As a Seattle podiatrist I'm all for losing weight. Many of my patients have diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Losing weight would be extremely helpful in managing their chronic illness and reducing their risk for foot problems such as heel pain and bunion progression.

Every year lots of us sign up for gym memberships to lose weight. And many of us will stop going to the gym after the first couple of months.

What's happening here?

According to some experts the "21 day" rule to form a habit is not true. Forming a new habit depends on so many factors including complexity, frequency, consistency, and individual variation. For example, it will likely take much longer to make running on a treadmill and using gym equipment a habit than walking since most people already walk and it takes no special equipment or gym to do it.

In addition to doing exercise that is more easily habit forming, it's important to look at the reasons why your gaining weight. In a previous blog I wrote last year called "Why Weight Loss is Great for Our Feet But Can Be Difficult to Do" the reasons people are overweight are quite complex. Weight gain involves not just what we eat but genetic factors, medications, and specific diseases that make it more likely to put on extra pounds.

Weight loss using exercise is also not one size fits all. Besides the difficulty in forming a new habit, you should work closely with your doctor, a physical therapist and/or exercise physiologist to ensure that your exercise is appropriate to your current fitness level. Also, these providers will make sure limitations such as foot, back, or knee pain are taken into account.

One article suggests that physicians go for a walk with their patients to do a "talk test". When doing moderate-intensity activity you should be able to talk, but not sing, during the activity. Moderate aerobic activity will help with weight loss by burning fat, while too much activity will not.

Of course combining healthy eating with exercise is extremely important for losing weight. Working with a nutritionist, dietician, or expert in the area of obesity and overweight are important in helping determine the best plan for you.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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