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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’m 38-year-old, 5-foot-tall female. Have been trying to lose weight for the last three months. Every day I’m on the treadmill for 60 minutes and I’m on 1200 calorie-a-day diet. What am I doing wrong?

Weight loss, and perhaps more importantly, fat loss is not always as simple as calories in vs calories out. You may be one of those cases in which your metabolism has slowed and fat metabolism isn’t what it should be.

I encourage you first to visit a registered dietitian and examine your diet further. 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.

If all you are doing is cardiovascular activity at the same relative speed/intensity each day, with little attention to improving your efficiency, than you’re not going to make progress.

It’s important that you track some type of data and make modest gains over time. Write down how many calories you burn during an exercise session (according the treadmill) and aim to increase that total by 5, 10, or 20 calories each day thereafter. You’ll find yourself being challenged each and every day, and then you will start to see some changes.

Aside from making progress on the treadmill, start incorporating other forms of exercise to support your metabolism. Strength training will increase your lean muscle, causing you to burn more calories at rest. Cut your time on the treadmill in half and do Sprint Training or HIIT training (Google HIIT) and spend time strength training instead. Buying an elliptical trainer will not help.

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