Q & A, How to lose weight, 3

bathroom-scalepixThis Q came from one of my students who thinks she needs to lose weight.

Q: I’d like to lose 25 pounds, how long will it take me?

A: Well, I’m not totally on board with the question. Excuse the pun, but could we break it down into doable bites?

How about working on this incrementally by starting with the first 5 pounds. Sounds more achievable don’t you think?

Another thought I had about the question itself – our goal should not be to lose WEIGHT but to lose FAT. I know you thought I was going to say our goal should be to eat healthy. Or perfectly. Or correctly. But those hurdles, I think, are awfully high ones.

So rephrasing the question, how long will it take to lose 5 pounds of fat seems like a good one.

Mathematically, your body can manage a drop in fat of about 1/2 to 1 pound each week, assuming one is not morbidly obese. I know you’re thinking YIKES! That will take me forever to lose 5 pounds. No, that will take you 5 – 10 weeks.

Most probably it took that long to put on the fat, so it’s reasonable to think it will take that long to lose that same fat. But there’s the word “reasonable”.

We can try something more dramatic, as we’ve discussed, but those crazy diets and methods aren’t sustainable. “Unreasonable” doesn’t work, so why keep trying it. Slow and steady wins the race….to be well.


PS Funny Patty Lawson, From The Dining Car, always keeps us on the right track; she recently wrote: I read that chocolate slows down the aging process. This may not be true, but  why take a chance?

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Q & A How to lose weight, 2

greenjuicepixQ:  You said you can eat well and still lose weight and avoid doing something dramatic; but how about a short fast or a juice cleanse or the 5:2 plan?

A:  So, you’re planning to be unhealthy for just a few days? I’m not buying in to that either. We didn’t gain weight in just a few days, we’re not going to lose it in a few days.

It is the day-in and day-out habits that got us to this weight. And it’s long term, sustainable habits that will free us from those extra pounds. And keep them off. Forever.

Why not choose to ADD something to your diet instead of eliminating something. Add a vegetable to lunch, for example. If you add a vegetable like a colorful salad at lunch, will you still have room for your usual fare? Ahhhh, that’s the point.

I like focusing on vegetables because they are so healthy, filling, low calorie and filled with antioxidants. And most Americans get a fraction of what is needed. Adults should consume from 2 – 3 cups of veggies/day; determine your starting volume of veggies, set a goal to increase by 1/2 cup until it feels like a habit then increase that amount until you reach 3 cups.

Fasting is dehydrating and depletes your glycogen stores so it may look like you’ve lost weight but you’ve simply lost water. A juice cleanse isn’t any more productive unless you want to count diarrhea as a benefit.

And a plan where 5 days you eat well and 2 days you starve confounds the body which doesn’t know if it should burn calories freely or hang on to the calories because it doesn’t know when the next period of starvation will come. Tough on the metabolism and is not a superior weight loss method compared to any other.

Eat healthy every day to be well,


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