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Answers from the BJC Experts

Ask the BJC Expert allows you to get the answers you need about a variety of health, medicine and exercise issues to help you live a more healthy life.

Please browse the most recent questions below or use the search the questions feature to see if the answer to your question is already given. If not, please submit a new question for our experts.

How can a person find out the right amount of calories to eat? I’m trying to eat healthy, but I’m not losing any weight. If anything, I’ve gained!

There are many websites you can use to determine your caloric needs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Choose My Plate website will help you to figure your recommended caloric needs. To lose weight, you have to either decrease your intake by 500 calories a day, or expend 500 additional calories in energy. A healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds each week.

Making lifestyle changes is key. I tell my clients to think about eating and exercising for health. Don't focus so much on weight.

Be sure you are eating enough calories. It may sound like a contradiction, but your metabolism can be slowed if you aren't eating enough. Be sure you are consuming at least 1,200 calories a day. Eat three meals a day, with snacks in between. Some recommendations suggest not going any longer than four to five hours without eating. Exercise is another important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Keep a food diary to help you track your intake and calories. Consider visiting a registered dietitian, though keep in mind there may be some expenses involved.

Nutrition counseling services are available at several BJC facilities including:

BJC dietitians also can be located by calling Help For Your Health at 314.747.7234.

If you live outside the BJC HealthCare service area, you can find a nearby registered dietitian at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

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