Ask our Dietitian your Question Today!

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Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?

Do you need help knowing what you should be eating for your health, fitness or weight loss goals?

The answers are here, and YOU can ask our dietitian your food and diet related questions!

Submit your question to nutrition@lafitness.com or simply ask it in our COMMENTS section below.

Select questions will be answered each week.

Posted on April 12, 2013, in Ask Our Dietitian, Nutrition, Simple, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. the hardest thing for me is eating. I need someone to explain what a good example of a good/healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner would be. What is a good example of a snack? Especially when keeping within 1500 cals.

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      A meal is generally considered to have complex carbohydrate, vegetables and/or fruit, & lean protein, perhaps milk. Sample breakfast: shredded wheat, peach, non-fat milk. Sample lunch: small grilled chicken wrap, side salad, low-fat dressing. Sample dinner: red potato, pork loin chop, asparagus. Snacks generally contain 2 food groups. Sample snack: plain low-fat yogurt, berries.

  2. I am 20 year old male, been working out for a while now. I am seeing the gains but they are very slow. I think it’s because of my eating habits, I am in College five days a week and most of the time I have to eat from outside which is not that healthy. Would like to know what kind of foods are the best for gaining strength and getting lean. I am 200 pounds, at 21% body fat.

  3. I eat about 1300 calories per day. I work out 6 days per week, alternating between burning 500-1500 calories. Am I eating enough? I’m losing about 1 lb per week on average.

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Your suspicion is probably correct — you’re underconsuming calories for the level of activity you’re doing — IF you’re not feeling 100%. A sub-par energy level and impacted health would be the signals your intake is too low. Especially if you are under 25 yrs or over 150 lbs, I might suggest bumping your Calories to 1500 to prevent your metabolism from falling.

  4. I’ve heard there are foods that fight or help reduce cellulite. Is this true? If so, can you share what they are? I eat lots of veggies, weight train and include cardio, and drink lots of water and I still struggle with cellulite.

  5. How much fruit is too much fruit? And can we discuss small meals throughout the day vs. three meals a day?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Small meals are best, as long as they fit best with your lifestyle and hunger levels. Forcing yourself to eat, just because the clock says that it’s time, is not beneficial. If you can be most consistent with healthy choices at your caloric goal with 3 meals, then that’s fine.

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Recommendations for fruit AND vegetable intake are 5-7 servings per day for women. That said, there isn’t an upper limit. Some people are “fruitarians”, existing only on nuts and fruit. Fiber-wise, you’ll find a tolerable amount based on your trips to the bathroom. I say to enjoy FRESH fruit whenever you can as long as you’re also meeting the recommended intakes for the other food groups. If additional fruit is replacing complex carbohydrate, lean protein or essential fats, then it’s too much.

  6. I do cardio about 4 times a week. I use to run 30-40miles a week..but age, work & health has brought me down to about 15 miles a week. I’m a male, 48 yrs old…weigh about 195# and 5’9″. My major problem I think is my problem with breakfast. I normally have a McDonalds chicken biscuit daily! My question is…if I went to just eating a English muffin/light butter. and continue with cardio..could I loose some weight? I’ve heard that cutting from biscuits to english muffins..one could lose weight.? Thanks so much! Jeff

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Well, I commend you for at least choosing chicken over sausage. Depending on the size of biscuit, you’ll save over 100 calories by choosing the standard egg muffin sandwich. That’s a better option than just muffin + butter for breakfast. A totally different alternative would be the oatmeal withOUT brown sugar and milk. Aside from your chosen fast food establishment, switching from biscuits to Eng. muffins+butter isn’t really an improvement. Both are white flour products – just the biscuit has the butter built in!

  7. 5 hour energy drinks, good or bad?
    Creating good or bad? How much is too much? Side effect on hormones? Is juicing bad if ur trying to bulk up? Will my dogs ear infection ever go away?

  8. yeah i kinda killed my metabolism…i’m 5’2 130 pounds looking to lose 10-15. not sure what to eat since my eating patterns are totally erratic and i don’t really feel hunger anymore. also i workout late at night, so should i be eating carbs after or no?

  9. I had a question regarding my diet , i am looking to gain muscle and was wondering what i could do to accomplish this.

  10. Jeri Rosenberg

    I have been doing well with diet and exercise and have lost about 8 pounds but now seem to be stalled. Would raspberry keytones or Garcinia help?

