Help! I Need to Lose Weight | Q+A

Help! I Need to Lose Weight | Q+A

Question:

I’m having major problems losing weight. Using MyFitnessPal to track calories. Consumed calories averages 1200. Exercise 400-600 per day. Alternate day’s cardio and weights. No major “wrong” foods etc. Weight constant at 159. Tried upping calorie to 1500 in case I was undereating but no change. What am I doing wrong, what do I need to change?

– Hemant P.

Answer:

Since your age, height and weight are not stated, I’m unsure of your estimated energy needs. Definitely go with at least 1500 calories daily since you’ve not gained at that level. What those calories are comprised of matters a lot! Not knowing how you are actually eating, my general advice is to:

  1. Consume 500-600 of those at breakfast but less than 60 gm carbohydrate at that meal (to force you to consume the rest as protein and fat).
  2. Avoid any liquid carbohydrates (aside from milk if consumed), so no smoothies/juice, sports drinks, sweetened tea, alcohol, etc.
  3. Get at least 25 grams fiber daily.
  4. Include lean protein and healthy fat at each meal and snack.

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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Pre-Workout For Females | Q+A

Pre-Workout For Females | Q+A

Question:

As a female looking to build lean muscle, would you recommend pre workout, BCAA’s or neither? If you do what products do you like?

– Brittany H.

Answer:

The basic nutrition approach to gaining lean mass for a female is quite similar to that for a man – increase fuel and building blocks to support the increase in anaerobic work. How can I gain weight in muscle, not fat? 

Suitable easily digestible protein and carb-balanced snacks are discussed in previous articles Is an actual breakfast or a pre-workout drink formula best before a morning workout? and What are the Best Foods to Eat Before & After a Workout? | Q+A to name a couple. 

It seems you’d like to know specifically about supplements to give you an edge. Creatine is known to improve weight-training results and is generally safe. Branched chain amino acids “BCAAs” (though I prefer longer peptides) can be part of a pre-workout formula which also has medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and some carbohydrates to give enough energy to support a workout. See Do I need a pre workout drink? answered. I am a big fan of real food, so don’t promote any products by brand. In looking for a pre-workout powder, avoid more than 200mg caffeine, vasodilators like nitrous oxide (NO) and combinations of more than 3 stimulants. 4 Myths and Facts You Need to Know about Dietary Supplements

– 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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Sweating for the Wedding | Q+A

Sweating for the Wedding | Q+A

Question:

Hi, I’m getting married next April and want to lose 50 lbs. I’m a male 6’4 currently 280 and 53 years young! Is this realistic? By the way, I’m getting married to a fellow LA fitness member I was dating and we are now engaged.

– Gabe R.

Answer:

Woohoo! Congratulations, Gabe. Yes, it’s realistic for someone your age and size to lose 50 pounds in under a year. With regular exercise and significant dietary changes over the next 9 months, it is possible to reach your weight goal of 230 lbs. Check our other LA Fitness members’ weight loss achievements Keely’s Success Story, Footsteps Leading to Success, Mary’s 50 Pound Weight Loss Side-Effect, People Aren’t Recognizing Her! and those posted from the National Weight Control Registry at http://www.nwcr.ws/stories.htm.

You will need to maintain a consistent daily 1,000 calorie deficit and I would recommend you consume about 1800-2000 calories for now, so that means lots of physical activity. Later, if you reach a plateau or are nearing your wedding date, you can reduce to 1500 calories daily.

– 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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Food Options to Drop Weight & Tone | Q+A

Food Options to Drop Weight & Tone | Q+A

Question:

Good afternoon, my name is Howard G., and I am a member of LA Fitness. I am a 49-year-old male, I weigh 294 lbs., and I am 6’2″.  I have been consistently working out for the past two weeks. I would like to know what would be the ideal calorie intake along with what specific foods should I consume. I am looking to drop weight which is my first goal and then to tone my body. Whatever help you can give me will be much appreciated.

– Howard G.

