Help With Yo-Yo Dieting | Q+A

Help With Yo-Yo Dieting | Q+A

Question:

I am struggling to achieve any kind of weight loss. I have yo-yoed with any diet I have been on, losing a few pounds and then gaining it completely back and then some. I just need some sort of guidance on what’s an achievable weight loss plan for a young 25 year old male. I am tired of the poor sleep, lack of motivation, breathing difficulties and overall fatigue I am facing because of my weight. BMI is 29 and as a medical student who is 2 years from becoming a doctor, a total embarrassment for my patients. I feel like a hypocrite educating patients on the importance of losing weight when I myself struggle. Any help would be appreciated.

– Kazi

Answer:

I applaud your resolve to improve your health both for yourself and as a role model for patients. Any specific diet suggestions I might have would be like throwing any antibiotics at an unknown infection. You need to identify the cause of your weight issues so you can employ the correct intervention. So… it sounds like you rebound with the diets you’ve tried. Why is that? Sometimes people cite lack of time or money as an issue causing them to revert to old habits. Other times people may not feel worthy and self-sabotage or comfort eat. Preparing healthy foods takes effort – it has to be a priority. YOU have to be a priority.  As you are currently suffering from some weight-related issues, now is the time to act before your BMI further increases.

My whole-hearted and professional opinion is that you need to find something that excites you that you’ll stick with. Seek out whatever physical activity you consider fun! I have seen people doing yoga on paddle boards on a lake in Minnesota. Think outside of the box for what you can include that isn’t just because you are “on a diet.” Same goes for foods. If salads aren’t your game, look for recipes to incorporate more fresh produce in unique ways. Maybe a tropical smoothie or an authentic stir-fry. Start with small improvements to the areas you know are a problem – desserts? alcoholic beverages? dining out? Tackle one item a week to gain success. Losing even 5 pounds to start may improve your breathing and fatigue. Feeling better should be your own positive feedback loop that no external motivation can provide.

– 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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Snacks to Keep You Feeling Full | Q+A

Snacks to Keep You Feeling Full | Q+A

Question:

Hello, I am a 25-year-old female who is a full-time student. I work out 3 times per week. I enjoy munching and crunching while I study, and always seem to be hungry. I was wondering what kinds of healthy snacks I can buy at the store? I must say that I have a hard time with portion control and am looking for something low in calories. I was eating a lot of nuts but seemed to gain weight with them.

– Tanya

Answer:

Frequent hunger may be a sign of either too few calories or, in your case, not enough volume. Filling the stomach triggers the vagus nerve that tells your brain you’ve eaten enough. A handful of nuts doesn’t provide the same amount of bulk that the following items do. Good low-calorie crunchy foods will fill you up better. Some examples include celery, carrots, jicama, radish, cucumber, sugar snap peas, bell pepper, apples, freeze dried fruit, air-popped popcorn, and rice cakes.  Adding a little dense energy (such as hummus, guacamole or cottage cheese) for satiety may be ideal. These combinations may provide a longer-lasting feeling of fullness.

– 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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Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Full, Healthy, Nutritious Meals | Q+A

Full, Healthy, Nutritious Meals | Q+A

Question:

So I just started working out again. I’ve struggled with anorexia for thirteen plus years, but been in a pretty solid recovery for about two. From listening to an eating disorder about food, to having to gain mass amounts of weight in treatment, to just trying to maintain where I am…it’s been a crazy road of trying to figure out how best to treat my body with food. I have maintained a weight of about 115-117 for a while now (I’m 5’6″ and 25 years old). I guess my question is…how do I do this? What are examples of full, healthy, nutritious meals? I’m not looking to bulk up, but looking to gain strength. I suppose I’m just hoping someone can point me in the right direction. Sorry this question was all over the place, and thank you for sticking through it!

– Carly T.

