I’m trying to lose weight. I have been going to the gym about 5 times a week for about 4 months. I feel like I’m getting stronger, I have more energy and generally feel better. I noticed that I haven’t lost any weight and figured I should check my diet. Can you point me in the right direction?

– Jesse


Please see our recent answer regarding testosterone and diet by clicking here.

Besides sleep and hormones, energy levels may also be affected by stress, physical activity, and nutrition. Since you are regularly physically active let’s focus on stress and nutrition. Your surgeries may have significantly impacted your liveliness and stamina. Although you may have regained functional ability after each bout, the body’s recovery may be longer lasting.

Proper nutrition is a good defense against fatigue. Hydration is a key factor in feeling peppy as every cell in your body needs water! Adequate body fluids also ensure transport of nutrients and elimination of wastes/toxins. You burn calories constantly, not all at once so feed yourself the same way. To fuel body systems continuously you need balanced, spaced meals with fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats. A wimpy green salad may leave you flat while an overloaded lunch plate can set on an afternoon slump.

Particularly high-energy foods include oats & quinoa (fiber + unsaturated fat), chocolate & tea (caffeine), citrus (flavonoids), banana & barley (fructo-oligosaccharides), asparagus & wheat (inulin), and spinach (B-vitamins).

– 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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