Posted on 03-27-2017
Chiropractors have long said that one of the most threatening risks for back pain, joint pain, and muscle strain is obesity and excess weight. This is particularly true of extra weight in the midsection, which shifts a person’s center of gravity, pulling the pelvis forward and straining the lower back. Once the back is pulled out of alignment, muscles, ligaments, and bones have to work harder to carry the weight. This extra strain and pressure increases the likelihood of sciatica, herniated discs, or a pinched nerve, and increase the risk of injury.
As Boise chiropractors, we know well that weight gain influences the curvature of the spine as well. Pull and strain can cause the curves of the lower spine to round out, and can prevent the upper spine from straightening out properly. Over time this can lead to an unnatural curvature, causing the neck and head to bend forward. This process is gradual, and is not always noticed until it is brought to your attention by a back doctor.
Thankfully, most of the troubles caused by extra weight can be corrected or at least improved by chiropractic care and regaining control of your weight. Losing even only a few pounds makes a real difference for your back relief. Every four pounds lost removes sixteen pounds of pressure from your spine.
Weight control is best maintained through moderation and portion control along with exercise. When learning proper portion control, it is important to make your goals livable. Try not to think of certain foods as “bad” or “off limits.” Banning entire foods or food groups often increases temptation and can lead to binging. Being aware of your intake of less healthy foods and slowly reducing them will help to decrease cravings. In time your body will become used to the idea of having treats less often as they become temporary indulgences. As chiropractors in Boise, we recommend the 80/20 ideology, which suggests eating healthy and well 80% of the time and allowing 20% for occasional indulgences, special occasions, or other circumstances.
Be sure to remain mindful of what you are eating and put together your plate with purpose. An easy way to eat a balanced meal is to divide your plate in half. Fill one half of the plate with fruits and vegetables and the other half with protein and starches. Eating mindfully means not only avoiding mindlessly munching, but also enjoying your occasional indulgences. When you are conscious of what you are eating and take time to enjoy (but not overindulge on) your desserts, you are less likely to overeat and are more likely to feel satisfied both in your meal and also in your desire for something sweet. Treats are called treats for a reason! Take time to savor them.
Remember that this is a process, allow time for your tastebuds to change and don’t beat yourself up over a mistake. Healthy living is not all or nothing, one mistake here or there is not going to undo all of your goals. When you slip up, just start again. Don’t think that you’ve failed, just take a moment and then begin again, right then and there.
Planning ahead will also work wonders to help keep you on track. When healthy foods are available and meals are planned, you are much less likely to eat something you shouldn’t. A little planning also allows for variety and balance in your meals. When meals are full of different flavors and styles it increases satisfaction, and tends to decrease desires for after dinner munchies or desserts.
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