Answer:

Thank you for your question, Carly! You don’t have to search far for examples of balanced meals for a healthy diet. Any meal can be adapted to your food preferences or tailored up/down in energy depending on preparation and condiments. No rules just a guideline — for lunch and dinner, start with vegetables, protein and starch as the base, plus a spoonful of fat. Add dairy or fruit as desired.

Don’t worry about portions and calories, just what looks and tastes great together! Go for seasonal produce, a variety of foods and colorful choices.

Here are some top picks for full meals:

  • Roasted chicken, potatoes and green beans.
  • Vegetable and cheese lasagna with a side salad.
  • Curried tofu and vegetables with rice.
  • Pork loin chop, mashed potato and steamed veggies.
  • Teriyaki beef stir-fry.
  • Noodles, salmon and broccoli.
  • BBQ pork, corn on the cob and coleslaw.
  • Ham and bean soup with cornbread.
  • Mango shrimp avocado tostada, add black beans.

Roasted chicken, potatoes and green beans.

Vegetable and cheese lasagna with a side salad.

 

Curried tofu and vegetables with rice.

 

Pork loin chop, mashed potato and steamed veggies.

 

Teriyaki beef stir-fry.

 

Noodles, salmon and broccoli.

 

BBQ pork, corn on the cob and coleslaw.

 

Ham and bean soup with cornbread.

Mango shrimp avocado tostada, add black beans.

Don’t worry about portions and calories, just what looks and tastes great together! Go for seasonal produce, a variety of foods and colorful choices

– Debbie J., MS, RD.

Disclaimer: This post is provided as general information only, and is not meant to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect your eating may be disordered, consult with a physician.


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How Much Protein is Needed Per Day? | Q+A

How Much Protein is Needed Per Day? | Q+A

Question:

I’m a 180 lb. guy looking to skinny up and build muscle. Lifting a bunch lately. Running a bit. How much protein should I eat in grams per day?

– Kenneth B.

Answer:

Depending on your age and height, your estimated daily protein needs for your goals look to fall in the 90-115 gram range. That’s about 1.1-1.4 gm/kg. As you progress with regular intense training, upwards of 1.6 gm/kg (131 gms) may be needed.  Whether you lose fat or gain muscle also has to do with your total calories. If you’re undereating severely, you’ll need more protein. If your calories are beyond adequate, less protein is used for muscle development.

In addition to the amount of protein, you should focus on the quality of your protein and nutrient timing. Fatty sources of protein like sausage, cheese and regular ground beef contribute too many calories. Poultry breast, fish, loin and round cuts of beef/pork, beans and eggs are lean or medium-fat protein sources more likely to help you get thinner. Gulping down a 16 oz steak at once will not load muscles adequately. Instead, consume about 30 grams of protein per sitting, including breakfast. For supplements, a whey, casein, soy protein blend is ideal for longer-lasting protein delivery to working muscles.

– 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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Snacks to Help Keep Hunger at Bay | Q+A

Snacks to Help Keep Hunger at Bay | Q+A

Question:

What are some snacks that I can eat throughout the day to keep my body from eating itself? I have a high metabolism and I get hungry very quickly

– Joseph E.

Answer:

To really address recurring hunger, snacks will need to have both energy density and volume. This is sort of a contradiction unless you consider pairing foods. Protein and fiber are added bonuses for long-term satisfaction. Take nuts and popcorn for example; one has over 100 calories in an ounce with decent protein, while the other gives only 100 calories in 3 cups plus fiber. A perfect match. Consider a bowl of granola + milk, with a side of melon. Try other combos like cheese and rice crackers, peanut butter and celery, or hummus and carrots.

Another option are fatty vegetables. Soy nuts and fried snap peas are easy finger foods with a savory appeal like potato chips. Edamame can be prepared hot or cold, salted or not. Avocado as guacamole with bell pepper strips or baked whole-grain crackers is an appetizer turned snack for anytime.

Think outside the box of traditional snacks. Leftovers and mini-meals make great snacks too! A stuffed pepper, a couple meatball sliders or a few dolmas might foot the bill.

– 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.


Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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