Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I had back surgery and am trying to lose the excess weight I have gained since the surgery. However, I have to sit at work all day, and when I sit too long my back gives me severe pain. What can I do to lose weight and get out of this cycle?
A: Unfortunately, your problem is your working condition. The back, especially the lower back, actually has a higher load to bear when sitting than when walking or running. Short of drastic steps, the problem is going to persist and possibly get worse. Ideally, under these circumstances, you would take time off work and concentrate on losing the weight and strengthen the lower back muscles. But knowing how difficult that might be, I recommend you take 10-minute breaks every hour and do light stretching and toning exercises by your desk, or go for a light walk around the building. If evenings are difficult for you, I suggest you rise early and do 30 minutes of light exercises at home or a local gym followed by a 30-minute walk. Also, you will need to moderate your diet.
Follow these simple steps:
1. Avoid the fad diets and fast-acting solutions that guarantee incredible weight loss while you watch television and eat deserts.
2. Eat five times per day, a quarter of the portion that you were originally consuming per meal. Your last meal of the day should be no later than 7 PM.
3. Eliminate sugars and increase water intake to 60oz. Keep dairy to a minimum. Instead of drinking coffee, drink green tea. Also, you can drink a tea made from boiling a lemon (with the peel).
4. Walk 30 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening, two hours before bed. For toning you might replace one of the walks with some stretching with activities such as tai chi or a mild form of yoga.
You may find these specially formulated Traditions of Tao products helpful for weight loss: “B-Slim” and “Abundant Energy”. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.