How to Lose Weight When You Have Knee Injuries


Knee injuries can limit your physical activities, but this doesn't mean you can't lose weight if you have bad knees. It is possible to slim down even if your knees can't handle a lot of strain from traditional forms of exercise such as jogging. Alter your diet to achieve your weight loss goals, and adjust your workout regimen to incorporate a range of fat-burning exercises that protect the knees.


  • Eat a healthful diet, reducing caloric intake and focusing on the proper nutrient groups. According to the Mayo Clinic, the best diet for weight loss is based on fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Consuming fewer calories does not necessarily mean eating less or going hungry.

  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins and low in calories. Include lean sources of protein in your diet such as eggs, fish, nuts and poultry.

  • Drink at least 64 fluid ounces of water per day to stay properly hydrated. Adequate hydration is key for weight loss and general health.

Aerobic Exercise

  • Perform aerobic exercises that do not require significant strain on the knees. The Mayo Clinic recommends at least an hour of aerobic exercise three to four days per week.

  • Burn calories with physical activities such as swimming, elliptical machines, rowing, or riding a bike or stationary machine. Dan Falkenberg of Columbus Sports recommends these sorts of activities as alternatives to traditional exercises like jogging, squat thrusts and contact sports that may place extra stress on the knees.

  • Push yourself as hard as possible for better weight loss results. Experts at the Mayo Clinic call for a minimum of 60 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise several times throughout the week to drop those extra pounds.

  • Gradually increase the time and intensity of your aerobic workouts. Do not be discouraged if you struggle at first. It will take time to develop endurance and stamina.

Strength Training

  • Add strength training to your exercise routine. According to certified strength and conditioning specialist Deborah Mullen of Simple Fitness Solutions, strength exercises are just as important as aerobics when it comes to losing weight.

  • Focus on building lean muscle rather than pure bulk. According to Deborah Mullen, lean muscle burns far more calories than regular tissue or fat, making it imperative to do a variety of muscle-building exercises if you want to drop a few pounds.

  • Perform upper-body strength training to tone up while avoiding stress to your knees. Do three sets of 20 pushups every other day. This will build lean muscle in your chest, arms and back.

  • Perform core strength training to improve abdominal strength. Do three sets of 20 sit-ups daily. Make sure not to bend your neck when you do the sit-ups. Use your abs rather than your neck muscles to lift your upper body off the floor with each repetition.

Tips & Warnings

  • Eliminate unhealthful foods from your diet. All of the hard work you put in exercising will be negated if you consume calorie-laden foods and beverages. Avoid soda, sugar-based juice, fried foods, simple carbohydrates and alcohol. These items contain empty calories.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.

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