If you are overweight and experience chronic back and neck pain, your chiropractor or doctor may recommend undergoing diet counseling to learn how to shed a few pounds with healthy lifestyle modifications. Dieting is something that nearly everyone in America is familiar with to a certain degree. You can’t go to the grocery store without seeing advertisements for diet products, and diet fads have a way of taking the country by storm, a few months at a time. However, as any dietician will tell you, proper dieting is about eating right, exercising frequently, and, most importantly, sustaining your commitment to a healthier life.
The Risks of Obesity
It’s no secret that being overweight is a significant health risk. Obesity greatly exacerbates chances for high blood pressure and stroke, heart disease, cancer, lung problems, and much more. Carrying around excess body fat also puts additional stress on the spine, which frequently leads to chronic back and neck pain, accelerates degenerative spine conditions, and causes radiculopathy. Yet, losing weight on your own can be extremely difficult.
This is why diet counseling can be so beneficial. Rather than attempt a new diet alone, you can seek out the advice of a counselor or support group, who can give you the encouragement and peace of mind that you require. Furthermore, diet counseling can help you tailor your diet/exercise plan to your specific circumstances and goals – what works for some may not work for everyone.
While you’re in diet counseling, you may hear about some or all of the following tips:
- Log your daily caloric intake in a written journal or an online journal
- Drink lots of water and cut out the sugary drinks
- Don’t be afraid to treat yourself from time to time, just limit your portions
- Eat five small meals instead of three large ones
- Walk 30-45 minutes a day
- Join a gym or attend exercise classes
- Eat smaller portions
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Look for little ways to cut out unnecessary calories like creamer and sugar packets in coffee or snacking at your desk
Diet counseling can be a great way to learn how to lose weight and gain support from others. The decision to embark on a diet can sometimes be difficult and requires significant commitment, but the benefits of a healthy lifestyle should make the decision easier. Consult your doctor before beginning a diet so that he or she can verify that dieting is a good idea for you. Your doctor also may be able to refer you to a qualified counselor.