Weight management


For a healthy life

Food. We love it. There’s nothing better than getting together with family and friends for a delicious meal.

But sometimes our pain interferes with our desire to eat and can affect our weight. Pain may make you lose your appetite or you resort to quick and easy take away meals because you’re hungry but shopping or cooking feels beyond you at the moment.

The occasional missed meal or take away food is generally not so bad. But if it happens regularly you won’t get the necessary nutrients your body needs. And you could start to lose or gain weight. You need a healthy, nutritious diet to help you manage your health in general, but also your pain.

Overweight

Apart from the many other health issues related to being overweight or obese (e.g. heart disease, diabetes) being overweight is also linked to increased pain. Extra weight on painful joints will increase the pain you experience. Being in pain may affect your ability to be as active as you’d like – which makes your pain worse and may lead to more weight gain. It can also be difficult to be more active when you’re overweight or obese, which can lead to increased pain and weight gain.

Underweight

Being underweight also has many health issues. It can affect your immune system (meaning you’re more at risk of getting sick or an infection) and you may feel more tired than usual. Feeling tired and run down will affect your ability to be active, which will affect your pain levels.

Tips for managing your weight

  • If you’re concerned about your weight, see your doctor or dietitian for information and advice.
  • Find out more about nutrition and healthy eating.
  • Keep a food diary to help you track what you’re eating.
  • Have a goal and work towards it, e.g. if you’re trying to lose weight, set a realistic goal and plan the steps that will help you reach that goal.
  • Maintain your weight and try not to gain any additional weight.
  • Exercise – even small amounts can boost your health and will also help you control your pain.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep is linked to weight gain.
  • Involve your family and friends. Let them know what you’re doing so they can help support and motivate you.
  • Don’t deny yourself something you enjoy – if you love chocolate, allow yourself a small treat occasionally, but not too often.

More to explore

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Musculoskeletal Australia (or MSK) is the consumer organisation working with, and advocating on behalf of, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, gout and over 150 other musculoskeletal conditions.

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