Answer:

Hello Howard. You really don’t want to count 2000+ calories, do you? I suspect that your interest in “what specific foods” to eat lies more in a desire to follow a plan laid out for you than in constructing one with a large/vague limit like total calories.

In suggesting a sample diet plan for you as an individual, I’d ask you to consider what are the dietary changes you know you need to make and which are the ones you are willing to consistently apply? For example, fried foods may be a problem but unavoidable in your work/social environment yet you only eat sweets because they are there, so could

consciously skip those. Often I observe that one’s diet is reasonable and he just needs to reduce portions across the board. Hint, hint.

That said, IN GENERAL, a 2000-2200 caloric intake that reflects that following meal pattern could be a place to start for the next couple of weeks for someone not used to managing his intake at all.

2 cups FRUIT

1 cup of fruits counts as:

  • 1 cup raw or cooked fruit; 1/2 cup dried fruit; or 1 cup 100% fruit juice

3 cups VEGETABLES

1 cup vegetables counts as:

  • 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables; 2 cups leafy salad greens; or 1 cup 100% vegetable juice

6 ounces GRAINS

1 ounce of grains counts as:

  • 1 slice bread; 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal; or 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal

6 ounces PROTEIN

1 ounce of protein counts as:

  • 1 ounce lean meat, poultry, or seafood; 1 egg; 1 Tbsp. peanut butter; 1/4 cup cooked beans or peas; or 1/2 ounce nuts or seeds

2-3 cups DAIRY

1 cup of dairy counts as:

  • 1 cup milk; 1 cup yogurt; 1 cup fortified soy beverage; or 1 1/2 ounces natural cheese or 2 ounces processed cheese

Remainder of calories from 3 servings of healthy plant fat.

The above is based on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines which are supported in the ChooseMyPlate.gov recommendations and MyPlate checklists.

Laid out across meals and snacks with examples, it may look something like this:

Breakfast

1 fruit: small 5” banana

2 grain: 2 whole wheat waffles

1 fat: Tbsp. peanut butter

1 dairy: 8 fl. oz. 1% milk

Lunch

2 vegetable: 2 cups raw spinach

3 protein: half roasted chicken breast

1 grain: ½ C. white beans

1 fat: 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat salad dressing

Dinner

1 vegetable: ½ C cooked broccoli

3 protein: 3 oz. salmon

2 grain: 1 cup cooked brown rice

Snacks

1 grain: 3 C. popcorn

1 fat: tsp. oil for popping

1 fruit: 1 cup melon

– 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.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

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Do You Have Osteoarthritis? | Q+A

Do You Have Osteoarthritis? | Q+A

Question:

My friend suggested that I avoid all the sugary foods for 3 months to heal my osteoarthritis knee. It has been over 5 months and still slightly swell and painful. Can you list everyday sugary foods? Are apples, bananas, oranges, watermelon and blueberries considered sugary foods?

– Harold H.

Answer:

My clinical understanding is that osteoarthritis is not curable but symptoms are manageable. Since you’ve not had success, it seems you need another tactic. Though I agree with eliminating added sugar, you’ll want the antioxidants from fruits and vegetables to decrease inflammation*.

Is it true that I need to limit my fruit consumption because fruits are high in sugar and carbohydrates?

Sugary foods to avoid include regular sodas, lemonade, smoothies, most energy drinks, sweetened dried cranberries or shredded coconut, desserts, confections, sweetened yogurt, granola bars, breakfast bars, cereals with more than 5 grams sugar per serving, prepared coleslaw, French dressing, glazed ham, sauced meats (e.g. orange chicken), barbeque sauce, most pasta sauce and Chinese fast food.

Other recommendations for osteoarthritis include getting daily ginger, turmeric, and omega-3 rich food – such as fatty fish (salmon), walnuts or flax seed. In addition to diet, supplements such as SAM-e, glucosamine w/ chondroitin, and capsaicin are promoted for reducing osteoarthritis pain.

– 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.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

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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