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8/17 8:50:44

Hello, I would like to ask you about my lifestyle changes and current eating and exercise. On 16th January after a check up with practice nurse I was told to lose weight all else was ok, but they say my cholesterol was slightly higher then they like. No meds just a call back in 6months to check me again.
I used to like a couple of glasses of wine a night, so that was stopped immediately, (thought it would be harder for me to kick the alcohol, as I do like a drink, but I have managed with no problem. I cut out all rubbish stuff, crisps,biscuits,cake,chocolate, no fat on bread (i leave it dry) and I have made smaller amounts so the temptation is not there to reach for extra's. I have been trying so hard, and really have been doing without an awful lot of food stuff. I have cereal or porridge for breakfast, with low fat yoghurt,a very light lunch of cottage cheese and ryepbread, tuna or sardines, if I have beans on toast its just one slice of dry bread (no fat) and 2/3 spoons of beans. Evenings will be wholemeal pasta, or rice, or bulghar wheat, or pulse salad with a tomato based meat sauce, or dry fried liver, turkey, chicken. I make copious salad or vegetables to fill up on with the evening meal, and a wholemeal pitta. I Snack on cut up apple, few dried fruit and nuts, I feel that I am eating very healthy, drinking less caffeine and drink lots more water. I have gradually got to a comfortable workout on my treadmill, where I fast walk 3miles every day on a 6 step incline (45mins). Since doing all this now for five weeks I have felt so much better in myself, getting up earlier, sleeping better. BUT the first week I showed as losing 4lbs, the 2nd week I lost 2lb, then 3lb, then 2lb, and this week only 1lb. I feel as if that's it I am going to lose no more? However I have not tried on any new clothes as yet, but I know I definitely have dropped a size and feels very likely I might have dropped 2 sizes even. I am totally baffled, cause surely my workout each day is helping me lose weight, I don't feel as if I should cut my food intake more, unless I cut my pitta bread out? which I really enjoy with my meal. The thing is when i return to my health centre for weighing it won't look as though I have tried when I really really have. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, below are my particulars in case you need to know them. I must say that my BMI at the check up was 33, and on my scales that does show as 31.2? maybe thats not much different?
I am desperate, I need to lose weight and get fitter, my husband has just been diagnosed with Parkinsons Decease, and I will need to be healthy enough to take care of him, please help if you can.
My details:
Female, 54ys old, 5ft 2", I was 13stone and I am now 12s.2lbs
sorry about not being metric, Once again many thanks kind regards Teri

Hello Teri,

First, congratulations on being so motivated! It sounds like you have really made a lot of changes in a short period of time. For the most part, it sounds like you are eating pretty healthy and staying active on a regular basis. Based on what you wrote, here are a few suggestions to keep making progress in your weight loss. What you've described is called a weight loss "plateau" - you can lose more, but you'll just have to change up a few things now that your body is accustomed to the changes.

Here are a few recommendations:

1. Reevaluate your diet. Limit your intake of fried liver. Although liver meats have lots of great nutrients and protein, it is typically quite high in calories (over 500 in the typical serving). Aim for about 400 calories per meal plus another 200-400 calories per day from snacks or drinks, for a total of 1400 to 1600 calories per day. This should be enough for a woman of your size to have enough energy and still lose weight. Try to eat skinless turkey or chicken as well. Add some fruit (an apple, pear, orange, banana, etc.) to your morning meal if you like. When you have a salad or veggie dish, try to avoid fatty dressings and opt for a vinaigrette or homemade citrus dressing. Eat the veggies first, then the meat and grains. Also, drink a large glass of water before eating. For snacks, just make sure you limit portion sizes for dried fruits and nuts - they are good for you but high in calories. A guide like this will help you work on portion sizes. And remember - you don't have to give up all yummy things! Let yourself have a couple squares of dark chocolate in the evening or enjoy a small glass of red wine with a little cube of cheese to wind down after dinner. :)

2. Add weight training. Your walking routine sounds great - good job! Adding weight training (while you watch TV, for instance), can help you build muscle. Building muscle may slow weight loss at first but it is critical for helping you get off your "plateau." Even when you aren't doing anything, muscle burns way more calories than fat does. Start with a simple strength training routine with light dumbbells you can easily hold in your hands (about 3 lbs each or less!). Follow a simple routine like http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/express/20-minute/ or learn about the basics from Healthline here: http://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise-weight-training. After a week or two with a strength training routine, you should start to lose weight again. This will also help you feel stronger and more able to take care of your husband, brave lady!

3. Be patient. Healthy, permanent weight loss takes time. You seem to be losing weight right on pace. Remember that even 1 pound per week is 52 pounds per year! Faster weight loss can leave you with excess flabby skin folds and can make your weight loss hard to sustain. 1 to 2 pounds per week is perfect and healthy. Remember that just by eating well and exercising - whether or not the scale moves every day - you are getting healthier. You are building a stronger heart muscle, likely lowering your cholesterol (especially with less liver meat!), building regular muscle throughout your body, and getting yourself in shape. Slow and steady wins the race. If you have already gone from 33 to 31.2 BMI you are making excellent progress - make a BMI of below 30 your next goal, which is a major milestone because it takes you out of the technical category of obese.

Overall, I have to say it sounds like you are doing great and making really critical strides in the right direction. Your progress is good and you just have to be in it for the long haul. Remind yourself that it didn't come on overnight and it won't come off overnight either, but with dedication and patience you CAN do it! Good luck and let me know if you'd like any other info, advice, or tips. Remember, a pound per week is a very healthy, reasonable goal.

Good luck!  
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