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Frequently Asked Questions

How severe is a weight problem? Without intervention, what should be expected?
Generally, a patient with a body mass index, or B.M.I., of 25 to 29.9 in considered overweight; one with B.M.I. of 30 or higher is considered obese.  Excess weight is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones and some forms of cancer.

Does meal frequency matter?
Some patients find it helpful to eat small meals five or six times a day.  Complicated regimens involving macronutrients consumed only at certain times of the day have not been well supported by research.

What should I do if I’ve just been diagnosed with Type II diabetes?
Management of diabetes involves good nutrition, exercise, blood glucose monitoring and behavior modification (altering eating habits to achieve glycemic control).  Track your blood glucose to see how food affects blood sugar levels.

How do you feel about the high-protein, low carbohydrate diets?
Low carbohydrate diet, it typically works (short-term) because you eliminate an entire class of foods.  Any diet that restricts food choices will work in the short term – but won’t last if you don’t stick with it.   

What’s the best way to gain weight – preferably lean muscle mass, and not fat?
Strength training exercises (weight training, not cardiovascular exercise) are a great way to increase muscle size and shape (adding weight to your body in the form of muscle rather than fat).  Regarding your diet, choose plenty of high-quality, nutrient-dense foods that are also high in protein.

What’s the best way to lose weight FAST?
Start a REGULAR exercise routine – one that includes some form of cardiovascular exercise every day.  Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, aerobics, and the stair climber are all great choices.  Next, strive for a plant-based, low-fat diet – one that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, nuts, and seeds.

How much should a person exercise?
Experts recommend 30-60 minutes of exercise per day.  While 30 minutes of physical activity is considered enough to lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, even 10 minutes a day will do you good.

Where do I start if I have never exercised before?
If you’re new to exercise, or have struggled with it in the past, talk with your doctor about your exercise plans.  After that, start by incorporating more activity into your daily life.

What if I am physically unable to exercise due to a medical condition?
There is virtually no medical condition that will keep you from doing any type of exercise.  Even people with heart failure – who were long told not to exercise at all – can benefit from moderate amounts of activity.

Should I lift weights?
Always check with your doctor.  Lifting weights will not only help you lose weight, but maintain the loss.

What is BMI and why is it useful?
The body mass index (BMI) is a simple way for men and women to estimate body fat based on their height and weight.  From the BMI, it is possible to determine your healthy weight range.

How can I lower my LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and raise my HDL (good) cholesterol levels?
To lower your LDLs and raise your HDLs:  stop smoking if you do; if you’re overweight, try to lose some weight; exercise cause anything can help as long as you raise your heart rate for 30 minutes at least 3 times per week; eat less saturated fat; cut back on high-cholesterol foods; eat less trans fats; don’t go TOO low in your GOOD fat intake. Remember, for optimum heart health, total cholesterol levels should be below 200, with HDLs above 35 (55-60 is a good range) and LDLs below 130 (for people with heart disease, LDLs below 100 are more desirable).