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Hi everyone,

This is my first post, and I would like to introduce myself. My name is Allison. I'm 24. I'm 5'4" and weigh 160lbs.

Unfortunately, I've gained weight in the last 18 months because of poor eating habits, and lack of exercise, and I'm not sure if I should blame the pill. One of my friends has suggested I go BACK onto the pill, because I was fine while on it.

Now I've joined a gym and have been working out religiously almost every day. On the weekends, I do 90 min - one hour of cardio and 30 min of weights. During the weekdays, when I have work, I run on the treadmill at home for 30-40 min.

My diet is okay. I don't count calories, but I don't eat fried foods, drink pop, and take multivitamins. I limit my carb intake, eat lots of protein and fruits and vegetables.

Now this healthier lifestyle has been going on for 4 months, and I have not seen ANY weight loss at all. I know people say that muscle weighs more than fat. True. But I doubt I have that much muscle on me. Clothes fit a tiny bit better. And I wonder if it's my metabolism, but I lost a lot of weight when I was 21, and I'm not that much older now. And I just want to fit into my old clothes, when I used to be a 4.

I am a size 8 (Club Monaco, Old Navy, and Tommy Hilfiger says so), but due to variances in sizes, I can go up to a size 12 in pants. That makes me feel really upset and down about myself.

So I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong. I went to see the doctor who was reluctant to put me on the pill, since I am not currently sexually active at the moment. Or can there potentially be another problem, such as thyroid?



Thank you for your time.

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Hi AllisonR

Good on you for making exercise such a priority in your life! I'm not surprised to hear that your clothes are fitting a little better, you must be really fit by now!

But it must be so frustrating to work so hard with your fitness and diet and not see the results you want.

I can see a couple of options for you to consider as a start -

- have your thyroid tested, particularly if there is a history of thyroid problems in your family. You will need to assess not just your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) but also the tissue levels of circulating thyroid hormone, T3 and T4. There is another thyroid hormone to monitor, reverse T3 (rT3), which can really slow your metabolism. (Stress causes rT3 to rise).

- see a nutritionist-naturopath who can pick your diet apart and see if you need to tweak your protein/carbohydrate intake to get better results.

Do either of these sound do-able for you?

Regards, Olwen :-)
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Hey Allison.

I agree with Olwen - perhaps you should get thyroid tested, and I agree with your doctor - if you are not sexually active, there is really no point in getting on pills.

However, I totally understand your frustration.

I had a chat with a women on my aerobics class 10 days ago, and she is experiencing the same problem... I asked her - do you drink water - the answer was no! That is a huge mistake - water is a must for a healthy body - at least 1,5 liters on daily basis - skip all the juices and sodas cos they are full with sugar and unnecessary calories...
And a second question was - do you eat breakfast? And she said no- the first meal I have is around 2 p.m. In my humble opinion this is a fatal error and I am sure Olwen will agree with me. Start your day with a breakfast, and make it healthy (I eat wholegrain mussli with banana - some say it is better to skip banana if I want to lose weight, but I really can't eat it without it... I don't like the taste without banana).

I read somewhere it is best to eat proteins (meat for example) without potatoes or bread - alone and eventually lettuce (it is a great vegetable btw) - you can see menues like that on some diet plans - I am sure Olwen has more expertize on that part. I just wanted to bring that up, because it worked for me, so I am really curious what is an opinion of a nutritionist on that part...

I hope this helps & Cheers!
Taya
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Hi Taya (and Allison!)

Goodness me, I don't think I've ever seen my name used so many times in one post!!!

Taya, thanks for your input. I'd like to address a couple of the points you made:

- The breakfast I most recommend for people to keep their energy high all day long is a protein-based breakfast, including some form of animal protein. Eggs are ideal, as is savoury mince, or even meat & veg. Give it a try for a week and feel the difference, especially by mid afternoon when many people experience an energy 'slump'. High fibre breakfast cereals like the one you described are ideal for afternoon tea, when many people experience carbohydrate cravings. (I like bananas too!)

- Re the proteins with starches. I don't promote avoiding protein and starches together. I've found the best way to eat is the way that works for you as an individual. Sometimes this is best discovered by talking first with a qualified nutritionist who can assess what you're already eating and make recommendations for change. Its also important to take into account any pre-existing conditions that may affect what sort of food you should eat. (For example, some people with kidney disease need to follow a low protein diet)

Hope this helps, would love to discuss it all further if you like.

Regards, Olwen :-)
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:D





I agree about the level of energy with "my breakfast" - I get hungry in about 3 hours after eating it... But then again - it works great for my digestion, and I am basically sitting behind computer all day - at least 8-10 hours, so I think it is better for me to eat "lighter" breakfast then animal protein in the morning... But I will give it a try and see how this type of breakfast works for me... Anyway, I am very proud of myself now because last year for example I wasn't eating breakfast at all (and I never did before), so getting used to having a breakfast is a big step in my nutrition.



Olwen, what are your basic guidelines for losing weight? Are there any "general" rules?
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Hi TayaTaya

Wow, good on you for eating breakfast regularly now!!

Here are some general guidelines I use when helping someone lose weight.

- everyone is different. What weight loss diet worked for someone else you know might or might not work for you, because everyone's metabolism is slightly different.

- Exercise is essential, as it makes skeletal muscle work, automatically increasing the speed of your metabolism. You need to find out what frequency and intensity of exercise is safe and right for you. I routinely send my weight loss clients to a fitness trainer first up for an assessment and to get guidelines of what to do. (Engaging a fitness trainer regularly can really help you get faster results too)

- People often don't feel like breakfast, or don't feel like a full breakfast, because their body is still digesting last night's dinner. But you really need to get a professional consultation with a nutritionist-naturopath to discover the best diet for your body.

Let us know how you go with the breakfast change. Remember that when you change just one meal in your day, you've changed one third of your diet, so well done. Go girl!

Regards, Olwen :-)
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