Spring Newsletter

Back Pain and Weight Loss

Imagine being forced to carry a 50-pound bag of fertilizer around, all day, every day. The forces on your body cause tiny traumas with every step. And imagine how your back would feel! If you're 50 pounds overweight - or 20 or more - then that is happening to your body right now. Every pound of weight you gain puts three pounds of weight on your back. Every pound of weight you lose takes three pounds of weight off of your back.

Weight loss goals should be about one thing: your health. It would be nice to fit into your prom dress or tuxedo, but its just as nice to feel good and be a healthy weight and fitness level. Ignore the fashion magazines and focus on maintaining a weight that works for you.

The word "diet" should never be part of your vocabulary. Think "lifestyle" instead. We are bombarded with low-fat diets, low-carb diets, Mediterranean diets, and every kind of diet imaginable. But when we think of diet, we think of a quick fix, and never a pleasant experience. Instead, think of how you your lifestyle is now, and make a series of simple changes that will show positive results.

Change #1 - Inflammation. Back pain, especially pain caused by nerve irritation, is a constant source of inflammation. Your body chemistry may increase this inflammation response based on your diet. Flour-based products cause an insulin response and inflammation. While you may not be gluten sensitive, flours affect the body and causes a spike in insulin, which stores these non-beneficial ingredients as fat. By removing inflammatory foods from your meals, you remove a cause of inflammation and weight gain.

Change #2 - Sugar. It's everywhere, whether you know it or not. If you take your morning cup of coffee with sugar and creamer, you'd think removing or replacing sugar with a substitute would help. But sugar, as well as sugar substitutes, cause the same chemical response, flooding your body with insulin and increasing fat storage. Remove the sugar, and you're still left with the powdered creamer - whose number one ingredient is corn syrup solids, or sugar. The liquid versions contain trans fats as well as corn syrup. Learn to read labels and avoid foods that list sucrose, sugar, or high fructose corn syrup. Get your sugar "fix" from naturally sweet foods like in-season fruit.

Change #3 - Calories. Stop counting them if you're eating healthy. If you've cut flour and sugar out of your meals, you are consuming far less calories already. A single battered and fried chicken breast contains 294 calories. A roasted chicken breast without skin is 142 calories. A cup of mashed potatoes is 237 calories. A cup of steamed asparagus is 40 calories. A salad with 2 oz of ranch dressing is 280 calories. The same salad with 2 oz of balsamic vinegar is 58 calories. Compare the fat, sugar, and flour laden meal at 811 calories versus a healthier version at 240 calories. You could have two plates and a cup of mixed berries and still be at 577 calories. When you eat healthy, calories are not a worry.

Educate yourself on food choices and reduce or remove sugars, processed foods, and any flours (yes, even whole grain) from your lifestyle and you'll see your weight reduce without pain, frustration or hunger.