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Doc, I Know My Arthritis Will Get Better If I Lose The Weight?. But How Do I Do It?

First? establish realistic goals. Start with a target you can hit?say? "OK, I'd like to lose five pounds in one month." Make it easy on yourself. Then once you hit that goal, set another one. Achievable goals will help you get the confidence you need to keep on going. Another tip: reward yourself (not with food) for hitting your goals.

Second? Get support. If you have a spouse or friend to act as a buddy while you're doing this, you'll get much needed help. Groups like Weight Watchers are also an option.

Third?Change the way you eat. Frequent small meals are better than three large ones. Eat most of your calories early in the day so they'll be burned off as the day progresses. Start your meal with a big salad- one that is a lot of bulk but few calories. That'll prevent you from eating a larger main meal.

Fourth? Change what you eat. Replace refined carbohydrates with carbohydrates that have a heavy fiber content. Definitely lower the amount of carbs you have in your diet.

Fifth?Reduce your portion size. Something simple like this can markedly reduce your caloric intake but you'll eat less.

Sixth? Eat with your non-dominant hand. It sounds crazy but it works.

Seventh?Increase your exercise. Try cross-training. Consider both weight-training as well as cardio exercises to boost your metabolism. By doing a variety of exercises, you won't get stuck on a plateau or stop because you're bored.

Eighth?Watch less television as a completely passive activity. Not only is this the prototypical sedentary activity but it's much better for you if you can get your TV fix while exercising. Set up a TV in front of your treadmill.

So there you have it... Now let's lose some weight!

Dr. Wei (pronounced "way") is a board-certified rheumatologist and Clinical Director of the nationally respected Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and has served as a consultant to the Arthritis Branch of the National Institutes of Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians. For more information on arthritis and related conditions, go to:


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