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Question
My girlfriend and I are both above our goal weights. She is short in stature, and I am average. Our goals are around 100 lbs and 150 lbs respectively. We both wish to lose about 30 pounds. Our weights are steadily increasing. She is frustrated and feels fat. I try to make sure she knows I still think she's very beautiful, but she wants to lose weight for her. The problem is she has decided she wants to try weight loss supplements. She told me the other day that she "isnt at a point in life where she wants to give up having pop and pizza." We dont go to the gym much right now, but we walk a lot. She wants an easy way to lose weight, but I tell her we have to put in the effort if we want to lose weight. Much of her problem stems from severe irritability and weakness if she doesnt eat frequently. We thought it was hypoglycemia so we bought a glucometer to check, and her blood sugars are always normal. Regardless, we try to have her eat high protein low sugar things for the most part. She still has a pop a day though. She told me that I could research and pick a supplement that she would try, but if I didnt she was going to pick one. I am very apprehensive about these supplements... I have a very strong background in biochemistry, and understand metabolism fairly well. The two types of supplements I have been looking into both seem relatively safe at low doses and have potential to help her. They are EC stacks and DNP (a proton uncoupler for the ETC). Both are pretty drastic, but she has to eat frequently and often goes over her calorie quota for the day (around 1300). Do you have any recommendations? I am going to try to recommend today that we just go to the gym again everyday instead, but wanted to get your advice on the supplements too in case that fails.

Answer
Hi Tom,
Well, I can certainly appreciate your predicament; you both want to make a change, but your girlfriend isn't ready to do the work.
You can tell her, these supplements don't work, and I have a few reasons to back that up:

1) ALL weight loss supplements come with a suggested diet and weight loss plan to accompany taking the pills. ALL weight loss supplement ads and commercials have a little asterisk * that states "results not typical". Taking a pill will NOT cause weight loss

2) If your girlfriend does not eat less AND exercise more there is no way she will lose weight. It's a simple equation: Calories OUT must exceed calories IN in order for their to be a net energy loss, which results in weight loss.

3) Whenever skeptical/hopeful that a supplement works, I use Oprah as my guide: Is Oprah still overweight? YEP. She has a slew of employees and investigators scouring the world for the secret weight loss potion (Is it Optifast? Is it Garcinia Cambogia?) If there is ANYTHING out there that promotes weight loss, Oprah's staff will have discovered it and Oprah will be nice and skinny. Until I see a skinny Oprah, I know there are no magic weight loss pills available

The bottom line is, your girlfriend may choose EITHER to eat what she likes OR to lose weight. You can't have both. Not every day. That would be like saying "I want to save for my retirement but I must buy these new shoes/new purse/new iphone/new car in the meantime". Pick one; you can't do both. But you can buy a pair of shoes once in a while.

She doesn't have to give up pizza and pop forever, but here's a simple equation: Eat 100 fewer calories a day and lose 1 pound a month (approximately). Give up 3 sodas a day (which it sounds like she has) and lose about 3 pounds a month.
Can she compromise and eat relatively healthy for ONE day a week? Perhaps she can gradually up the number of days per week that she eats in her target calorie range.
Or: If 1300 calories leaves her too hungry, try going up to 1500 per day for an easier day and just a tad slower weight loss.

She doesn't 'need' to eat frequently and more and junk food, she just WANTS to.
She'll have to make a list of the reasons she wants to lose weight to find her motivation. At this point the in-the-moment motivation to eat what she feels like is outweighing the desire to lose weight.

One weight loss plan I highly recommend (and lead teleclasses with) is The Beck Diet Solution.
Either way, when she's ready to lose weight she'll have to be ready to do the work.

Good Luck!
Laurie
www.mycoachlaurie.com

Nutrition & Dieting

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Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD

Expertise

As a registered dietitian (RD)I am fully qualified to accurately answer questions regarding weight loss, including those from people with health conditions requiring dietary restrictions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc) who want to lose weight, or who have been advised to do so by their physician.

Experience

I have been a registered dietitian for over 30 years and have a certificate in Adult Weight Management through the commission on dietetic registration at Level 1 and Level 2. I am also trained in coaching through Coach U and currently work as a diet coach to help people lose weight the healthy way, through gradual habit changes.

Organizations
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Nutrition Entreprenuers, St.Louis International Coach Federation, Toastmasters

Publications
Livestrong.com, Glamour.com, Ezinearticles.com, Ehow.com, Today's Dietitian

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida, 1983; Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University 1985; Certificate in Adult Weight Management 2006; CoachU core essentials grad 2007; Level 2 certificate in Adult Weight Management 2010.

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