Question:

I am about 5’5 and weigh 160. I’m trying to start my very first diet as I have been noticing that I have been having trouble getting around as easily as before (not too bad). Also I really want to start eating healthy and want to get fit. My stomach is bulgy and I have been having digestive problems which I believe are a result of my poor eating habits. Please help. I really want to start living healthier and fitter. Any advice will help. Thank you.

– Sabrina

Answer:

Not knowing your current eating habits, Sabrina, I’ll point you towards our key recommendations for gut health and weight loss. Read our article on Yoga for Digestion for exercise tips to deal with digestive problems. Here we’ll address nutrition:

First, get rid of added sugars and extra fat. This means to forgo sweetened coffee drinks, sherbet in smoothies, fried foods and limit cheese and sweet/creamy/oily condiments and sauces. Next, curb alcohol intake to no more than 1 drink per day. Then choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains balanced with lean proteins as the basis for meals and snacks. Vegetables should comprise more of your plate than starches (e.g. potatoes, rice, corn). Portions matter so only eat as much as you need to not feel hungry. Add fresh fruit and low-fat dairy as dessert alternatives. Finally, drink ample water and tea to facilitate digestion, support metabolism and promote satiety.

By acknowledging your current situation and being open to change, you are off to a great start toward new eating habits that should become permanent, not a “first diet.”

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.


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