Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is There a Supplement That Increases Metabolism?

Hi!  I am 41 years old, but still feel young and look young, like I did when I was about 30. I have been eating less but I feel like my metabolism is slowing down. I do go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week and I eat very healthy at breakfast and lunch, but I like ice cream and salty snacks in the evening. I try to eat fruit instead, and control my cravings, but is there any supplement you can recommend that will increase my metabolism? I've already had my thyroid checked and it is fine.  Thanks!  Susie K.

Dear Susie,

It's great that you are aware of healthier food choices to make, and that you do go to the gym two or three times a week. I'm not sure why you feel your metabolism is decreased, but there isn't much chance of that. From age 30 to 40 the average woman's metabolic rate is reduced by about 40 calories a day--not something you're likely to notice.

What does keep your metabolism going is exercise! You might consider adding a mile walk (about 18 minutes at a fairly brisk pace) to your regimen. Each day this will burn an extra 100 calories--more than enough to compensate for the 40 calories your body isn't burning due to the process of aging. Each month this is enough to promote a pound of weight loss--which is more than 10 pounds by this time next year, just from walking a mile a day!

As for the night-time cravings, you can fit a low-calorie treat into your diet when you're eating smart the rest of the day and doing some form of exercise. I like the Skinny Cow Ice Cream Treats, like ice cream sandwiches and fudge bars, which have just about 140 calories and taste great.

Also consider keeping a food diary so you can have an objective view of how you really eat on a daily basis. It's helpful for cueing you to think before you eat, and may encourage you to think about whether you really want to add those calories to your daily intake, or have a glass of water and/or take a quick walk instead!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why Do I Feel Full After Eating a Small Amount?

I have a problem with getting too full very quickly even from eating a small amount of food. I don't have any digestive problems other than occasional constipation. But sometimes I skip a meal because I'm just not hungry, and when I feel hungry later I get full right away. I have been under a good deal of stress and wonder if this can be related?  Sonia C.

Dear Sonia,
Stress can certainly affect our appetites a great deal! Some people eat when they are stressed and others find they can barely eat all day. Still others lose their appetite when they are especially happy or excited.
If you notice you can eat fine when you're relaxed, but have a greatly diminished appetite when you're stressed, then it's likely due to stress. In this case, many people find it much easier to drink than to eat. Beverages like SlimFast and Carnation Instant Breakfast Drink are designed to be a meal replacement, providing a good deal of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

If you go several days without an appetite, or find you are losing weight because of it, do visit a physician just to rule out the possibility of a physical issue. There are many things that can cause these feelings called "early satiety" and they will often have a quick fix such as a simple antacid or a laxative. But only a qualified physician can diagnose your situation after a careful history and physical. It will probably put your mind at ease to visit your doctor just to be on the safe side.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Is Coca-cola Really Fattening?

I am 15 years old and would like to lose a few pounds, but I drink  lot of coke. I figured out I can lose weight on 1200 calories, and I know going lower than that is not healthy. But if 300-400 of the calories are from coke, will that keep me from losing weight?
Jenny R.

Dear Jenny,

Three hundred to 400 calories of Coke is not more fattening than 300-400 calories of anything else. If you can lose weight on 1200 calories it doesn't really matter what composes those calories--it could be all fruits or it could be all ice cream and you would still lose the same amount of weight!

What does matter is the nutrition you're getting. The diet you have proposed has you getting 25-30 percent of your daily calories from COKE! The reason 1200 calories is a recommended minimum healthy diet is because it takes that many calories on a balanced diet to meet your needs for protein, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals. You won't be meeting your needs when only 800-900 calories is coming from food even if all those foods are highly nutritious.

I would suggest you try different ways to cut down your coke consumption, at least by half. Try using the smaller cans, substituting one can a day with another beverage, or mix half a coke with diet coke to cut the calorie and sugar intake. Not only will you be able to lose weight, but you'll probably reduce the number of cavities you get as well!