If you have gout, you know all about high uric acid levels. Uric acid (UA) forms when the body breaks down purines, which are found in human cells and many foods. You may be working with your doctor, taking medication and avoiding certain foods to keep UA levels in the normal range, but could you be overlooking an important factor – your weight?
The Connection Between Gout and Weight
Maintaining a healthy body weight may not always be top of mind as a way to lower high uric acid levels. But, research shows that shedding extra pounds can help you do just that, and possibly reduce the risk of a gout attack.
That’s because fat slows down your kidneys’ ability to remove uric acid from your system. And, if you have too much fat around your abdomen (visceral fat) – then your risk of developing gout may be even greater. Visceral fat is linked to many health issues, including diabetes and gout.
So, adding weight loss to your gout management plan delivers many benefits.
Four Tips for Weight Loss
Here are a few tips to help get you started and to sustain that effort:
- Plate it differently. If you watch cooking competitions, you know that plating is important to how we respond to food. It matters in weight loss as well. Using a smaller plate can help you reduce your portion size and how much you eat at each meal. Bonus points if the color of your dish contrasts with the color of food as research has shown that people eat more food when the food is the same color as the plate.
- Drink up. Switching to water from sugary soft drinks and juices can help you eliminate some calories from your diet. Also, water helps flush out uric acid. Drinking a glass of water before every meal will also help you feel fuller.
- Eliminate distractions. Eating in front of the television or while concentrating on your smartphone or tablet means that you’re not paying attention to what or how much you’re eating. You will probably miss the signals from your brain telling you that you are full leading to routine overeating.
- Team up. A strong support system is always important, especially when you are tackling something like weight loss. Get help from friends or co-workers who are also trying to lose weight or join a group that focuses on weight loss. You will gain an instant support team, and you just might find an exercise buddy or two.
For more tips on losing weight with arthritis, click here.