According to surveys, every year losing weight appears in our first three New Year goals. Let’s aim to succeed this year, by eliminating confusion.
Q: I am a 25 year old female, 5'8" 155 pounds. I started gaining weight about two years ago. I went from 135 pounds to 161 pounds. Of course, like numerous other young women, I am trying to lose the weight, but I also want to tone and develop muscle mass. I am trying to obtain a physically fit, yet feminine physique. It has been 5 weeks; I have lost 6 pounds. I do realize that every body type is different. What agenda works for one female, may not work for the other. I have been reading about supplements which "supposedly" aid in weight loss. I wanted to know your thoughts about supplementation. If you are a proponent, which ones would you advise? How much weight loss should not be exceeded in a week?
A: You have been doing very well. Losing six pounds in five weeks is excellent. Keep it up. Although, every body type is different, the same rules apply - eat well and be active. Supplements that promote weight loss may contain stimulants with side effects. I am nervous to recommend them. Aim to lose one to two pounds a week and you'll reach your goal soon.
Q: I was wondering about two diets, both contain diet pills. Do they work and if so are they dangerous?
A: Pills are not the way to lose weight and can have side effects such as dizziness, heart palpitations, dry throat, sleeplessness and a general unhealthy feeling. I don't recommend either. (I don’t mention the names of the pills.)
Q: I've read several books, which recommend eating a low-carb diet. Most of these books state that sugar is one of the worst foods - and it should be avoided at all costs. How bad is sugar for you?
A: Sugar can be eaten occasionally. I love sweets, cookies, chocolates and desserts. If I eat too much, I get fat. In fact, if too much of any foods are eaten, the excess calories will result in weight gain. I don’t recommend a low-carb diet, as some of my clients have gained weight on eating too much protein. However, I do recommend replacing sugary foods with high fiber carbs. This rule alone will lower your carb intake.
Q: From Singapore: I would like to have leaner arms and thighs and a flatter tummy, but can't seem to achieve my goal. How can I effectively trim these areas and have these fats burn off?
A: It is difficult to lose weight in specific parts of the body. Losing weight will lower the fat content around your muscles so you’ll get a better definition. For exercise, work out with weights, do aerobics and stomach crunches to help you get into better shape.
Q: I was so glad to read a site about diets that didn't tell me to stop drinking my three cups of black coffee. I have been trying to lose weight for ten years now. I am 27 years old and nothing seems to work, I have tried every diet in books, magazines, you name it. My problem is BREAD - any kind of bread, and I love rice. I work long hours at the office, and home also. What can I do? I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give me.
A: Overeating on specific foods can lead to weight gain. Your weaknesses, and those of many, are bread and rice. Fortunately you recognize this. Limit bread to whole wheat and only two slices a day - fresh slices. Limit rice to brown rice and only one cup a day. No more. You will find your weight will move when you watch your quantities.
Q: I would like to lose some weight, but I don't know how many fat grams I should consume a day. I am about 40 pounds over-weight.
A: I limit fat grams to 40 grams a day. Find a dietitian on www.eatright.org to help set you a healthy meal plan.
Q: I am a 24 female, 5'4" and weighed 190 pounds in June. I lost 16 pounds since then but my question is this, how many calories should I be eating to lose at least 1 to 2 pounds a week? I exercise at least 30 minutes per day.
A: Start at 1800 calories a day and adjust to reach your goal of 1 - 2 pounds a week.
Q: I am 22 years old. Since I was a young teen I have tried my best to keep fit by doing sports after sports. The problem is I never paid any attention to my diet. I now realize that " you are what you eat" is a completely true statement. I am trying to trim a few pounds without losing any energy and it doesn't seem to be working. I am in Korea right now so I don't have to many choices of food to eat, but this is what I have been eating
Morning: A grain drink and two hard-boiled eggs.
Afternoon: Some rice and see weed.
Evening: A can of tuna and some rice.
Throughout the day I drink plenty of fluids such as water, tea, aloe juice and at least one cup of coffee. I would really appreciate it if you could tell me anything I am doing wrong and give me some advice.
A: It looks like you aren't eating much at all and there is no variety in your diet. You should be skinny. If you are gaining weight, I can only assume your quantities are too large and there may be snacks you don’t count.
Weight loss is never easy, however results go back to basics: eat too much and you gain weight. It's not fair, but that's how it is. Good luck!