Week 5 - Eating Well and Managing Weight

Eating a balanced diet

It is important when waiting for a hip or knee replacement that your health does not decline while waiting for surgery, so you are better able to handle the physical demands of the procedure and the recovery period. If you are fit, strong and healthy, your surgery has the best chance of success, and you’ll likely recover quicker.

An important part of maintaining good health is by eating a healthy balanced diet. A healthy balanced diet involves eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions and having the right amount of food and fluids to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

To have a healthy balanced diet, people should aim to:

  • Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Base meals on carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, or pasta.
  • Include protein from meat, fish, eggs, beans, pulses, or other protein foods.
  • Include diary or a diary alternative.
  • Have unsaturated oils and spreads but in small amounts.

If you have foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, try to have them less often and in small amounts. It is important to choose a variety of different foods from the different food groups to get a wide range of nutrients.

Maintaining a healthy weight

Keeping to a healthy weight is important for your health and can help manage your joint pain symptoms. If you are at a healthy weight, your surgery and recovery have the best chance of success. If you are overweight, you are more likely to need to stay in hospital longer following surgery and the recovery period can be longer and more difficult. Obesity has been shown to increase a person’s risk of medical or surgical complication after joint replacement, such as wound healing problems and infection. People who are obese are more likely to have multiple health problems at a time, like diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease. These conditions can increase the risk of surgical complications.

It can be difficult to lose weight. Here are some tips that could help.

  • Plan to ensure you have healthier foods to hand, at the right times.
  • Aim to reduce your portion sizes (but not of vegetables) by reducing your plate size.
  • Aim to have three regular, balanced meals a day. Try to have meals at planned times during the day and only include healthy snacks if you are hungry.
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables/salad and divide the other half between protein like lean meat, fish, egg, tofu, or beans and carbohydrates like potatoes, wholegrain rice, pasta, or bread.
  • Be mindful of foods that are high in fat and added sugar and limit sweet, fatty and salty snacks.
  • Avoid eating while you are doing other things, like working, reading, or watching TV. This can result in overeating.
  • Eat slowly, concentrate on and really taste and savour/enjoy your food.

To eat a well-balanced diet and to manage weight, it is important to understand your own diet. To help you with this, try using the Active Wait Diet Diary. This will allow you to record what you are eating at what times which can help you make changes to your diet if you need to.

If you drink, moderate your alcohol intake. Adults should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. 1 unit of alcohol is about a pint of beer or 1 small glass of wine. Alcohol is high in calories, doesn’t fill us up the same as food does and can lead to less healthy choices. If you are over this limit, you should reduce the amount of alcohol you drink for your health.

Your weekly exercises

Click the links below to see this week's exercises. You will need to do just one level. Start on the foundation level, and if you find it easy click on the intermediate and advanced exercises for a more difficult version.