Archive for May, 2009

I’m bloated, help!/I need to lose 5 pounds quickly!

I’m bloated, help!/I need to lose 5 pounds quickly!

Most people carry a few pounds of excess water weight.  This can vary between 2-10 pounds (or more!) depending on your diet, your weight, and your exercise habits.  This is mainly due to dehydration and/or too much salt.


If you want to lose a few pounds quickly, you should do 2 things:

  1. Drink a ton of water – 10 or more glasses a day.  If you exercise, add 1 glass for every 30 minutes that you work out.  (If you don’t get enough water, your body holds on to the water that it does have.  If you drink more, it lets more go.)
  2. Limit your sodium intake to less than 1500 mg per day.  (Salt makes you retain water.)

If you’re bloated this will help as well.

Expect to lose up to 10 pounds in a week; most people will lose about 5.  This will be from all over your body, not just your stomach; you can hold excess water anywhere throughout your body.

If you keep up with drinking enough and monitoring sodium, the weight will stay off.  Drinking more might even help keep your hunger at bay and help you drop a few pounds of real weight.


Help! Do I have to maintain on diet calories??

Help!  Do I have to maintain on diet calories??

No!  You will maintain fine on a higher number of calories.

First, find your basal metabolic rate (BMR) – this is what your body burns when you do absolutely nothing but lay around all day.  There are many online calculators; here’s the one I use.  Mine is about 1390 calories.  This is an estimation; it’s not 100% accurate because everyone is different.  You can probably get your calculated at a local gym.

Then multiply it by your activity multiplier – 1.1 is sedentary (a secretary job), 1.2 is slightly active (a salesperson), 1.3 is more active (a trainer at the gym), and 1.4 is very active (a construction worker).  I’m slightly active: 1390 x 1.2 = 1668 calories.  This is what I burn without exercising, and these are my maintenance calories! If I burn more from exercise, I can eat that many more per day.  (Example: I run 1 mile, burn 75 calories = I can eat 75 more calories during the day, totaling 1668 + 75 = 1743 calories.)

Once you only have 5-10 pounds to lose, you can start to increase your calories (slowly).  Up your calories by 10% each week until you hit your maintenance calories.  Then hold there.  If you keep losing, you can eat more; if you gain, cut back.  You do NOT have to live on 1200 calories a day for the rest of your life.

What are good (alcoholic) drinks when you’re on a diet?

What are good (alcoholic) drinks when you’re on a diet?  How many calories does alcohol have?

First, the facts.  Alcohol (pure) has 7 calories per gram.  Carbohydrates and protein both have 4 calories per gram; fat has 9 calories per gram.  The difference between alcohol and carbs/protein/fat is that your body gets nutrients from carbs/protein/fat but it doesn’t get anything from alcohol (besides extra calories).  Your liver is the only thing that can metabolize alcohol, so that’s why drinking too much can be bad for your liver – it gets overworked.

vanilla vodkadiet-coke

My favorite “diet” alcoholic drink is vanilla vodka and diet coke.  There are a slew of problems with diet sodas, but calorie-wise, this drink is probably the lowest.  Calories: 65 (if there is 1 oz of vodka) or 98 (for 1.5 oz).

More tips:

  • use diet soda as the mixer (slashes ~100 calories)
  • stick with light beer: <100 calories in 12 oz (versus up to 200 calories for regular!)
  • alternate alcoholic and zero-calorie non-alcoholic drinks (water, diet soda, seltzer) – not only will you save calories, you’ll stay hydrated and prevent a hangover
  • get a glass of wine (~100 calories) and sip it very slowly
  • dilute your drink with seltzer
  • skip the crazy mixed drinks (margaritas, long island iced teas, or anything big and sugary)
  • plan how much you’l have ahead of time

Good luck – stay safe and enjoy your night out.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

What are the symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)?

The most common symptoms are:

  • Abdominal obesity
  • Acne, oily skin
  • Dandruff
  • Irregular, few, or absent periods
  • Infertility
  • Increased body hair
  • Hair loss (on your head)
  • Depression
  • Deeper voice
  • Weight gain/difficulty losing weight
  • Snoring or sleep apnea

Feel free to leave questions in the comments.

How do I lose weight if I have PCOS?

How do I lose weight if I have PCOS?  How can I manage my PCOS?  What should I eat?

PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is usually a combination of 2 hormone problems – insulin resistance and too much androgen (which means the ovaries make too much testosterone). No one really knows which one comes first. But you can also have it and not have either of those problems; we don’t have that much information on it yet.

When you get tested for PCOS, they test a bunch of hormones, including your thyroid hormones – and yes, your thyroid hormones can be messed up by an eating disorder. So PCOS could be caused by an eating disorder. PCOS isn’t curable, but it’s definitely manageable.

You’ll want to watch your blood sugar and try to focus on higher-protein meals and snacks, and fewer carbs (not no carbs, just the good ones! like whole grains, veggies, and fruit).

You’ll also want to do moderate exercise, because this will help your insulin sensitivity… be careful not to overexercise because this can actually mess up your hormones and cause you to *store* fat, which you probably don’t want. And when stress hormones make you store fat, it goes mostly to your stomach.

If you smoke, quit. It’s terrible for PCOS because it messes with your insulin and your ovarian function – it basically makes PCOS a lot worse.

One more thing that you should be careful with is dairy/meat. Stick to organic because non-organic meat and dairy have growth hormones (they give the animals extra growth hormones so that they’ll grow faster and produce more milk, so they can make more money quicker). Non-organic dairy/meat can also cause acne (another symptom of PCOS).

You might want to consider taking a multivitamin that has magnesium, zinc, selenium, and potassium. I take one called “weight smart” or something like that. I forget the exact brand. I got it at Target. (I don’t have PCOS, but I do have a majorly messed up metabolism because of ED.) Any of the multi-vitamins that have something to do with weight should have those vitamins – they’re all good for the hormones that regulate your metabolism.

Again, PCOS isn’t a well researched disease (but hopefully we’ll know more in the near future)… the best way to manage it is by managing your blood sugar and insulin. So try not to have fast carbs (sugars) and stick to the slow ones (starch, fiber).

I hope this helps! Don’t hesitate to contact me with more questions…