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Lifestyle and weight loss


Extra weight we carry can cause extra wear and tear on our hips. Weight loss alone will not make hip pain go away, but it may help you delay or avoid surgery.

If you need hip replacement surgery at some point, losing weight first will make your surgery safer and your recovery easier.

Examine your eating habits

Losing and regaining weight is a frustrating cycle that many people repeat over and over again.

Look at your eating habits to figure out your patterns. Ask yourself:

  • How often do you eat and what are the portion sizes?
  • What foods do you crave most? What foods are you most likely to eat too much of?
  • Where do you tend to overeat -- at home, at work, when you go out?
  • What feelings do you have when you overeat?

These tips can help prevent overeating:

  • Eat smaller meals and healthy snacks more often during the day, instead of three large meals. Following this pattern may keep you from becoming so hungry that you overeat.
  • Eat your food slowly and chew it well. This may help you avoid eating too much before you realize you are full.
  • Avoid stress, frustration, and boredom as much as you can. Recognize when these feelings are causing you to overeat.

Along with eating less, you may need to learn to eat healthier foods:

  • Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar.
  • Reduce how much alcohol you drink.
  • Stay away from packaged foods and learn to read labels for hidden calories.

Every day, find something to change about your diet. For example, find out how many calories you're saving by not grabbing an extra cookie or by choosing a food that is fat-free or sugar-free.

Getting started

Focus on making one change at a time. Pick a behavior you are strongly motivated to change.

Every day, find something in your diet that you can change. For example:

  • Find out how many calories you save by not eating an extra cookie.
  • Change to a food that is fat-free or sugar-free to save calories.
  • Avoid soda to decrease calories

If you eat well most of the time, don't beat yourself up if you slip up some. And if you do gain some weight, go easy on yourself. Think about what you will do if you slip up. How will you get back on track?

The healthiest way to lose weight is slowly and steadily. Develop healthy eating habits you can stick with over time. Look at managing your weight as a long-term process.

Besides diet, you should also focus on exercise and healthy activities. You can join a gym, or have a walking or hiking partner that make sure you exercise regularly.

Know that it takes time to make and maintain changes in your lifestyle.

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Review Date: 12/31/2018

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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