Since Christmas LighterLife have continued to run monthly live Twitter chats with the fabulous Dr Hilary Jones.
During the chat, our LighterLife Twitter followers tweets us their questions about health and nutrition and leading a lighter life using the #AskDrHilary hashtag. Their questions are answered immediately by Dr Hilary Jones himself.
We are of course aware that not everyone uses Twitter or is available to tweet in their questions, therefore we ask our Facebook community to send in their questions beforehand.
This is what Dr Hilary had to say…
Can you explain how very low calorie diets do not affect metabolic rate? #AskDrHilary
Metabolic rate is much more determined by exercise levels than dietary intake. When you eat, the process of digestion burns calories but exercising burns far more! Keep exercising and you won’t need to worry about metabolic rate. when you restrict calories, your metabolism tends to slow down, but not if you exercise. By cutting calories and continuing to exercise you maintain your metabolic rate and burn calories at the same time.
Doesn’t protein level have a major impact on metabolic rate and not just exercise?
No, protein is difficult for the body to convert into energy but does not raise metabolic rate significantly. Exercise on the other hand will stimulate metabolism immediately and have a lasting effect for many hours.
Doesn’t protein help build muscle mass which in turn is what helps to increase BMR scientific evidence shows this?
Yes that is true but building muscle happens really slowly, there will be no significant change to your metabolic rate until your lean body mass as increased significantly. After several months, more muscle will mean you burn more calories even in your sleep but you have to be like Jessica Ennis for this to be truly significant!
I’ve been on LighterLife Lite for a week now. Whenever I have the shake, I get a tingly feeling on the left hand side of my face. I can’t find anything in the ingredients though – do you have any ideas?
I can’t think of any logical explanation why the shakes would lead to abnormal sensation on one side of the face. It does not make any physiological sense. i would therefore advise you to contact your GP.
My hair is really falling out after being on a diet for 16 weeks – any ideas?
Hair loss is not uncommon nor is it surprising given that it occurs when the body is faced with any kind of change. This occurs in pregnancy, after viral infections or in weight loss. The good news is that it is temporary and because the LighterLife meal replacements are nutritionally complete your hair will grow back and be as good as new! Your hairdresser will know lots of tricks to make your hair appear thicker and you can disguise the hair loss with artificial fibers such as Nanogen.
I’m curious why after 7 months on LighterLife Total I need to wee more at night than ever?
There is no logical reason why the two things are connected. Frequency i.e needing to empty your bladder more could be caused by bladder infection, urethral irritation, or even diabetes – the LighterLife programme will not be the cause – it can only help bladder problems. I would go and see your GP.
What do you think of fasting for two days, then eating normally for the rest of the week?
That is really hard and is likely to be counterproductive, as you will be ravenous after fasting so drastically. Drastic diets don’t work – why put yourself through it?
I’m on medication for a chest infection, will this take me out of ketosis and am I still able to burn fat?
If you have a chest infection, this is no time to be restricting calories – your body needs energy to support it’s immune system after the antibiotic course and feeling better, you can go back on to your weight loss programme.
I always wake up with pains in my stomach and lower back pain – why could this be?
These symptoms could be the result of a number of disorders and may have nothing whatsoever to do with any weight loss programme or diet. I could ask 100 questions before being able to give you a reply. If it’s persistent then you should talk to your GP.
I have lost 4 stone since March and now have bingo wings. What can I do to get rid of these?
It’s difficult to eradicate loose skin but toning the triceps muscles with dipping exercise and saunas to stimulate the skin tone can both help.
Can I take anti-depressants and still diet?
A lot depends on your underlying state of help so you should consult your doctor prior to embarking on a weight loss programme. It might be the right time to lose weight if this is part of your depression or it might be the wrong time if it is not. Your Doctor can advise further.
When will I start to notice a change in my thighs? My major problem is this area!
You need to work those thigh muscles to burn off the overlying fatty tissue – jogging, swimming, skipping and other aerobic exercise is better than resistance work. Keep at it and the size will diminish.
I suffer from depression and I’m unsure if it’s depression related but I always feel the need to eat. I eat if I’m happy, sad, down, bored, tired you name it! How can I stop myself from running to food?
Many people eat for reasons other than hunger, like you. Talk to a LighterLife counsellor who will give you the tools you need to address the issues other than through food.
My Mum has lost 3 stone in 3 months, but is so bored of the meal choice that it’s made her want to come off the diet. How can I keep her positive?
Remind her of all the benefits she will reap when she achieves her target weight. She’s done so well that it would be a shame to let it slide now. Big weight loss is never easy but redoubling her efforts now will pay huge dividends. Think about increased energy levels, reduced dress sizes and all those compliments!
I’ve had hypothyroidism since I was 26, I’m now 39. I’ve tried everything to lose weight but a lot of slimming clubs wont let me join because of my health. What can I do?
If your under active thyroid is being treated with Thyroxine there is no reason why you cannot lose weight like everyone else. It may be a little harder but with will power, and with the right weight loss programme you can achieve it!
I have a real sweet tooth; can you recommend an alternative to chocolate that I can try?
Anything with a strong taste such as mint or ginger or pepper might take away your craving for chocolate and sweet things. After 4 weeks your cravings for sweet things will diminish but these alternatives may certainly help.
I have heartburn, is this diet related?
When on a VLCD anti-acids can be taken but please see your doctor if there is no improvements within a few days.
I’m going on holiday soon and I’m worried that I’ll overindulge!
There will always be temptations such as holiday’s, parties, weddings, birthdays, celebrations but a healthy diet is a diet for life. There cannot be exceptions enabling you to overindulge too often, enjoy your holiday but stick to what you know is a sensible and healthy nutritionally intake.
I find it very hard to control my cravings, once I’ve slipped it’s hard to get back into diet mode. Any tips or motivation?
Everybody has cravings, it’s a question of surprising them. They only last a few minutes so distract yourself. Keep busy, exercise is good, phoning a friend and asking for help at work! Beating your cravings is the key to success.
Dr Hilary ended the chat with these final words of encouragement:
Thanks for your questions. It seems that all of you have similar concerns and I think that means we share the same challenges. Maintaining will power and accepting help from our counsellors is the key to continued success.
Dr Hilary Jones is back next month for another live Twitter chat. If you have any questions about how to achieve healthy weight loss then get them ready! If this has convinced you to try LighterLife please visit the LighterLife website to find out more…