Losing Just 1 Pound May Help Your Joint Pain
If you’re overweight, dropping a few pounds can ease the pressure on your knees and hips.
And, of course, losing excess weight has lots of other health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases, increased energy, better sleep, improved mood, and much more.
Keep Moving® Strategies for Effective Weight Loss
Clearing Up Portion Distortion
When was the last time you had only a half-cup of ice cream on your cone? Or a spaghetti dinner with just a fist-sized serving of pasta? Believe it or not, these are standard portion sizes for these foods.
So what does a portion look like?
- MEAT (3 oz) = deck of cards
- BUTTER (1 tsp) = postage stamp
- FISH (3 oz) = smartphone
- SALAD DRESSING (2 Tbs) = 4 soda capfuls
- FRUITS/VEGETABLES = tennis ball
- PEANUT BUTTER (2 Tbs) = ping pong ball
- BAGEL = hockey puck
- COOKED PASTA/POTATO/RICE (1/2 cup) = small fist
To eat healthy, you have to understand serving size.
Calories 2 Ways
You don’t need to go hungry trying to lose weight! In fact, there are ways to create bigger, more filling versions of your favorite meals without adding calories. One approach is to add more water-rich foods to your meals. Foods that have higher water content—such as fruits, vegetables, cooked grains, soups, and stews—usually pack fewer calories in each bite. Try building your meals around more of these foods and cutting back on some of the high-fat ingredients. The result? You can cut calories but still eat enough to feel satisfied.
Half of a bologna and cheese sandwich with mayo on white bread
Whole sandwich with reduced-fat ham and cheese, mustard, higher-fiber bread—and fresh vegetables added
Small conventional chicken Caesar salad
Large chicken Caesar salad with lower-fat Caesar dressing, less cheese, more veggies, and high-fiber pita instead of croutons
Small conventional macaroni and cheese
Large gourmet mac-and-cheese made with whole-wheat pasta, nonfat milk, reduced-fat cheese, and less butter—with veggies for added nutrients
By choosing the right foods, you can eat more–not less–and still lose weight.
Take More Steps, Burn More Calories
Eating fewer calories is one way to lose weight. Burning more calories with physical activity is the other.
Activity can mean more than workouts or special exercises. In fact, you may already do a number of things that may not seem like “exercise” but that do burn calories, such as cleaning the house, walking the dog, even dancing! You may also want to try a wearable fitness tracker to see just how active you are each day!
Here are some easy ways to add more steps to your day:
- Push your shopping cart around the outside aisles of the grocery store before shopping.
- Walk around the room during TV commercials.
- Circle the block each time you go out to get your mail.
- Schedule walks to catch up with friends and socialize.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Pace while you’re talking on the phone.
- Stroll around the airport or train station while you’re waiting.
- Take a walk at lunchtime—even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
- Get off the bus before your usual stop.
- Walk the kids to and from the school bus stop.
- Park farther from building entrances.
- Walk to coworkers’ desks rather than emailing.
*Note that these calorie counts are averages; the amount you burn depends on your gender and current weight.
Grab every chance to walk—even if it’s just for a few minutes. You’ll be burning more calories.
Things You Can Do Now to Reduce Joint Pain in the Future
If you do nothing to manage your arthritis, it usually gets worse over time. However, by making tiny changes to your most basic actions and by avoiding further joint injuries, you can help prevent more joint damage and pain.