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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.

I lost 20 pounds before my daughter was born last year. I have since maintained that weight loss, but would like to shed an extra 60 pounds. I am not fond of sweets or meat, but am finding it difficult to lose the extra weight. Please suggest a diet other than Atkin’s, because I can’t stand that much meat, and can’t live without whole wheat bagels and bread.

When people ask me for a diet, I suggest they focus on making lifestyle and behavior changes, rather than "being on a diet." For example, if you are a stress eater, but don't learn to deal with what makes you stress-eat or consider alternatives other than eating to deal with stress, then that may undermine any success you have with weight loss.

Of course, it's also important to focus on eating healthier — eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Portion size is important, as well. A serving of a bagel, for instance, is 1 ounce — 1/2 of a small, Lender's type bagel that you find in your grocery store freezer.

For a more structured plan, Weight Watchers offers group support, plus addresses the topics above. At the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Choose My Plate website, you can enter your personal information and track your progress.

You also can see a registered dietitian, who can set up a personalized meal plan. You may need a physician referral and not all insurances cover the visit, but you can usually pay out-of-pocket.

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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