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Question
Posted by: Linds | 2009/10/19

Gaining weight instead of losing

Hi DietDoc
I am 29yr old female, 1.68m tall and weigh 78kg.

I have a medium bone structure and am pear shaped (i.e. petite upper body &  heavy lower body).

I used to manage my hunger fairly well earlier in the year &  even managed to lose a bit of weight when exercising regularly.

I' ve noticed over the last month that I' m getting hungry quicker than usual (normally I have 3 hr breaks between small meals) but now I' m getting hungry 2 hrs after eating!

The following changes occurred recently:
I used to bring my own lunch to work (low GL food like 2 slices low GI bread with tuna, 30ml lite mayo &  green salad) but now my employer started supplying catered lunches last month. I' ve chosen the slimmer' s options and a typical lunch would be:
120g chicken breast fillet with 1/2cup peas,
1/2cup carrots and a bit of broccoli.
Another example would be:
3 small ostrich meatballs (120g) with 180g veggies like beetroot, carrots &  baby marrow.
They only serve starch like a potato or brown rice once a week.
I' ve recently been diagnosed with arthritis in my neck which meant I couldn' t do the high impact type exercise (e.g. jogging).

I' ve been exercising a lot less over the last 3 months due to
neck pain, but am slowly getting back to exercise like going for a brisk 40min walk &  doing pilates once a week.
My breakfasts are always healthy (muesli &  yogurt or boiled egg on toast) and my dinners are similar to the lunches I eat.

I seem to be picking up weight and I don' t understand it from a diet point of view because most of the meals I have are quite healthy - I do have my naughty periods over the weekends (i.e. drinking a couple of glasses of wine, etc) but not so excessive to explain the weight gain.
Could you please help?
Thanks!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Linds
The lunches that are being served at your work which you describe, are indeed reasonable and not too high in energy. However, the fact that you are getting hungry within a short space of time after eating them, indicates that you may have problems with insulin resistance, this despite the fact that the meat and broccoli for example, are also low-GI. Your present BMI = 27,7 which is above the upper normal level. To get back into the normal range with a BMI of 25 you would need to weigh 70 kg, thus a loss of 8 kg. It is good that you are getting back to being active again with the walking and pilates because your weight gain may well be due to your previous lack of exercise. I would recommend that you give yourself a month on your present diet plus the walking and Pilates to see if you can start losing again. If you don't then it may be a good idea to have a medical checkup and to ask the dr to test you for insulin imbalances. If you should suffer from insulin resistance (IR) it is essential to consult a clinical dietitian, because the correct diet is one of the most important factors in treatment. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. The dietitian will take your IR, and other conditions such as overweight, into account when working out a diet for you, which will be based on low-fat foods with a low glycaemic index (GI). Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI. Also click on ‘Food as Medicine' on the Diet Site and then on ‘Type 2 diabetes’.
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2009/10/20

Dear Linds
The lunches that are being served at your work which you describe, are indeed reasonable and not too high in energy. However, the fact that you are getting hungry within a short space of time after eating them, indicates that you may have problems with insulin resistance, this despite the fact that the meat and broccoli for example, are also low-GI. Your present BMI = 27,7 which is above the upper normal level. To get back into the normal range with a BMI of 25 you would need to weigh 70 kg, thus a loss of 8 kg. It is good that you are getting back to being active again with the walking and pilates because your weight gain may well be due to your previous lack of exercise. I would recommend that you give yourself a month on your present diet plus the walking and Pilates to see if you can start losing again. If you don't then it may be a good idea to have a medical checkup and to ask the dr to test you for insulin imbalances. If you should suffer from insulin resistance (IR) it is essential to consult a clinical dietitian, because the correct diet is one of the most important factors in treatment. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. The dietitian will take your IR, and other conditions such as overweight, into account when working out a diet for you, which will be based on low-fat foods with a low glycaemic index (GI). Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI. Also click on ‘Food as Medicine' on the Diet Site and then on ‘Type 2 diabetes’.
Best regards
DietDoc

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