5 Mistakes Dieters Make, That Cause Worsening Pain

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It is that time of year again.  When everyone starts

talking about the new program or diet they plan to

start in January to lose weight.  For most people,

the same weight they resolved to lose last year.

 

One of the most common reasons we hear people

abandon their new weight loss or fitness regimen is

pain or injury.  When you hurt you can't move and

when you are sitting on the couch you want to eat

potato chips.

 

When you hurt you can't sleep and lack of sleep

causes your body to crave sugar and carbohydrates.

It seems to be a downward spiral where all

motivation to reach your goals is lost.

 

A problem many people face when they alter their

diets to lose weight, is that the things they cut out

are things their body really needs to function

properly.  The result is pain and inflammation in

your muscles and joints.

 

Now, I am not saying to keep eating junk food and

forget about those extra pounds that are creeping

up.  It is very important to your health and well

being to maintain a healthy weight and body

composition. The impact that losing just a few

pounds can have on protecting your joints (especially

knees, hips, and back) is so profound.

 

The key is to avoid the mistakes many new dieters

make that result in increased back, muscle, and joint

pain. worsening pain.

 

So, here are the five most common mistakes.

 

1. Eating too little fat

 

Many traditional diets have cut out fat, because high

fat foods are higher in calories. However, fat is needed

to burn fat.  It enhances your metabolism, increases

the rate of fat broken down in your body, and curbs

your appetite.

 

All fat is not created equally.  Here we are talking

about good fats like Omega 3 fatty acids.  They can be

found in nuts, seeds, and fish, as well as healthy olive

and coconut oils.

 

In addition, Omega 3s reduce inflammatory proteins

in your body.  One study found Omega supplements

as beneficial as medication in relieving arthritis pain.

 

2. Eating too few calories

 

Most diets involve cutting calories. Although it may

seem counter intuitive, eating too few calories can put

your body in starvation mode.  You actually lose

metabolism-boosting muscle and hold onto fat instead.

This not only sabotages your weight-loss efforts, but

breaks down the supportive structure around your

joints.

 

In addition, when cutting calories too low, you may

be missing out on important nutrients. The vitamins,

minerals, and phyto nutrients your body needs to

maintain healthy joints, cartilage, and bones.

 

3. Avoiding fruit

 

I know fruit is high in sugar. . . and too much sugar

can wreck havoc on your hormones, insulin, body

composition. I am just advocating here to keep a

reasonable amount of fruit in your diet daily.

 

Just two servings a day can provide you with the

antioxidants you need to fight inflammation and joint

pain. Foods high in anti inflammatory compounds

include berries, melon, citrus, cherries, kiwi, and

avocado.

 

4. Artificial sweeteners

 

When people want to cut calories, they often

switch to no calories drinks or candies. All artificial

sweeteners are seen as a "foreign substance" by

your body.

 

The big culprit to avoid here is aspartame.  It is

actually a neuro toxin that triggers an inflammatory

response in your body (including your joints).

 

5. Not getting enough fiber

 

When we cut calories and carbohydrates, we often

cut our fiber intake. A high fiber diet decreases

c-reactive protein.  This protein causes much of the

inflammation and aches in your joints.

 

The average American eats 14 grams of fiber, while

its recommended we consume 20-35 grams. If you

just can't get this in your diet, consider a easy to

digest fiber supplement.

 

So what should you eat while on a diet to prevent

pain and improve the health of your joints?

 

We will go into that more on a future blog post, so

keep an eye out on Facebook. If you don't follow our

page you can find us here:

Peak Potential Physiotherapy & Wellness

 

For now, work on replacing packaged foods with

real whole foods.  In addition, work on adding more

fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

 

If you have specific questions or need more guidance

in this area, e-mail our Fitness Nutrition Specialist:

amanda@peakpotentialpt.com