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can I?

8/17 9:15:47

Question
 I am a 23 year old female.  I weigh 133 lbs and I am 5"5. My husband just left for the Army and I won't see him for two months.  I would like to get down to 115 lbs and tone my body before I see him again.  Is that possible and how hard do you think it would be and do you have any suggestions? Ps I do not want to take diet pills.

Answer
Audrey,

It is certainly possible to lose 10-15 pounds in two months.  It will require a fair amount of work and willpower.  Getting well toned will probably take more time, unless your muscles are in pretty good shape already.  However, one persons?idea of 搕oned?may be very different than another persons?  Let抯 just say that you can probably make a visible difference in as little as 2 months, but the more time you put into it (6, 9, 12 months), the better the results.

Decreasing the total calories you eat is the most important thing when it comes to losing weight.

Here are some basic dietary principles:
* Most importantly, you need to (slightly) limit your calories for weight loss to occur.  Try cutting back by about 20-25%.  This means eating about 75-80% of what you would normally eat.
* Eat a diet low in saturated fats (animal fats) and trans-fatty acids (margarine or shortening).
* Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
* Eat a variety of grain products, especially whole grains (complex carbohydrates).
* Limit sugars and low nutrient foods high in sugar such as soda pop, candy, etc. (simple carbohydrates).
* Limit snack foods such as chips, cookies, etc.  These are made with processed grains (simple carbohydrates) and often have high amounts of fats (fried chips, etc.) or sugar (cookies, etc.).  The processed grains do not fill us up well, so we can become hungry soon after eating these foods.  They are also nutritionally poor.
I would suggest reading The American Heart Association抯 揘o-Fad Diet?book.  It is a great nutrition and weight loss book.  Here is a link (look around for the best price):
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3031215
Here are some articles on the book:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/06/30/earlyshow/health/main705423.shtml
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8161378/

Exercise is also very important for weight loss.  Exercise will help keep your metabolism from slowing down.  Virtually any exercise will be helpful.  Studies clearly show that the more, the better.  People who are more than 100 pounds overweight (these people are studied most) are most successful when they exercise up to 60 minutes a day, every day.  The rule is: two days a week are better than none, and four days a week are better than two, and six days a week are better than four.  You get the idea.  The rule applies for time also.  Fifteen minutes are better than none, and 30 minutes are better than fifteen, and 60 minutes are better than 30.  There is no set amount of days per week or minutes per day that guarantee success.  The American College of Sports Medicine抯 揂CSM Fitness Book, 3rd Edition?can help you learn about safe and effective exercise.  Here is a link (look around for the best price):
http://www.humankinetics.com/products/showproduct.cfm?isbn=073604406X

For most people, losing weight and getting tones requires a very significant change in lifestyle (diet and exercise).  The more effort you put into it, the more benefit you will get out of it.

I hope this helps and best of luck!

Todd
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