February is National Heart Month and one way to help reduce the risk of heart disease is to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight also has a negative affect on the health of your feet. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we see many patients with foot disorders that are caused or made worse by the stress of carrying extra weight. Losing weight is good for your heart and your feet!
Below, are some suggestions for losing weight safely and with lasting results.
Eat Fewer Calories—it’s fairly obvious, but to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in. Rather than deprive yourself by making dramatic cutbacks on foods you love and starving yourself (which rarely works long term) consider re-designing your plate. Start by putting vegetables and salad on your plate, then the protein (meat or fish) and adding carbohydrates last. If more than ¾ of your plate is filled with nutrient dense, lower carb foods you’ll naturally be cutting calories.
Start a Food Diary—if you’re not sure why you’re not losing weight, try writing down everything you eat for a few days. Keep track of what you eat and what time you eat it. This will help you to see where potential trouble times are (3:00 slump, the evening sweet or salt craving) and where the excess calories may be. As you continue on your weight loss plan, a food journal will help keep you accountable.
Sneak in Exercise—the other part of the calorie equation is using up more calories in your daily routine. Many patients find it hard to dedicate an hour a day to exercise but just increasing your overall activity level will start burning extra calories. Park further from stores and offices, pace while you talk on the phone rather than sit and look for other ways to live more actively.
Sleep it Off—studies show that patients who are sleep deprived consume up to 549 additional calories each day. Getting an optimal amount of sleep every night will help with weight loss and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
To learn more about heart health and your feet, make an appointment with our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco at our Somers Point office by calling: (609) 927-4894.