Begin a safe weight loss program before and after spine surgery

Carrying extra body weight is not only unhealthy for your body; it can be detrimental to your spine. If you’re suffering from a spine condition and have decided to undergo surgery, it can be helpful to start a weight loss plan before the procedure. Making healthy decisions before surgery may benefit your recovery after surgery. Write up a plan with goals that you can attain both before and after your procedure.

The secret to weight loss is really no secret at all—eat fewer calories than you burn and you lose weight. When the number on your scale goes down, you are not only losing pounds, but reducing the strain on your spinal column that could be contributing to your back pain. Before surgery, set healthy goals so that during recovery you can stay on track. Think of it as a lifestyle change, not a diet. But as with any lifestyle change, there can be bumps in the road, so prepare yourself before diving in.

 

  • Enable a support group. Whether it’s your significant other or a social group online, talking with others who are going through the same struggles as you can be helpful. Sharing tips and stories can be a great motivator to stay on track and beat your goals.
  • Make it a long-term plan. Fad diets won’t keep your weight off permanently. Remember, this is a lifestyle change. Short-term diets show great results quickly, but the weight you lose will only be gained back if you get off track. Evaluate your eating habits, and decide what needs to change. Just changing the way you think about food in your life, portion sizing and moderation, will keep your plan on track.
  • Set realistic goals along the way. Aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. The process may be long, but it will be worth it in the long run. Enjoy how your body is changing, not only in the way it looks, but the way it feels. Eating healthier foods will nourish your body with vitamins and minerals that can give you more energy to keep you driven to meet your goals.
  • Track your progress. Keep a food journal or download an application on your phone to track your weight loss. Visually seeing your progress can help you set new goals and reach the ones you’ve already made.
  • Be active. After surgery, being active may be difficult, but keeping some sort of exercise regimen in your life can help with weight loss. Just taking a walk once a day can help burn the calories you need to lose extra weight.

Keeping your body healthy can directly contribute to spine health. Releasing pressure on your spine may aid in back pain relief, before and after surgery. The key to a lifestyle change is to find what works for you. It’s imperative that you feel content with your plan so it remains long-term.

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