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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.

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I have been on medication for high blood pressure for the last five years and have gained at 50 pounds, mostly around my abdomen and upper arms. I tried to watch what I eat and exercise at least 4 days a week for about 30-45mins each day, using a stationary bike, treadmill and upper arm machines (lat press, rowing, chest press). Anything else you can suggest?

The bottom line of weight gain/loss is calories in vs. calories out. There’s some influence in the past five years that has caused you to either 1) eat more than you used to, 2) move less than you previously did or 3) some combination of both. The location in which you gain stores of fat is typical in regards to abdomen and upper arms.

In order to start losing fat, you must be in a negative caloric balance. You can start by decreasing the amount of calories you are taking in by 20 percent and see if it produces weight loss.

In regards to your exercise program, if you’ve been doing the same 4x/week, 30-45 minutes per day at the same intensity and the same machines for some time now, then you’re simply due for something new.

Exercise must be progressive in nature in order to produce results. You can choose to increase the total amount of time spent exercising, the intensity at which you exercise, the frequency of exercise, or the amount of weight lifted while strength training.

Those are all ways to make progress and push through a plateau, which is where you are now.

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