Addicted to chips

Monday, March 19, 2012

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Dear Donovan,

I have a rare disease. If I am on my feet for too long or walk for an extended time I get flares (pain and lumps). I am attending school so I can't go to the gym, and I can swim but I hate swimming. I have piled on about 20 pounds in the last 24 months, so now I am 155 pounds at five foot two. I need to lose the weight now as I feel real uncomfortable, but I keep eating sweet stuff, salty chips and nuts. I am now an addict. Help!

Sorry to hear that some exercises for you cause pain in the legs. However, you can kick-start your weight loss programme by reducing your calories or food intake. Although you cannot exercise, if you cut back on what you are eating, you should see some amount of results. A simple thing to do would be to do an audit of the amount of food or types of food you are having on a regular day. To start the weight loss process, you could reduce your food intake by a quarter or a half by cutting back on your unhealthy snacks. If you are still interested in exercise, you could do some floor or yoga-type routines. In addition, short stints of exercise on your legs could be possible. It would have been interesting to know if you are on medication, and if so, what. By cutting back on your food intake, you will see results, however, over time the programme will have to be adjusted or you will have a plateau. You might not necessarily be an addict, but after a while you would have got used to eating some items, so you will reach for them. What you can do is cut back on the amount you eat. You don't have to be a killjoy and reduce or cut out everything all at once, but it would be better for you if you were eating healthier, especially since you are not getting much exercise.

I want to lose 12-15 pounds

Dear Donovan,

I am a 38 year old, 162 lbs, five foot five, diagnosed type 2 diabetic and hypertensive female. I had a Caesarean section in September 2011 and I have a high tummy which hangs in the area that I got cut. Recently my doctor reduced the number of days I take my diabetes medication from every day to three days per week. He recommended losing some weight and maintaining a proper diet. However, my blood pressure has been fluctuating.

I want to lose 12 - 15 pounds and maintain that weight and I need your advice on where to start. In the past I would walk as my exercise routine. I can't afford the gym and now it would not be convenient with my baby.

I am very happy to hear that your doctor has reduced the number of days for you to take your diabetes medication. However, what you did not say was if you had developed diabetes during your pregnancy, since some women do develop gestational diabetes. I am going to assume this was the case since your doctor has reduced the number of drugs you were on. I also do not know what you are currently eating, that information would have been helpful.

Because you are on medication, any adjustment in your exercise and eating habits would mean an adjustment in your medication regimen. If you reduce your carbohydrates, for example, it could mean a reduction in the amount of medication you are given, since you would be producing less sugar and could therefore go into hyperglycaemic shock. As such, you would need a medical professional to monitor your sugar levels, as well as your blood pressure as you carry out your weight loss programme.

In order for you to lose weight and be healthy, I recommend that you reduce your intake of sweets and carbohydrates in general, and also eat more raw and steamed vegetables. You can also have light soups. The other thing I recommend is that you add a mid-morning (9:30-10:30 am) green juice to your diet. This juice is usually made from green vegetables like callaloo, lettuce, pak choi, string beans, sweet peppers, etc. Green juices have a positive effect on blood pressure and blood sugar levels because they have been found to balance or lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Your doctor could decide whether you still need to take your medications after you have started making these adjustments to your diet.

You can also try doing indoor exercises while your baby is sleeping. If you can, invest in an exercise machine like a treadmill, or you could do some skipping which allows you to be close enough to your child. Since you have had a C-section, be sure to get the green light from your doctor.




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