Do you want to lose weight with osteoarthritis? Have you been told you need to lose weight because of your arthritis? Well if you want to know how to lose weight with osteoarthritis then you must read this and the other two articles in this series…
I have addressed the risks and pitfalls associated with exercise and arthritis. But this article is all about what is critical with respect to eating and how to lose weight with osteoarthritis.
As I mentioned in the last article it is simply a matter of managing the energy put into the body with the energy used by the body. Assuming that there are no other factors affecting body weight (e.g. thyroid dysfunction etc.
The foods that result in weight gain or the inability to lose weight are essentially sugars. Both simple sugars (refined sugar, honey, maple syrup etc) and carbohydrates (which are broken down in the body to sugars). The refined simple sugars are more obvious most of the time but are cleverly hidden in many products (e.g. some bran based cereals can be very high in added sugars). Alcohol is another source that is often not regarded but can be a very big source of sugars. If you are serious about losing weight then the best starting point is to stop all foods with refined sugars and stop adding any refined sugars to foods. Fruit has simple sugars naturally occurring so needs to be eaten in moderation (1-2 pieces a day and no dried fruit).
Carbohydrates are the sneaky sources however and the more refined the worse that they will be. E.g. white rice and white bread are all much higher in sugar (and break down to sugar faster) than their wholegrain counterparts of brown rice and wholemeal bread. Potatoes fall into the quick to break into sugars category and rate even worse than white rice and white bread. Chips/fries and refined potato products are worse again! The best sources of carbohydrates are the whole grains in their natural state. E.g. Buckwheat, quinoa, millet and brown rice to name the more common ones.
However when you are losing weight severely reducing all carbohydrates (or even stopping for a time) will give the fastest results. The only warning is that if you have blood sugar issues you need to be careful when stopping all carbohydrates as blood sugar levels can become too low to quickly.
It may sound very daunting, but the rewards can be phenomenal. How to lose weight with arthritis may be your goal, but increased energy, better moods and clearer thinking can all be great side effects!