Text Questions Answered Here!

Before and after running/exercising, what should u eat?

I am not an exercise physiologist, but personally I like to consume protein before and/or after I run depending on how long my run is, to help my muscles repair themselves. I personally use the EAS CarbAdvantage shakes at Walmart, which have 17g of protein and 110 calories. I use them before I run and they don’t make me cramp. I am not a competitive runner, so you may want to consult one of the guys at Rush Running or someone else that runs competitively on their recommendations if you are planning to run in a marathon. If you struggle with your weight and just jog a few miles every day, I would avoid carb loading because you may gain weight doing this.

How much lean protein and health fats should you eat daily? Could you provide some examples of how to add more of these to your diet? For “health fats” either use a fish oil supplement daily or eat fish 2-3 times per week.

Protein is a wonderful macronutrient and does so many great things in our body. I recommend eating about 4oz. of lean meat three times per day. This is about the size of a deck of cards or your fist if you have small hands. Some good choices are as follows:

  • Grilled/broiled/baked chicken breast w/out the skin
  • Sirloin Steak
  • Pork Loin
  • 93/7 or better ground beef or turkey either grilled or skillet cooked (brown the meat, put it in a strainer to drain off the fat, rinse it with hot water)
  • Eggs (the egg white has the protein and it is a good quality protein)
  • Shrimp, Scallops, Lobster, Crab, Clams, Mussel
  • Salmon, Mahi-Mahi, Tilapia, Halibut, Trout, Grouper, etc.

If you are a vegetarian you will need to combine foods to get the proteins that you need. A good example is beans and rice, and no, I don’t mean refried beans and fried rice. 🙂

You can also use whey protein supplements to get protein for breakfast if you are on the run or if you just don’t eat much meat- most women don’t like meat as much as men.

I like the EAS products myself- you can get it at Walmart or Sams. You can also use some of the Atkins products at Walmart.

Is there any weight loss program that you particularly endorse (e.g., Weight Watchers, JennyCraig, etc)?

These programs you’ve mentioned do work for some people, but I have found that for people that seriously need to get weight off (>20 pounds), they need to be involved in a program that will give them tools to get the weight off quickly and teach them how to live life after weight loss.

At Mercy we have New Directions Physician Monitored Weight Loss, which I endorse. The patient has physician supervision, quick weight loss, a registered dietitian on staff full time, access to a behavior therapist and group therapy, weekly classes taught by professionals in the field to educate the patient on how to maintain the weight they lose, accountability with weekly weigh-in’s, and the option of using medication to help control appetite is available for some patients. If the patient does not learn how to change her lifestyle, then keeping the weight off can be a losing battle. Our focus on maintenance is one of the characteristics of New Directions that makes it so different from other mainstream and commercialized programs.

If someone is trying to lower their weight by 30 lbs from 160lbs. What is the recommended sugar daily allowance? I work out 5 times a week moderately.

Well, it depends on how sensitive you are to carbohydrates. Some ethnic groups are more sensitive than others and some people’s genes just are coded for carbohydrate metabolism. For the average woman though, I would start at getting no more than about 50 grams of carbs per meal. If you are unable to lose weight on this amount (which is a large amount of carbs for some people), you will need to cut back until you stop gaining or start losing.

Is it ok to have a heart rate that stays at around 100, if you exercise regularly and are in decent shape?

The more you exercise and the better your physical condition, the slower your heart usually beats. Most college athletes will have a heart rate between 40 and 60. The heart rate of a normal adult should be around 60-100. A heart rate of 100 is upper limits of normal, so should discuss this with your primary care provider.

Is a healthy liver associated with weight control? What can I do to keep my liver healthy?

Weight control pretty much begins at the mouth, with the exception of some disorders that are very uncommon. Stop eating out, don’t eat boxed or bagged food unless it is frozen veggies or a food supplement your doctor has recommended, cook fresh foods at home so you know what is going into your body (fat, salt, and sugar), put up all of the food that is on your counter so you won’t walk by and eat it, put the kids’ sacks in containers that you can’t see through and put them out of reach or get rid of them- if we don’t need to eat it as adults, they sure don’t need to eat it as children, stop drinking any and all sugared beverages- especially the kiddos, stop drinking alcohol- it is almost equivalent in calories to liquid fat, don’t munch on “a handful” of nuts- if you must just eat 6 almonds and you’re done, put all of the healthy food at eye level in the fridge and hide the rest of it, and start an exercise routine to help your heart and cholesterol.

The best thing you can do for your liver if you are overweight is to lose weight and not drink alcohol. Fatty liver disease is on the rise and people get it because they have too much fat on their bodies. This is becoming a huge problem in the United States, and weight loss is the key to keeping it under wraps.

The answers above were provided by Elizabeth Thompson, a physician’s assistant with Mercy Health of Northwest Arkansas. Elizabeth works closely with Dr. Randall Feezell, a weight loss physician and gynecologist with Northwest Arkansas Gynecology.