Tuesdays with Martha: Fit is Fit

Dear Martha,

Hello. I have a question concerning weight loss. I do not understand why I am unable to shed pounds. I’ve been trying for sometime to cut calories and my current daily intake is about 1,500. I am a 5’2″ 18 year old who weighs approximately 140 lbs. For the past 4 years, I have worked out on a daily basis. Everyday (besides Saturday) I run anywhere from 3-10 miles. I do an ab workout consisting of about 1,000 crunches, and sometimes do various arm exercises with 5-10 lb. weights. I generally eat a healthy diet. I do not drink pop, I do not eat fast food, I rarely eat dessert, and I have recently begun to watch my portion sizes. What else is there to do?


Fit, but…

Dear Fabulously Fit,

With a routine like yours, you must be in fabulous shape. This time of year, with so many of us making New Year’s resolutions after the season of indulgence, you have a head start. My first answer is a question, are you paying too much attention to the scales? In athletes, weights often don’t match the size of the individual.

If the answer to this is that you are still unhappy with your size, then you want to monitor whether the weight is coming off, but very slowly. This is the best kind of weight loss because it tends to stay off. If after a few weeks you don’t see any change, review what you are eating. It sounds like you are making great food choices, but you didn’t mention how many of your calories were coming from fat. There is some evidence that a diet with more food, but less fat will result in more weight loss. Also be alert to hidden calories, particularly drinks such as juice and alcohol.

If you try everything and are still frustrated, it is worth a visit to a medical professional to be sure that there is not a medical cause. Finally, I recommend a visit with a dietician. They do a wonderful job of reviewing eating habits and suggesting practical and healthy changes. You can see one at the Center for Health and Wellbeing.

Be proud of yourself!