Nutrition & Dieting/Next Step


Dear Ms. Laurie,

I have been keeping a food journal for the past several years.  I stopped keeping it over a year ago, and then started it again in December when I really looked in the mirror and realized I had gained a LOT of extra weight after getting a job in an office.(I'm 5'3" and probably weigh between 180 and 210 lbs.  I don't go to the doctor.  I don't have the money for the copay.  Got a new job working retail, so am moving and on my feet an average of 5 hours a day.)

The purpose of my journal was to try and figure out my triggers for over-eating, (I've discovered I'm a bored eater and a stressed eater/starver.)  The journal, this time, shows that I don't actually eat a whole lot, but the quality of my calories is junk, (KFC, mashed potatoes and potato chips, mostly; only kind of veggies are beans).  I also am addicted to Pepsi with real sugar.  At the moment, I'm only consuming 24 ounces of it per day, (more when I'm stressed,) and am quite pleased with that progress.  (Down from 7 litres per day!)  I also have been taking 500 mg of Magnesium supplements per day for the last 4 days in the hope of starting to get some decent nutrients in my diet.  

I know this isn't ideal, but at least it's a start.  My question, now, is how do I improve my nutrient intake next?  

Thank you for your time and attention.

If you need me to expand on any details, feel free to let me know what you need.



You've just proven to yourself that keeping a food journal works! Because when you stopped keeping it you gained weight; and now that you started again, you've reduced your intake of pepsi, a source of empty calories and lots of sugar.

SO, you are back to keeping your journal which will keep your intake down by making you pay attention to what you eat. Cutting back on Pepsi the amount that you have should really make a huge change on the scale. According to my calculations you may have been consuming nearly 2000 calories a day of pepsi and this would promote a significant and fast weight gain. Likewise, cutting out a large percentage of these calories I would expect you would see a 2-3 pound weight loss per week just from this change alone.

As far as eating a more nutritious diet, there are some great guidelines on the MyPlate website to get you started.
Think about trying to make one or two changes at a time: eating a healthy breakfast, preparing a meal at home; adding a fruit or vegetable each meal (or each day!) and choosing lower calorie options from each food group.

I would not encourage taking random supplements, but a multivitamin (look for one that provides 100-200% of the daily values for most nutrients) is a good 'insurance' plan to start with.

Stay in touch and let me know how you're doing!


Nutrition & Dieting

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD


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.


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.

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

Publications,,,, Today's Dietitian

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.

©2016 All rights reserved.