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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.

What can a person do if they do not eat a lot, but still continue to gain weight — not to mention never sitting down at work all the time.

Be sure you're consuming enough calories. There is a misconception that if you eat just one meal a day, that you can lose weight. But you may be slowing your metabolism down by not eating enough. Your body goes into a "starvation" mode, where it will hang on to the calories you do consume, thinking it won't be getting enough to sustain itself.

Also, your body adjusts to your activity level, so you need to do something in addition to your normal, everyday routine, even if that routine is nonstop. A 10-20-minute walk three to five times a week can get you started on increasing your activity. Be sure to check with a doctor before starting an exercise program.

You should consume at least 1,200 calories a day. Small, frequent meals are often best. Some suggest you shouldn't go more than 4-5 hours without eating a meal or snack. Keep a food diary to see just where your calories come from, and work on increasing your physical activity. Be sure to include foods from all the food groups, and focus on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Making small changes is the best way, so you can try to incorporate some of these ideas into a lifestyle change.

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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