I'm 20, 240 pounds, and struggling with gallstones

All Woman

DEAR DONOVAN,
I haven't started working out yet. I'm 20 and I'm currently weighing 240 pounds. I was diagnosed with gallstones. I want to lose weight. But for me to do so I know dieting is really important. But how do I get a meal plan? How do I safely lose weight with gallstones? I was told losing weight too fast can cause complications. Sticking with a diet can be hard, but I will be dedicated. My main problem is knowing what to eat and what not to eat seeing that I also have that medical condition. I would really appreciate your help.

I am very happy that you have reached out for help with your weight loss programme. However, at that weight, things are definitely not good. Being overweight is associated with several lifestyle disorders, for example, diabetes and hypertension.

You have been diagnosed with gallstones. Again, this is not good. I suspect that you are a lover of food, but I wish you had given me an idea of your current food consumption. However, what is obvious is that you will have to make some changes in your diet. This is not going to be easy, but food will have to come second to your health. In some cases you might even have to prepare your own food and even take it with you when you are away from home.

I must tell you, your mental determination will be the main factor that will determine if you are able to sustain your weight loss programme long term. In general, for you to lose weight you will have to reduce your calorie/ food intake. It is also helpful for you to increase your activity level. This you are already doing by exercising. As far as your diet goes, you should eat healthy and at the same time also lose weight. I would suggest that in general you reduce your intake of sugary and oily foods. In addition, reducing your intake of starchy carbohydrates such as white rice, flour and bread will also be helpful. Also, reducing or eliminating sugary drinks and soda from your diet is also important.

At this point it is better to be consuming more fruits, vegetables, vegetable juices as well as whole grains. Including more salads and soups in your diet is also important. These diet suggestions are the ideal situation and will take some time for you to fully achieve. What you can do in the meantime is to make small changes in your diet and continue to make changes over time.

At first, what you can do is to cut your meal portions to half of what you were eating before. In some cases you can even split lunch into two portions and eat one portion for dinner. Doing portion control will allow you to reduce your calories and create weight loss. Also, since you're suffering from gallstones, it would also be good to reduce your meat intake.

In addition, you should start an exercise programme and made the necessary adjustments over time. Doing cardio type exercises is more important for your weight loss programme at this time. Give it your best shot. Good luck

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com

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