Guide to Healthy Diet and Weight Management
Keeping a healthy diet and managing weight is an important factor in overcoming chronic pain. Quite simply, carrying extra kilograms of weight adds extra stress and weight-bearing pressure on muscles and joints. When chronic pain strikes, physical activity becomes difficult, making it hard to control weight through exercise. Taking a proactive approach to healthy eating and weight control will allow your body the best possible chance of recovery.
(Video courtesy of Pain Management Network)
Here are some simple steps you can take to eat healthy and manage weight:
- Reduce portion sizes
- Limit snacking between meals
- Drink plenty of water and avoid soft drinks
- Eat a variety of nutritious foods including vegetables, fruit, lean meat and fish, whole grains and reduced fat dairy. Click here to refer to The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating for more information
- Follow the Mediterranean diet, as it is still considered by research as one of the best
- Limit or avoid highly processed food eg. fried foods, soft drinks and confectionery
- Reduce alcohol consumption
Some useful information to get you started:
- Pain Management Network: Food diary (pdf)
- Pain Management Network: My health plan (pdf)
- Australian Dietary Guidelines
- Finding an accredited dietician
- A guide to nutrition for Chronic Pain
Some useful resources
- Research Article: A Mediterranean Diet Model in Australia: Strategies for Translating the Traditional Mediterranean Diet into a Multicultural Setting
- The gut-brain connection
- Chronic inflammation and motivation
- Psychology Today: 12 foods you should eat to reduce pain.
- The Anit-Inflammatory Diet: A way to manage chronic pain.
- Practical Pain Management: A diet for patients with chronic pain.
- Harvard Health: Can diet heal chronic pain?
- Harvard Health: Waist Size Matters
- Harvard Health: 8 steps to mindful eating
- CSIRO diets
- SBS: Trust me I’m a doctor series
- Diet & Chronic Pain Article