Monday, March 11, 2013

What is the secret to long term weight loss


As sports medicine orthopedic surgeons, we often see patients with knee pain that occurs with hiking, stair climbing and squatting. The patellofemoral joint (knee cap) is exposed to loads 7-10 times body weight with these activities. It would make sense then that losing weight may help decrease pain from this area.

However, weight loss can be difficult as we all know. Many feel they cannot exercise because of knee pain and, therefore, cannot lose weight. Here are some very simple rules to follow that will GUARANTEE weight loss if followed:

1. Exercise using interval exertion all training (3-4 min intense with 30-60 seconds rest) for 30-45 min per day, three days per week. Use 10 min warm-up and 10 min cool down stretch  

2. 2 days a week lift weights (start light and work up) doing upper body one day and lower body the other. Improving muscle tone/ strength increase metabolism all day

3. Take 1 day of rest and 1 day of yoga or stretching OR. 2 days of rest

4. Workout in morning if possible (increases metabolism all day). If you cannot exercise, don't worry as weight loss is 90% diet and only 10% exercise. The exercise has much more benefit than weight loss.

Diet = life style change. Some simple tips:

1. Eat enough or your body goes into starvation mode and stores fat

2. Eat 5-6 small meals a day (no larger than your palm) of 200-400 cal per meal.

3. Always eat 3-4 oz lean protein with a complex carbohydrate (brown or parboiled rice, quinoa, whole grains). NO FLOUR OR SUGAR OR ARTIFICAL SWEETENERS OF ANY KIND.  Even whole grain flour is bad as it gets metabolized quickly to sugar

4. Eat most carbs before 2pm

5. Eat some protein before bedtime

6. Lots of dark green veggies (no dressing unless small amount of olive or walnut oil and vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is best followed by red wine vinegar). Balsamic is ok but high sugar content.

7. Take 1 day off a week and eat your "fun foods" but in moderation

8. Water water water all day

9. Coffee in morning but only water or green tea the rest of the day (no sweetener)

Educate yourself on food choices- there are many- so you don't get bored. There are many free online resources and books you can buy. Choose low glycemic foods and low inflammatory foods. Eating frequency and amount are the most important factors. This is the way our bodies were made to work and since the owner’s manual is not available, you have to make your own as you gain more knowledge.

If you do these things, weight will melt off fast without hours in the gym or starving yourself. Once you alter your lifestyle, it becomes easy and you will succeed.

Do not avoid fats- they are very important for many aspects of proper health and weight. Eat "good fats" but sparingly since they have high calorie content ( olive oil, walnut oil, nut butters, avocado etc)

Avoid all processed foods as your body really has no clue how to digest them and this changes hormones that lead to illness and weight gain

Make your meals  twice weekly and freeze. Take your meals to work in a cooler in individual containers to avoid overrating.

Best of luck!

David S Bailie MD

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