Healthy Mama: More health text questions answered!

Last Monday we published the first installment of a list of text questions which where sent in by audience members who attended the Northwest Arkansas Business Women’s Conference last month. Women texted questions to the panel of Mercy Health doctors and nurses, and the experts answered as many as they could in the hour. The additional questions that didn’t get answered at the conference have been answered by the doctors and sent here for publication.

We’ll continue to publish the answers until we work through the list because these are the health topics local women are asking about. One of the questions below may well be an issue that you need answers about, too. The following answers were written by Elizabeth Thompson, a physician’s assistant at Mercy Health of Northwest Arkansas.

How often does an improper functioning thyroid correlate to being overweight?

If you have an improperly functioning thyroid, you need to have your health care provider work with you compressedelizabeth-thompson-pa.jpgon getting if functioning properly. Having too much or too little thyroid hormone can cause weight gain; however, it can also cause a myriad of other major health problems for you, especially having too much thyroid hormone. If your primary care provider (PCP) put you on thyroid medication, please take it as it was prescribed to you. If you suspect you may have thyroid problems, please make an appointment to speak with your PCP.

How healthy are the lean cuisine and Smart One TV dinners?

They work well to teach you portion control; however, they have a lot of salt in them as well as carbohydrates. They beat fast food and dining out for sure, but I would much rather you prepare your own foods. You can save the plate these dinners come in and use them as a guide for portion control.

What’s more important to pay attention to — calorie intake or fat intake? There’s a lot of debate in the medical community right now on what is more important in weight loss: is it fat restriction or carb restriction? However, one thing that is almost universally agreed upon is that calories do add up and the more of them you eat over your daily bodily needs, the more you weigh. High fat foods are high calorie foods typically, so by avoiding high fat foods you will probably be cutting your calories (unless you increase your sugar/carb intake in place of fat intake). Each macronutrient has the following calorie (kcal) count per gram:  carbs=4 kcal/gram; protein=4 kcals/gram; alcohol=7 kcal/gram; fat=9 kcal/gram

How do you find the best weight loss for you? I have tried many, with easy lost of interest. How do I find the right one?

Fad diets don’t work, that’s all there is to it. If you don’t commit to a lifestyle change, then you are going to put the weight back on. I gave an answer to a question last Monday that has exactly what I think you are looking for. Click here to see that question and answer.

If you’re used to eating fast food, restaurant food, and rich foods, then you are probably not going to find healthy food as palatable as the junk you have been eating and may loose interest, but don’t worry, stick with it, with time you will become used to healthy foods and you will feel so much better.

How can you find out what your ideal weight? Try this website and follow the instructions to find your ideal weight: