"It's not what I eat but how much I eat that makes me put on weight." We hear this all the time from our clients and the reason why being at a healthy weight for our spine is so important is that excess weight can damage our spinal (facet) joints and knees. Facet joints are weight-bearing joints and also relatively small, therefore damaged easily if they are carrying extra kilos.
We have all heard to eat in moderation, but what exactly does that mean? Turns out the definition is different for everyone. Research from the University of Georgia, has shown the more you like a food the bigger your definition of a moderate serving size is. If someone is already eating a certain type of food, their concept of a moderate serving size, often is the amount they are currently eating.
Other studies (1) showed people eating a broad and diverse array of food was linked to a weight gain of a 120% increase in waist circumference on average after 5 years. Those who ate a limited amount of mostly healthy foods had the best results. This suggests, that telling people to eat in moderation isn't really working.
Eat mindfully instead. To do this, eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful. Concentrate on what you are eating so you enjoy each mouthful and don't be distracted by the tv or your phone. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to receive signals telling it you have eaten enough. If you eat too quickly, the hormones may not have enough time to give you signals telling you to stop eating before you have consumed too many calories. Overweight individuals may have 'leptin resistance', meaning you have increased resistance to satiety signals so you will overeat before realising you've had enough. Once you receive signals telling you that you have had enough, put any leftover food away, to stop you from picking at it.
Try to resist the temptation to eat too much in one sitting by remembering that the food will be there at the next meal and/or tomorrow, so you will get to enjoy it again.
So, getting back to the first point about excess weight being bad for back and knee joints, if you are concerned about pain in these areas due to your weight, we can help you! Please email us or phone 8096 6781.
(1) 'Everything in Moderation - Dietary Diversity and Quality, Central Obesity and Risk of Diabetes' de Oliveira et al