  11. What do I have yo eat working in 3 sft. And sobre get fat

  12. Please give feedback regarding using protein shakes when trying to lose weight and tone up?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      My opinion on PROTEIN shakes (not meal replacements) is that they’re useful as a protein source when real food options are limited, such as on-the-go, at the gym, or in the car. For example, if you’re headed out the door in the morning grab a protein shake & apple. For weight loss, I think solid foods are more filling. Liquids clear the stomach quickly so a shake may not satisfy long. If your goal is to save calories at a specific meal, I’d recommend adjusting meal portions or finding reduced fat options.

  13. I workout 6x/week burn anywhere from 900-1200 working out for that hr. I eat 1550 cals and I’m 20lbs from goal. My question is.. the scale isn’t moving but I’m disciplined with my eating and portions. Should I be eating some of my cals burned or stick to eating my 1550cals knowing that eventually the scale will move?

  14. So far I have lost 128 pounds in about 2.5 years. I want to start building muscle but don’t know anything about the diet that would be needed to help me gain muscle. What kind of diet should I look at doing?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Congratulations on your reduction! New muscle tissue needs energy to grow. Carbohydrates are the primary source of that energy, and are the preferred fuel for strength training. Protein is a building block of new muscle, along with water, fats and other compounds. So the diet that will support muscle growth will be high in complex carbohydrates (60% total Calories), with the remainder coming from protein (25% total Calories) and healthy fats (25% total Calories). Drink plenty of water for cellular work throughout the body.

  15. the hardest thing for me is eating. I need someone to explain what a good example of a good/healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner would be. What is a good example of a snack? Especially when keeping within 2000 cals and I also workout but I can’t lose any weight.

  16. I have been watching what I eat and exercising for four months now and I am not losing any weight. I started with trying to eat around 1000 calories and was told that was too little calories and I needed to increase. So I increased to around 1300 calories. No results and I was told again I was not taking in enough calories so I increased to 1500 to 1600. Then I started to gain weight so I went back down to 1300. My diet consists of whole grains at breakfast, grilled chicken with veggies at lunch and either grilled chicken with veggies at dinner or red meat with veggies (rare). I also snack on grapes, apples and about 4-5 cheese cubes. Every now and again I will replace a meal with a protein shake. Also, I do have baked goods on occasion. Not all the time but on average one to two times a week. I don’t drink soda, only water and orange juice at breakfast time. Can you fix me?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      I wish there were a magic formula to suggest for you, Jess! Your food choices sound reasonable overall, though not varied. Calories work best on paper! In reality, your body is motivated to make a shift to burn fat with the right combination of exercise in the right amount, with only a moderate reduction in energy intake. Perhaps you should stick with the 1300 caloric intake, but add 200 on the days you exercise. In addition, I would encourage you to replace chicken occasionally with fish, swap solid fruit for the juice at breakfast, and work in a decent high calcium source.

  17. Michael Miller

    How bad, really, is Coke Zero (or other diet colas) to one’s health and ability to lose weight?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      The old theory was that if you substituted a can of regular soda daily with a diet/sugar-free one, you’d lose about 15 pounds a year based on how many fewer calories you would be consuming. The reality has been that even when you switch to diet/sugar-free soda, your appetite generally adjusts; this causes your caloric intake to compensate for the reduction in energy. So if you’re drinking 12 fluid ounces of regular soda or less a day, then switching to diet/sugar-free soda may not help. If your soda consumption is more like an XL value size or 2 liters daily, then I’d say a switch to diet soda and…a serious look at your dietary habits are in order.

  18. My son is 22, 6’3″ and very skinny. He’s trying to bulk up and put on muscle, while I’m trying to maintain my weight and eat clean. I have no desire, nor the time, to cook two separate meals to achieve each of our very different fitness goals. Any suggestions on some easy ways to achieve both?

    • Aside from 1) double portions for your son, he’ll need 2) generous condiments to add calories. Yes, I’m saying to add butter, syrup, honey, pesto, creams, etc. to his dishes if they’re to be the same as yours. This fits in with a plan to add healthy weight, as fats and sugars are the most concentrated energy sources. I’d also strongly recommend 3) energy-dense wholesome foods like nuts, dried fruit, avocado and cheese as snacks and a 4) calorie-rich meal replacement shake (300+ calories) to supplement the meals he shares with you.

      • Thank you, Debbie! This gives me some easy ways to bump up my son’s calorie intake, while keeping mine where it is. I truly appreciate your advice. Love this new “Ask a Dietitian” forum.

