For many people with osteoarthritis — the most common form of arthritis — carrying excess pounds puts added stress on damaged joints, making pain worse and accelerating the underlying deterioration. Losing weight with exercise and good nutrition causes a cascade of benefits in which you ease pain, gain mobility, and improve overall health.
Here’s a selection of our favorite advice for slimming down and feeling your very best:
Get a good night’s sleep. Sleepless nights don’t just ruin your mood the next day—they could also damage your waistline.
Read: Why Lack of Sleep Could Be Making You Fatter
Snack smarter. Get savvy about the foods you use to keep your body chugging along through the day. Ditch anything with no nutritional value and opt for splurge foods, like watermelon.
Read: Control Your Compulsive Eating
Downsize your dinnerware Serve your meals on smaller plates to create the illusion that you’re eating more food. This forces you to savor your meal, giving your body the time it needs to register fullness. Another idea? A set of bento boxes designed to make sizing portions a snap (laptoplunches.com).
Read: Mindless Portion Control Tips
Give up soda (even diet!). Study subjects who drank two or more diet sodas a day had waist size increases that were six times greater than those of people who didn’t drink diet soda.
Read: Is Diet Soda Sabotaging Your Diet?
Relax… really! Stressful circumstances (your bank account, your boss, the wedding) spark cravings for carbohydrate-rich snack foods, which in turn calm stress hormones, and stress hormones ramp up fat storage. Make time for fun, and try a yoga class.
Read: 13 Things You Never Knew About Your Weight
Drink veggies. In a study of 81 overweight adults at risk for heart disease and diabetes, those who drank at least a cup of low-sodium V8 daily lost four pounds over 12 weeks, while those on the same reduced-fat diet who drank no juice lost one pound. Researchers say vegetable juice’s ability to satisfy appetites may be one of the reasons it helps dieters drop pounds.
Read: Lose Weight With Vegetable Juice