Foot and ankle pain may be caused by too much force from excess body weight. Being overweight and having diabetes may lead to elevated and uncontrolled blood sugar levels and complications of diabetes. It is a generally accepted fact that keeping a normal body weight is helpful to avoid diseases, injuries and to have a good quality of life. But for many, that's easier said than done! We like to help people generally be more healthy at Gentle Foot Care Clinic and provide educational material for everyone even if you are not seeing us here in Florida. Find out common reasons on why you are not losing weight and see some solutions provided.
A small percentage of people have medical conditions or are taking medications that can prevent weight-loss even when trying to take off the weight. The good news is that this is rarely the reason that you are unable to lose weight and with certain tips and tricks you too can take of those lbs. Of course, before taking on any weight-loss program or exercise program you need to discuss what you will be doing and get approval from your Primary Care Physician or another specialist such as your cardiologist or endocrinologist.
HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD I HAVE TO LOSE WEIGHT?
There are a few simple ideas to keep in mind even though they may seem obvious. The most common reason for not losing weight is taking in too many poor-quality carbohydrates especially rice, potatoes, pasta, soft drinks, sweets, and similar simple carbohydrate items. Calories taken into your body must be less than calories burned by your body. It is interesting to note that when you do nothing, you lose weight, also known as your basal metabolic weight. That means that without activity your body will be burning a certain number of calories all day to support your normal body functions. Use this calculator to find out your basal metabolic rate. After that, you need to calculate how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight. You can calculate this by using this calculator. So the good news is you will automatically burn calories. Once you get your number to maintain your current body weight, you will know the exact number of calories needed to lose weight. Let's say your number is 3500 calories to maintain your same weight, you can first try for a 3000 calorie goal. That means a combination of eating and burning calories to reach 3000 calories will lead to weight loss. If you want to lose more weight or at a more rapid pace, you can go down 500 more calories as long as your doctor has approved this change. Use these calculators to track your calories from food and calories burned from exercise. Studies have shown that people that track there food intake and exercise are more likely to be successful with weight loss.
So you ask, "Why Am I Not Losing Weight"? Well, you just need to use the calculator and get under your number that maintains your body weight!
WHAT EXERCISES SHOULD I DO?
I recommend that you start off by simply walking each day and increasing your pace and distance as tolerated. Don't beat yourself up, just do as much as you can. Now if you are seeing a podiatrist, you probably have foot and ankle pain. But don't worry, here is an excellent seated workout without ever leaving your chair! And if you want to push harder and get some great seated cardio exercise, I recommend this excellent cardio work out by Caroline Jordan!
You can also get excellent non-weight bearing exercise from swimming, bike riding, and kayaking. When you mix it up with different activities your body will love it and so will you. Doing the same thing over and over can be discouraging.
So now you're off to a great start. A little exercise goes a long way. And if you use headphones or earbuds, you can just enjoy the music while you are getting stronger. Of course, hitting the gym and doing muscle training by lifting weights are some of the best exercises available. You don't need to use heavy weights and you don't need to be a bodybuilder. If you can gain muscle mass, you will naturally burn more calories throughout the day. Even simple chores around the house, playing with kids or running errands will burn more calories after you have increased your muscle mass. Weight training is one of the most effective ways of keeping your lost weight from returning. Please understand that as you gain muscle weight you may see your scale weight increase. However, that is a good increase as muscle weighs more than fat and eventually, you will see the scale heading back down. Also, don't be discouraged if you don't see the scale changing even for the first 4 weeks. As long as you feel good, keep at it and make this a lifetime activity.
IT'S NOT ABOUT BEING ON A DIET, IT'S CHANGING WHAT YOU EAT!
So now on to the food. Don't be confused by all of the diets out there. There's Keto, Paleo, Pegan, Vegan, Dash, Flexitarian and many others. There are diet plans like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and South Beach. While these may help many people you don't need to get that complicated. The fact is that following a strict plan can lead to failure once you stop these diets. And many people eventually regain all of their weight and more. This is typically because you are not changing your habits and that is the key for long-term success. You are following someone else's plan for you and it's not natural for you to continue using their method. You don't need to deprive yourself but your portions should be smaller and the types of food you eat should be healthy. Of course, you don't always need to eat healthily but you can't let that piece of birthday cake send you into a weight gain spiral. Just get back on track the next day. Some people even do well with a cheat day once a week on the weekend. Well, what about going to restaurants? You can go to a restaurant and have salmon, whole grains, vegetables and a glass of wine and all is good. Or if your meal comes out with huge portions, cut them in half and put them directly into a to-go box for another day. Remove the temptation from the start. You will find that even with half of the meal, you are satisfied and full and now you can keep these new learned habits.
DIETS or NO DIETS? WHAT SHOULD I EAT?