  19. I’m just getting started on my healthy lifestyle journey. But, was wandering if any of u have good tips for increasing your energy in the evenings. I’m lacking in energy in the evenings which makes working out a tougher concept mentally.

  20. Any nutrition information website you can recommend for ladies with POCD? Or any nutrition information you can recommend. Working out but not losing weight? working out 3-4 times a week.

    • Polycystic Ovarian Disorder responds best to a high fiber, low glycemic, moderate calorie diet. That means LOTS of roughage, no added sugar, little natural sugar (in milk & fruit/veggies) and reduced portions. Drink plenty of water to process all those fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains! Improvements are seen when women lose as little as 10-15# of excess weight. It’s not about “dieting,” but improving blood sugar, insulin levels and hormone balance.

  21. What is the deal with grapefruit juice? Lately I have been hearing a lot of people talking about drinking Grapefruit juice and how it helps you burn fat.
    So whats the benefits of grapefruit juice and what fruits or fruit juices go well or masks the tartness of grapefruit?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Sounds like the Grapefruit Diet is making a comeback from the 70′s-80′s. It’s true that this lower sugar fruit is high in fiber, contains beneficial antioxidants & phytochemicals, is filling and blunts appetite. Grapefruit has positive effects in weight loss, cancer-prevention and immunity. The white pith (what you see covering the sections after peeling) is chock full of nutrients, so eating the whole fruit is preferable vs. juice. A half fruit with a sprinkle of stevia tastes lovely, but you could pair with berries as well.

  22. My thighs and butt are the “trouble areas” for me. What can I do as far as my workouts and diet to help tone up and reduce fat in these areas?

  23. Stephen Braband

    Well my question is pretty much what everyone else wants to know about their eating habits. The difference is I am a 58 year old male. I work with a trainer at my club and love it. I am at the best shape I have been in years. The problem is I am 300lbs at 6′ 0″. All my weight is in my gut. I workout at least twice a week for a good 2 to 3 hours each time. When I am finished I can’t control my hunger. I eat portions for two people. I want to diet but am afraid of not eating enough. I don’t need my body to go into shock or have a heart attack because I am not giving myself enough nutrients. Would appreciate any advice that would help me lose the weight and still be able to do my work outs. Thank you

  24. I am transitioning from a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to a vegan diet. I currently take a multivitamin and would like to also take a vitamin B complex supplement. Is it possible to take too many B vitamins, if so, what is the proper amount?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Most B vitamins don’t have an identified upper limit that would cause harm, as they are water soluble and excess is excreted for the most part. However daily limits exist for niacin- 35mg , B6 (pyridoxine) – 100 mg and folate (folic acid)- 1000 micrograms. If multiple supplements put your intake at 100x the RDA or 1000% for any vitamin, I’d recommend splitting intake between morning and night.

  25. I am a person who actually does not enjoy gyms. I don’t enjoy the crowds, the big heavy machines, or even lifting weights. However, I did decide to join LA Fitness because of the variety of group fitness classes that are offered. I wish to plan my workouts around the classes and not interested in anything else (at least until I get into better shape…maybe). I do aspire to get back in shape and lose weight, however, I was told that I would NEVER get the results I am looking for by attending group classes solely, but I disagree. My mind is already made up, however I wanted to hear the opinion of an expert. I plan to take cycling, Zumba, Kickboxing, Step Fitness, and so on. With a healthy diet and attending at minimum 6 classes per week.

    • You will do great if you really pay attention to healthy eating and going to classes. That is how I lost most of my weight. I went from around 220ish down to 124. Once you feel more comfortable working out you may want to try some other stuff like liftng or runnig, but I swear the classes are the best! My favorites are water aerobics and yoga.

    • Certainly you will see change if your lifestyle before was sedentary and diet was lax. I applaud any progress toward an active, fit lifestyle and good eating habits! Everyone is different so what it takes to get you to your goal may be different than “ideal” or expected.

  26. What is the dietary concern with carbonated beverages, even those containing 0 calories such as Coke Zero. A trainer has told a friend to totally eliminate all carbonated drinks. What is the reasoning? The only thing I can think of is bloating…..

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      CARBONATION in and of itself DOES NOT have a nutritional down-side. I believe the concern should be over artificial sweeteners. Diet sodas may actually stimulate the desire for sugar (as can zero sugar candy) and are correlated with weight gain. Colas, whether sweetened or not, have been associated with lower bone mineral density.

  1. Pingback: 5 Great Grocery Tips | LA Fitness | Official Blog | Living Healthy

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