Dieting and exercising, but still not losing weight

All Woman

Dear Donovan,

I'm a 22-year-old woman, standing six feet tall. I currently work at a call centre where I sit for at least seven out of my eight hours per day, sometimes even 10 hours. My shifts change every week. I don't have much time to go to the gym, but I use YouTube as a guide and do at least 30 minutes of power walking at home, which the instructions state may equal a mile. I watch the Zumba workouts as well. I do not drink soda, have limited juices, and I drink plenty of water. I'm on the third floor at work so I take the stairs. I try to have fruits each morning before I have breakfast probably two hours later. I'm trying to eat in smaller portions, and they all include vegetables. I have a habit of eating late, which I'm trying to eliminate by having tea instead if I feel hungry. Can you please guide me as to how best I can change my eating habits and lose some weight?

I am sure that you should have lost some weight with the changes that you have made in your lifestyle. However, I have a feeling that you have hit a weight loss plateau. This is the point where you are roughly stable in your weight, neither losing nor gaining weight significantly. This usually happens when the calories you need are roughly equal to the calories that you use up to stay alive and to do your various activities.

In order for you to lose weight, you will need to make some more changes in your lifestyle, meaning your exercise and eating choices. The main aim is to reset the amount of intake calories and the amount of calories that are burned. The truth is that in order to have continuous weight loss, your diet programme will have to be changed from time to time. The idea is to always force the body to use up some of the reserve fat. However, I must mention that it is not about reducing your portion sizes but also making healthy choices.

At this time I would suggest that your meals should mainly consist of fruits, vegetables, vegetable juices, vegetable salads, whole grain, yoghurt, lean meat, soups and small amounts of meal replacement shakes. Eating small amounts more frequently is better than having fewer large meals.

You will also need to look at your night eating. On the days when you work late, you may need to have dinner before you leave work. This could prevent you from eating too late at night. Also, I would suggest that you do two days this week in which you are mainly doing fruits, vegetable juices, soups and salads. This should help to restart your weight loss programme.

In addition, try to increase your exercise to 45 minutes per session. This will definitely help you to burn some more calories. I would also suggest more cardio instead of muscle-building type exercises. Good luck.

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight, or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.

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