I can't lose this weight

All Woman

Dear Donovan,

I am overweight and I have been trying to get pregnant without success. My doctor told me if I drop even 30 per cent of my body weight I stand a greater chance of conceiving. I have been exercising but can't seem to get my diet right. I weigh 200 pounds and I am 5 feet 6 inches tall. For breakfast I will drink coconut water, snack on walnuts and apples in between. I usually have a heavy lunch, which is often protein like red meat or chicken, carbohydrates like mostly rice, and vegetables and juice. I don't have anything until dinner when I usually go light with crackers and cheese. Please offer some guidance. I am 32 years old, no children, married and frustrated.

Your doctor is right. The chance of getting pregnant when you are overweight is far less than when you are in the normal weight range for your height. At the same time, if you should get pregnant at this weight you would put yourself at risk for all kinds of health problems such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, back problems, knee problems, varicose veins, to name a few. I strongly recommend that people who want to get pregnant lose some weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle before they try conceiving. Also, conceiving at the right weight range allows you to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster. In your situation it is very important to do all you can since you so desperately want a child.

However, the first thing that must happen is that you must be mentally ready. The desire to have a child must be more intense than the desire to eat certain kinds of foods. In a nutshell, in order to lose weight you will have to force your body to use up some of the reserve fat. This you will do by reducing your calorie intake and by increasing your calorie burning, for example, doing more activities.

Based on what you are eating now, you are not losing any weight. You will have to make some changes to your food intake. For breakfast you could eat two to three servings of fruits some mornings. For lunch, I would suggest you have a salad, a light soup, or even 6oz of a meal replacement shake. Eating carbohydrates at lunch time will definitely not help you to lose weight. If you always keep yourself full, the body will not need to use up any of the reserve fat.

It is also a common thought that eating crackers and cheese is eating something light. Eating crackers and cheese will simply pile on the pounds. I would suggest that you have a salad or soup for dinner.

Also, it is very important that you eat on time and have smaller meals more frequently, rather than one large meal. It might also be important to consult with a weight loss professional about a weight loss programme. Having someone to check on you and monitor your weight loss progress could make the difference.

Taking a brisk walk for 20 – 30 minutes each day will also help.

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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