Let's stick to eating basics and not diets. Learning to eat in a healthy way will make you feel great for the long-term. Think about food generally. Before our industrialized society food was very simple. It was produced on family farms. There were no cans and packages. So my first suggestion is that your food needs to be the real deal, not canned or packaged. Anytime you look at a product and there are more than a few ingredients listed, there's a good chance that the food is highly processed and should be avoided. All fruits and vegetables need to be fresh and eat lots of them. With fruit, stick to berries as they have less of a blood sugar spike. This is referred to as a low glycemic index. That's another tip when looking for the best foods, the glycemic index should be low to prevent rapid elevation of your blood sugar. Concentrate on green leafy vegetables and all of those vegetables with colors. The more color variety, the better. These vegetables and fruits are all of the good carbohydrates that your body craves because they are full of nutrients. If you are able to get organic that is even better. Here is a list of the "dirty dozen" that will help you decide what should be organic. It gets expensive but these 12 items are the most important.
WHAT'S WITH THE CARBOHYDRATES?
As mentioned above there are good carbohydrates and those carbohydrates that need to be limited. If you are going to eat grain, eat whole grain and those carbs with higher fiber levels. So use brown rice instead of white rice. However, these types of carbohydrates should only be in small portions while the vegetables above should be in larger portions. Please don't fill your whole plate with rice, you will not lose weight. The whole grains are considered complex carbohydrates and they are better than simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates cause a spike in your blood sugar and that is a major reason that people may not lose weight. Simple carbohydrates include sugar, white flour, white rice, fruit juice, pastries, cand, french fries and pasta to name a few. Check out this article by Pritikin for more details on which carbs are best. Also, always make sure to check ingredient labels to become an informed consumer. Here is a great article on how to read food labels. Just remember that sugar and poor quality carbohydrates are the biggest reason than you take in too many low nutrient calories and that's why you are not losing weight!
AND HOW ABOUT FAT?
Don't be afraid of good fats like avocadoes and almond butter. Use olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil for cooking. Coconut oil is an excellent choice for cooking and used all over the world in some of the healthiest populations with much less disease. To feel satisfied you must have fat in your diet. Snacking on nut butters and avocado is satisfying and helps you keep your weight off. Also, putting fat on carbohydrates is a great way to lessen your blood sugar spikes. Vegetable oils(corn, canola, etc.) are poor choices as they are usually rancid and essentially considered trans-fat and must be avoided. You can make delicious sauces by using some coconut milk and almond butter with a few spices and be very satisfied.
MEALS AND PORTION SIZE
Let's start by saying that large portion sizes can prevent weight loss. People in other countries practice portion control within their culture. Our culture has taught bigger is better and that is one mindset that you must lose so you can take off the weight. Your meals can essentially be a normal portion of fish, meat or chicken with several vegetables and a salad. At some meals have some complex whole-grain carbohydrates. A normal portion size depends on your metabolism and size. But generally have protein the size of your palm made into a bowl shape. If it fits that's the correct size. This is the same with whole grains as well. All of the good vegetables can be much larger portions. One word of caution is to avoid eating to much protein and too little good fat. Increasing the good fat will make you feel full and satisfied. Herbs and spices are one of the best ways to make your food interesting and tasty. That will make a huge difference in feeling satisfied. Here is an excellent start to using herbs and spices!
WHAT ARE MY FAVORITE FOODS?
One of the healthiest ways to eat is to follow what people eat in Mediterranean areas. Their "diets" consist of natural vegetables, good fats, small amounts of proteins, whole grains and legumes. Their food is delicious. Here is a good resource for what is eaten in Mediterranean cultures.
While this is just a start to help you lose weight, there is so much more to cover but hopefully, you have some basic tools to get you started. Of course, this is not easy but I've hopefully given you some shortcuts and tips that will help you make good choices. It's really about being healthy in general. Our society has some of the highest rates of chronic disease and much of this can be traced to what we eat and keeping a normal weight. Sadly, our food supply has been harmed by placing animals in poor living conditions and spraying crops with poison. Also, many hormones and antibiotics are being used. These chemicals are known as endocrine disruptors and lead to weight gain and chronic diseases. So make sure you "eat clean". Live your life to the fullest by putting these recommendations into action. Use the tracking apps to help you stay honest and assist you in your journey.
Foot and Ankle pain can certainly improve with weight loss. Diabetes can greatly improve with weight loss to the point of not having to take medication in some cases. And all chronic diseases are typically better with weight loss.
From Gentle Foot Care and Dr. Jairo Cruz Jr, here's to your journey for long-lasting weight-loss and better health! We are happy to provide you with this important educational information not only for your foot and ankle health but for your whole body. The holistic approach is important when treating any condition.
To discuss your foot and ankle pain, make an appointment with Dr. Cruz in Brandon or Zephyrhills today!