cholesterol or LDL (low density cholesterol). Examples include olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and avocados.

Dietary consumption of fat should not exceed 30% per day, although most Americans exceed this figure.

An easy way to cut back fat consumption is to choose lean cuts of meat, trim visible fat from meat, remove the skin from poultry, choose water-packed tuna, and select dairy products made from skim or low-fat milk.

Updated on: 02/28/17
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Make Healthy Food Choices: Fiber - Carbohydrates - Salt - Sugar
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Make Healthy Food Choices: Fiber - Carbohydrates - Salt - Sugar

Healthy carbohydrates are found in fresh foods from unprocessed grains, fruits and vegetables.
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