Question:

I heard over the radio at the gym today that we can ask for nutrition info through this email. I am trying to lose weight. I am 25, weigh 170.4 pounds (last time I checked), and the body fat scanner at the gym says 30.2% with a 25.9 BMI. Since January, I go to the gym an average of 5 days a week but I haven’t lost any weight. My eating habits are the same. Right now, I am trying to keep to about 1,600 calories per day with a low carb, moderate fat, and high protein diet.  

 I am not perfect with my food (never have been) but I am always making conscious health choices and it seems like what I am doing isn’t working. I can tell I am getting stronger and my endurance is getting better, but I am not seeing fat loss results. I feel like I am just building muscle under the fat. I drink a lot of water, drink almond milk, and keep my dinners at home simple with just a meat and veggie. I only eat boiled eggs for breakfast and usually have a 310-calorie nutrition shake and a tuna packet for my lunches.  

I was wondering if you had any suggestions on the cals/macros I need to do. The trainers at the gym say what I am doing at the gym sounds good, but they aren’t sure why I am not seeing results. I was hoping to lose weight for my wedding on June 2 and I am getting depressed that it seems I am putting in all this time and effort and not going to hit my goal!  

– Jessica M.

Answer:

Congrats on your upcoming nuptials! From everything that you’ve described, it sounds like your current intake is lower in energy than what’s predicted for quick weight loss (your estimated resting metabolic rate is ~1890 calories). It’s great that since you’ve increased calories and activity, you have not gained weight and are getting healthier. However, your diet is low in fiber – a diet high in fiber can help you feel full longer and clear your bowels to reduce abdominal bloat. Getting rid of any excess water weight will bring out more definition and reduce your waistline. 

Since your wedding is just around the corner, at this point you might want to focus on combatting bloating for a slimmer look while incorporating unsaturated plant fats to nourish your skin for that bridal glow. Keep sodium low (goal under 2,400 mg) while boosting potassium (goal 4,700 mg) by eating more bananas, beet greens, juices (carrot, orange, pomegranate, and prune), yogurt (non-fat and low-fat), potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and tomato products, and white beans. 

Here’s what you might tweak for the next couple of weeks: 

Breakfast 

  • Vegetable omelet w/ salsa 
  • ½ grapefruit 

Lunch 

  • Green tea smoothie* 
  • Tuna packet 

Dinner 

  • Salmon 
  • Brussel sprouts 

* Green Tea Smoothie: In a high-powered blender mix 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 1 teaspoon powdered green tea, ½ avocado, ½ banana, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and ½ cup crushed ice. Blend until smooth. 310 calories, 5 gm protein, 39 gm carb [6 gm fiber], 755 mg potassium, 160 mg sodium. 

– 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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