Home / Being overweight and pain


  • Being overweight causes pain and makes pain worse, specifically in the knees, hips, back, and feet.
  • Every pound of excess weight feels like 3 to 5 extra pounds on your hips and knees.
  • Losing just a few pounds can make you feel better, look better, and build your self-esteem.
  • It’s best to try to lose 1-2 pounds a week.
    • Fad diets work faster but the weight usually does not stay off.
    • Talk to your doctor before starting any diet.
  • The best way to lose weight is to eat less (take in fewer calories).
    • Half your plate should be fruits and veggies, without added fat (butter and margarine).
    • Eat small portions (your meat should be the size of a deck of cards). Use smaller plates. This helps your brain think you’re eating more.
  • The only way to maintain weight loss is through regular physical activity.
    • Set aside 15-30 minutes a day for exercise.
  • Losing weight needs to be a lifestyle change.
  • Your doctor can recommend healthy ways to lose excess weight and keep it off.
      • Click here to find your healthy weight, or Body Mass Index or BMI.

Help Managing Weight

Losing weight and keeping it off can be done, but will take effort and commitment on your part. Here are some resources that may help you.


USDA’s ChooseMyPlate Website shows how to eat within your calorie allowance. Your food plan is personalized, based on your age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
Provides advice about how good dietary habits for people aged 2 years and older can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases.

Face the Fat – AHA Fat Calculator
American Heart Association’s (AHA) tool helps take the guesswork out of eating fat and encourages smarter fat choices.

Portion Distortion
Do you know how food portions have changed in 20 years? Take this quiz from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Meal planning tools

Click here for a  list of weight loss tools. (https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/tools/)

Physical activity to help manage weight

Regular physical activity is important if you’re trying to lose weight or to keep it off.

  •  More physical activity increases the number of calories your body “burns off.” This combined with eating fewer calories creates a “calorie deficit” that leads to weight loss.
  • Evidence shows the only way to maintain weight loss is through regular physical activity.

Physical activity also helps to:

  • Reduce high blood pressure.
  • Reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and several forms of cancer.
  • Reduce arthritis pain and associated disability.
  • Reduce risk for osteoporosis and falls.
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Exercise to maintain or lose weight:

  • All you need to do is devote 15 to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, to exercise. It’s that easy.
  • Here’s how: Slowly work your way up to 1.5 to 2.5 hours (150 minutes) of exercise each week. If you choose moderate-intensity aerobic activity (walking, biking, yard work), aim for 2.5 hours.
  • if you do vigorous exercise, aim for at least 75 minutes a week. This translates to 30 minutes a day 5 days a week, or 15 minutes/day 5 days a week for  vigorous -intensity aerobic activity. You can mix these up to fit it into your schedule.

What do moderate- and vigorous-intensity mean?

Moderate exercise: If your breathing and heart rate is noticeably faster but you can still carry on a conversation while exercising, it’s probably moderately intense. Examples include:

  • Walking briskly (a 15-minute mile).
  • Light yard work (raking/bagging leaves or using a lawn mower).
  • Light snow shoveling.
  • Actively playing with children.
  • Biking at a casual pace.

Vigorous exercise: If your heart rate is increased substantially and you are breathing too hard and fast to have a conversation, it’s probably a vigorous exercise. Examples include—

  • Jogging/running.
  • Swimming laps.
  • Cross-country skiing.
  • Most competitive sports (football, basketball, or soccer).
  • Jumping rope.

For more information, click here (https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html)