How to Lose Weight With a Herniated Disc


According to information from, a herniated (slipped) disc occurs when one or more vertebrae are pushed out of alignment, resulting in pain and discomfort. While a herniated disc can occasionally frustrate your weight loss efforts, it need not impair it indefinitely. With a bit of flexibility and a willingness to modify your diet and exercise routine to work around the injury, you can continue losing weight even while suffering from a herniated disc.

Follow your doctor's instructions explicitly regarding exercise avoidance and other lifestyle modifications when it comes to caring for the herniated disc. While a herniated disc might slow your weight loss efforts as you will not be able to exercise as intensely as you could before the injury, your number one priority should be healing rather than fighting through the pain and potentially putting your body on the sidelines even longer.

Perform as much low to moderate intensity exercise as you can with your herniated disc. Swimming, brisk walking, and use of cardiovascular machines such as the Stairmaster and the elliptical should still be possible, albeit at a lower speed than you could when injury-free. Make up for this decrease in potential with an increase in duration, aiming to perform at least 30 to 45 minutes of exercise at least five days per week, cutting your exercise session short if your symptoms become too much to handle.

Follow a strict diet consisting of zero cheat meals while attempting to lose weight with a herniated disc. This means sticking strictly to fresh natural foods. Follow the Mayo Clinic food pyramid, basing your diet around consumption of fruits and vegetables (unlimited servings per day), limited amounts of whole grains, meats and dairy (three to seven servings per day) and low consumption of fats (three to five servings per day). (See Reference 2.) As you will no longer be able to exercise away dietary mistakes, you will need to increase your level of compliance with a healthy diet to 100 percent to optimize your ability to lose weight while injured.

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