10-pound problem


By Donovan Grant

Sunday, June 01, 2014

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Dear Donovan,
I am 20 years old. I am currently in my final year of university which I attend part-time and I work a tedious nine-to-five in accounting. The field overall is perceived to be stressful and my day-to-day job supports that perception.
People look at me and say I’m slim. I currently weigh 130 pounds and I am gaining weight. I was weighing 120 pounds from 2010 up until summer of 2013.
Now since this job, I have gained 10 pounds and I fear it will get worse. I want to keep at a maximum weight of 125 pounds. Even though I am a student accountant I have a passion for modelling and occasionally do pageants and photo shoots. I strive to keep slim.
I do not suspect this 10-pound weight gain is due to overeating because I eat only once per day (a full meal of rice and peas and chicken). I was a vegetarian and now I only eat chicken.
I do get sick often and have muscle aches, but I cannot afford to eat more and gain more weight. So I am confused as to how I have gained 10 pounds despite eating one meal per day. I do not drink soft drinks. If I need a snack I eat raw peanuts or fruits, especially bananas.
I sit at a desk most of the day, even when I go home I am at my study desk. I do not have the time to exercise just now, but in the summer I should be able to spare up to two hours for workouts. I would like to join a gym.
I know you will probably bash my practice of eating once per day but aside from working all day and studying all night I do not have the time to cook. I would appreciate a meal plan for a busy lifestyle person like myself or a shake you may recommend to drink throughout the day.
Please understand this extra 10 pounds has been bothering me and I fear it will get worse If I do not find the cause and a solution.

Often when one’s situation changes in life, other things may also change as well. For example, you got a job and you also gained 10 pounds. This new job could have caused changes in your lifestyle, leading to a change in your weight.
Let us  look at what is happening with you now. You now have a steady job doing accounting and this has caused a reduction in your activity level, thus causing an increase in your weight. You also have to study at night, so there might be very little time to do exercise and you are also only eating one meal per day consisting of rice and peas and chicken. I have never recommended that anyone eat only one meal per day; this can result in stomach problems such as ulcers. In addition, it is likely that you can become so hungry at mealtime that this results in you eating larger portions. If this one meal is eaten at night, this can further create a weight problem.
Your choice of food is not good. I see where you are having rice and peas and chicken, but where are your vegetables? This could probably explain why you are often sick and feeling aches and pains. I also noted that you are snacking on peanuts, but depending on how many peanuts you are eating, this could provide significant amounts of calories which can contribute to weight gain. Therefore I would suggest you stick to eating fruits as snacks.
Studies have shown that vegetarians tend to be leaner than meat eaters. You have now changed your diet from vegetarian to eating meat. How the chicken is prepared could also lead to an increase in calories. My suggestion to you at this point is to have three small meals per day, meaning breakfast, lunch and dinner, but at the same time, the amount of calories in those small meals must be fewer than the one large meal you are currently having. You could also incorporate more fruits, vegetables, vegetable juices, salads and small amounts of shakes in your diet.
Overall, you must reduce your calorie intake. So for example, instead of eating rice, having a vegetable salad with your chicken might result in weight loss. In addition, you will have to find a way to increase your activity/exercise levels. Maybe walking around the campus more and even doing a little more walking during your lunch time could be a little bit more beneficial.




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