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Obesity and Weight Management

Puzzled

03/09/2004

Question:

what would you recommend for a person who has been briskly walking 45 minutes - three to four times a week, eats a low fat diet (her calorie level is below her estimated amount for her weight ~ 3 to 4 times a week) and her weight is stable for the past 3 - 4 years. She wants to lose weight about 10 -15 pounds.

Answer:

The scenario described sounds like everything `right` is already happening. As one ages metabolism slows, so a little more activity may be necessary to lose weight. However, instead of focusing on weight, I would look at other health parameters. If recommended activity levels and recommended eating are already being done, and blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc. are good, I would not try to lose weight. One can have a body shape other than that of a model and still be healthy.

If the weight needs to be lost to improve health, increasing activity would be preferable to reducing calorie levels since calorie levels appear to be below estimated requirements already. Keep a food record and activity log to verify the calories taken in and the calories expended. If calories prove to be higher than thought, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption will allow you to eat a greater volume of food, feel satisfied (a sense of fullness) and actually eat fewer calories.

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Response by:

Sharron   Coplin, MS, RD, LD Sharron Coplin, MS, RD, LD
Former Lecturer
Food & Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University