Eat to Lose Weight

Eat to Lose Weight

Following a healthy eating plan will help you lose weight. Excess weight strains joints, may deter you from exercising -- which you need for health and mobility -- and can affect your self-esteem and outlook. 

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening,

Triggers:  inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Duration

30

Cut Empty Calories

Carrying extra weight is a big factor in many chronic pain conditions. Start by eliminating extra calories. Here are a few common examples:

* Cut out sugary drinks. Sodas add 150 calories per glass. Just 3 packets of sugar in coffee or tea add 45 calories -- 3 refills and you're up to 150.

* Swap whole milk for skim. Save 70 calories per cup and 8 grams of fat.

* Remove skin from chicken before cooking. Save almost 1/2 the fat and almost 100 calories.

Prompt: Pounds adding up?

CTA: Spot sneaky calories.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Breakfast Savvy

In a hurry? Don't skip breakfast. Eating early prevents "starvation eating" and kick-starts your metabolism. Most people who successfully keep off lost weight say they eat breakfast at least 5 days a week. Try high-fiber foods that aren't packed with calories, like these:

* Oatmeal with strawberries

* Banana with a bit of peanut butter

* Multi-grain waffle

* Low-fat yogurt topped with crushed high-fiber cereal or fresh berries

Prompt: Skipping meals?

CTA: Don't start the day wrong.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

New American Plate

The higher your weight, the more likely you are to have disability related to chronic pain. The "new American plate" can help you plan healthy meals with a simple formula: divide your plate into thirds. On 2/3 put vegetables, fruits, whole grains, or beans. On 1/3 (or less) put protein.

Prompt: Plan your plate.

CTA: Visualize a healthy meal.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, nerve pain, neck pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: food

Downsize Portions

It's easy to overeat when you're served big helpings. Studies show that when we're served more, we eat more. Try these tricks for portion control:

* Never eat snacks from a bag -- measure and put them in a bowl.

* Don't put serving dishes on the table. Dish up a reasonable portion and put the excess out of sight.

* Learn proper portion sizes. One serving of meat is 3 oz -- the size of a bar of soap. When you have the option, order a small portion.

Prompt: Plate too big?

CTA: Say no to supersized meals.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Safe Snacking

Eating to lose weight doesn't mean giving up the things you love. Try some of these filling treats. All are just 100 calories each.

* 6 cups microwave popcorn (no salt or butter): lots of fiber, fills you up

* 3 whole-grain crackers with 1 oz. low-fat cheese: fiber keeps you full, cheese packs protein and calcium

* 3/4 cup frozen mango cubes. Like "frozen candy," so sweet and full of vitamin C.

Prompt: Love snacks?

CTA: Choose low-calorie ones.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatments: weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Category: Food

Get Restaurant Savvy

Super-sized restaurant meals can pack on the pounds. But you don't have to give up restaurant dining to achieve your weight loss goals. Next time you dine out:

* Order an appetizer portion instead of a main dish

* Split an entree with a friend

* Ask for sauces, gravies, and dressings on the side

* Get your "to-go box" and set half of the meal aside for lunch tomorrow

Prompt: Dining out? 

CTA: You can eat right in restaurants!

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, nerve pain, neck pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Eat Smart, Not Less

Reduce the "calorie density" of the food you eat. That means choose foods that that have a decent portion size for the amount of calories they have. Foods with high water content -- like soups, veggies, and fruit -- have less calorie density and can fill you up without taking a huge caloric toll. Compare 1/4 cup of raisins to nearly 2 cups of fresh grapes: Both have 110 calories, but the grapes will leave you feeling much more satisfied. Use tips like these and you can fill up with fewer calories.

Prompt: Like feeling full?

CTA: Feel full with fewer calories.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, nerve pain, neck pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Foiling Fad Diets

Fad diets may be tempting. They promise quick results with magic formulas. But the results usually don't last, and they can be unhealthy. Avoid diets that eliminate key food groups (like carbs or fats or even sugar) or that focus on one "special" food. A diet rich in a variety of foods that emphasizes fruits and vegetables, along with careful portion control, is the sensible way to lose weight. If you can cut out processed sugar, all the better.

Prompt: Reject fad diets.

CTA: Choose only the tried-and-true.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Pick Your Diet Plan

Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, LA Weight Loss -- so many diet plans to choose from. What's best for you? Check with your doctor for personal advice, but in general, a good program should:

* Reduce calories but not declare any food group off limits

* Aim for slow and steady weight loss (1/2 to 2 lbs. a week)

* Offer guidance on healthy habits you can maintain for life

Prompt: Drowning in Diets? 

CTA: Choose the right diet for you.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Write It All Down

Can't figure out why you can't peel off those extra pounds that amp up the aches? Keep a food diary every day. Write down every bite you eat -- even the sugar in your coffee and that handful of cereal. Having to write it down might make you think twice about what you're eating. One study suggests that keeping a food diary doubles how much weight people lose!

Prompt: I ate what?

CTA: Manage eating with a food diary.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Set Smart Goals

You're losing weight for life and health, not swimsuit season. So don't rush. Unrealistic expectations boost your chances of quitting a healthy eating plan altogether. Want to lose 50 lbs.? Do the math. Expect to lose no more than 1-2 lbs. a week -- and to plateau at times. That means it'll take at least 6 months to a year to reach your goal. Reward yourself with non-food treats after short-term successes.

Prompt: Feel overwhelmed?

CTA: Set realistic goals to help you succeed.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Don't Regain Weight

Your efforts don't end once you reach your ideal weight. Now you need to maintain it. Here are some ways you can avoid gaining back the weight you worked so hard to lose:

* Avoid skipping meals. It can make you overeat later on.

* Eat an assortment of foods for all the nutrients you need.

* Weigh yourself at least weekly to stay on top of things.

* Be active every day.

Prompt: Keep the pounds off.

CTA: Stay at a healthy weight.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, Eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

Overeating Happens

You ate that gooey dessert or the whole pizza. Or you snacked all day. How do you get back on track? Put it in perspective: It's just one day. You didn't blow it. Just don't waste time before you resume sensible eating. Don't skip meals or over-exercise to compensate for a binge; that can leave you exhausted and ravenous and vulnerable to more indulgences. And don't beat yourself up if you avoid the scale for a few days!

Prompt: Eat too much? 

CTA: Put overeating behind you.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing, back pain, headache, migraines, spine pain, pinched nerve, tender points, tenderness, low self esteem, weight gain, symptoms worse in evening

Triggers: inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight

Treatment: Weight loss, dietary changes, eating less at dinner, reduce alcohol, nutrition therapy, ate healthy

Categories: Food

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 25, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: “Quick Weight Loss or Fad Diets.”

CDC: “Improving Your Eating Habits” and "How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls to Help Manage Your Weight."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Weight-Control Information Network: "Choosing a Safe and Successful Weight Loss Program" and "Do You Know the Health Risks of Being Overweight?"

American Cancer Society: "Controlling Portion Sizes."

U.S. Department of Agriculture: "What Are Empty Calories?"

NYU Langone Medical Center: "Practical Prevention: Osteoarthritis."

American Heart Association: "Ordering Your Meal."

Orville Redenbacher's: "SmartPop Butter Mini Bags 4 - Nutrition Facts."

The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: "Osteoarthritis Weight Management."

ArthritisToday.org: "Knee Osteoarthritis - New Study Shows Higher Risk."

American Institute for Cancer Research: "The New American Plate" and "What is calorie density?"

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.