ask our dietitian your question todayhow to lose weight


I’m 38, and I have been going to the gym for about two months now. I can’t seem to lose belly fat and trim down. I work out 6 days out of the week, and I have gained strength and endurance. I follow a strict workout plan. I do weight training with cardio in between sets with little to no rest. I work out for about an hour.
I watch what I eat.

Generally, I have a breakfast consisting of an English muffin with peanut butter, jelly and bananas. Or a light muffin with egg, Canadian bacon and cheese, which is about 250 calories.

Then I eat pistachios or nuts as a snack.

For lunch, a lean cuisine with a vegetable can juice, some fruit or fruit cookies, celery sticks or nuts.

After lunch I eat a snack such as a fiber bar or mix nuts and dried fruit.

I drink water throughout the day, no sodas and maybe two drinks of alcohol on the weekends.

I take fish oils, multivitamin, CLA, l-carnitine, a fat burner, and green tea extract.

Why can’t I seem to trim down and tone my midsection and lose weight? Isn’t the general rule to eat small meals about five times a day? -Gabriel G.


Besides an unknown quantity of nuts (one cup is 800 calories!), the other missing piece of your belly fat puzzle may be your dinner which you’ve not described. If comparable to your lunch, a 500-600 calorie dinner seems suitable. Whereas a full restaurant prepared dish averages 1300 calories and can easily top 2000 calories! It’s important not to omit or disregard this last meal of the day as it impacts weight easily, being the final food ingested before bedtime when restoration and building – not burning – are taking place.

The rest of your intake for the day sounds reasonable as it’s focused on plants, with multiple eating sessions, and has minimal added sugar. Your supplements seem the right choices for your goal to reduce your midsection.

In addition to your strength training and cardio, I hope you’re doing some core work like plank exercises.

Yes, it’s recommended to divide up your day’s food into about 5 small meals per day. But how much you eat and when can have an impact. Depending on the timing you work out, swapping out the nuts for a low-fat yogurt cup or 2 ounce protein bar may offer more support for muscle development and thus getting lean. This is because muscles use carbohydrates for fuel and protein for building. You don’t need so much fat right around the time of exercise.


– Debbie J., MS, RD


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Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.



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