Q&A: Joint replacement & weight loss

What is the best way to lose weight before having a joint replacement?

For people who are overweight or obese, losing weight prior to joint replacement surgery is a great idea. Shedding extra pounds can decrease the pressure on your joints, making it easier to move. It can ease your pain in the short term and may also help with the operation and your rehabilitation.

Usually weight loss comes as a result of a healthy diet and exercise—emphasis on diet. To lose just one pound a week on average, you must achieve a negative balance of 500 calories a day. At minimum, you would have to walk five miles a day to burn 500 calories, which many people simply cannot accomplish. On the other hand, you can consume 500 calories in five minutes flat.

To lose weight you must eat healthfully and, most importantly, eat less of everything. Healthy foods contain calories too! Dietary fads come and go, but a balanced, low-calorie diet with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables has always made sense to me. Exercise is good for the heart and mind, so by all means keep it up. But in my professional opinion, moderation and portion control are the keys to healthy weight loss.

Learn more about weight loss and joint replacement.

This healthy living tip courtesy of Shehzad Jinnah, MD.​