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Nutrition & Dieting/Weight Loss/Nutrition Questions


Hi there,  

First, I am a Type 1 Diabetic (since I was 15, I'm 36 now), female horribly overweight person.  I understand that anything I do should be under the supervision of my doctor, so any advice or answer you give me will be taken with that in mind.

A very misguided psychiatric nurse put me on Paxil for anxiety and over the course of two months on it, I gained two sizes.  She kept telling me it wasn't the Paxil, but I had maintained a steady weight (albeit a very high weight) for years prior to that.  I now need to lose the weight, and I have never successfully lost weight since I became overweight at age 15.  

My first question is about water - I am rarely thirsty, so it's hard to drink water, but I'm managing about 40-60 ounces a day.  To lose weight, I have read you are supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.  That would mean 150 ounces of water!  No way!  What is a good compromise?  Also, how much does adding Crystal Light to the water negate the fact that I am drinking water?

Second, I have started exercising very lightly - 15-20 minute short walks daily.  I was overweight before, but very functional and even somewhat active.  Now just walking up one set of stairs makes me so out of breath that I feel like I'm having a heart attack.  Is there a point where "pushing" the exercise will actually do me harm?   When I am out of breath and feeling like I am having a heart attack, do I keep going, or stop until I can function again?

Third, I know when my stomach is full but my brain doesn't.  My stomach can NOT be hungry, but my brain will not stop thinking about chocolate or coffee with flavored cream, or pasta, etc.  My brain craves things whether I'm hungry or not.  What are some methods of shutting this off so that my brain and my stomach are in sync?

Fourth, I just started using the app on my phone, My Fitness Pal, to keep track of what I eat.  Just as an example, today I had coffee with 4 servings of cream and a serving of peanut butter for breakfast.  A large salad with all vegetables, raisins, and grilled chicken (made myself, not from a restaurant) with Light Italian dressing for lunch.  And a 5 egg omelet with cheese for dinner.  I am at 1492 calories for the day, and my limit is 5000.  To that I will be adding a Shakeology shake before bed, because I often eat a lot at night, including getting up in the middle of the night and randomly eating chocolate or Oreos or something.  I am not counting the Shakeology in my calories - I drink it for the nutrition aspects, not necessarily for weight loss, and I don't want to NOT drink it because of calories.  Do you have any thoughts on any of that?

Thank you!  I'm sorry this is so long!

I am going to give you my best answers that I feel comfortable with giving.

1. With regard to the water. 40-60 ounces is not enough. With a high weight, your body needs hydration. I understand that you are not thirsty. Thirst is a last ditch effort on the part of your body to say, "Hey, I'm dehydrating". Drink more. I do not agree with Crystal Light or Mio in the water because it requires your body to work harder to clean out the junk that is in it. However, if that is the only way that you will drink it, have some with and some without until you get to a point of power drinking without. Drink more water.
2. With regard to exercise, there is a point that is too much. Your heart is a muscle and can become fatigued when overworked. Find an exercise that you can do to the point of exertion. Once exerted, settle back into a low intensity version of it until you're not feeling overexerted. Then, go back to the intensity that brought you to exertion. Keep doing intervals like that for as long as you are able. Make sure that you take deep breaths through the nose when you are exerted to get oxygen in. Keep in mind that 15 minutes 4x per day is the same as 60 minutes altogether as far as the American College of Sports Medicine is concerned. However, keep walking stairs and exercising. It will get easier.
3. The carbohydrates that you are craving are from habit and from a chemical requirement. Just like any other dependency, food cravings will pass with time and practice. You will just have to practice saying no. Do not have them in the house. Ask your housemates to support you with that. Also, you can visualize yourself, several times a day, saying no to the snacks and treats that are horrible for a diabetic trying to be healthy and lose weight.
4. Fitness Pal is inaccurate with regard to calorie and nutrition content. Google the foods that you eat to get a nutrition site with accurate results. As far as your diet is concerned, I have great concerns over it. My suggestion is to seek the advice of a nutritionist to create a meal plan for you. I understand that Fitness Pal may have given you a 5000 calorie diet, yet I would question the validity of that.  As far as getting up in the middle of the night to eat chocolate and Oreos, they should not be in your house if you are committed to your endeavor of losing weight.

I know some of this might not be  what you wanted to hear. However, I do hope it helps, and I hope that you do well with your weight loss endeavor. More importantly, though, I hope that you do well with your health gains endeavor!


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Laura Ray, BS Nutrition, Certified Wellness Coach


Please only individuals over the age of 18 years. I have no expertise in adolescent nutrition. Also, this is not a forum in which I am able to create an individual or general diet plan. I will answer general questions. I can answer directly to questions regarding the use of nutrition and exercise to weight loss in women particularly as it relates to the following: yo-yo dieting, lifestyle change, hormonal changes, menopause, perimenopause, metabolic disorders, age related fat accumulation, HCG dieting, Dr. Simeon, nutritional changes geared toward health, coaching as it relates to weight loss, finding affordable nutrition plans, why diets do not work, and complete wellness programs.


I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, am certified in Wellness Coaching by Wellcoaches, and live what I teach.

Bachelor of Science Nutrition, Certified in Wellness Coaching

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