LighterLife: Twitter Q&A with Dr Hilary

June 22, 2012 - Dr Hilary Jones, Health & Nutrition

How do you live a lighter life? This is a question often addressed by us at LighterLife and in the newspapers. Our good friend and health expert Dr Hilary Jones is on hand once a month to offer his expertise on Twitter. Our fabulous Twitter followers came together last week for another live Q&A session.

We were inundated with questions from not only our Twitter followers but also our Facebook community – thank you to everyone who took the time to tweet. This month, we reached a record number of questions! Check them out…

Is it normal for your joints to ache when you have lost a lot of weight?

Not generally, usually quite the opposite. Weight loss assists with joint discomfort. If you’ve lost any muscle strength however, there could be more more strain on your joints. Keep exercising but see your Doctor for a check over.

I’m scared that when I lose weight my skin will be noticeably saggy. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

Usually, visible sagging skin is a problem in people who are very overweight or morbidly obese. Also the younger you are the less likely it is to happen. The first priority is the weight loss, you can worry about your skin later.

I am trying to exercise but I have no energy to do so. What can I do?

It can feel like that to start with but once you begin you will discover that you do have the energy. The more regularly that you exercise the better. Push yourself for the first 5 minutes and you will get through it.

After two years of trying for a baby with no luck apart from one miscarriage last year – what are your tips?

Weight loss will help. Get your GP to start some basic tests such as ovulation tests, sperm count etc. If needed, referral to a specialist can be done.

Since dieting, my skin has become really dry and spotty, are the two related?

Your body may need to adapt but this isn’t usual and dry skin usually means less oil & spots. Exfoliate & use a hypoallergenic moisturiser.

I’m thinking of cycling to work but I’m dieting – I’m worried that I won’t have enough energy?

Provided you cycle slowly, and you don’t have any marathon hills you should be able to tackle this. It will help with your weight loss and get you fitter. Drink extra water to remain hydrated.

Why do I have a white coating on my tongue and it sometimes feels swollen?

You need to make sure you are not dehydrated by drinking more. Also, brush your tongue as well as your teeth to remove any furring. Use a gentle mouthwash and it should soon improve.

Can I complete the LighterLife programme after having my gall bladder removed?

Yes absolutely, Gall stones take years to develop and they would’ve started to form long before you ever started the LighterLife programme. Your gall bladder has gone so you won’t have problems by rejoining the programme.

My blood pressure has dropped since being on the LighterLife programme. Is this normal?

There is no documented blood pressure effect of a very low-calorie programme and usually weight loss will reduce blood-pressure. You must not rely on one reading on it’s own as so many things can affect it such as stress, exercise and time of day. Have it measured several times before making an appointment with your Doctor.

I’ve been trying diets all my life, why will a VLCD work for me?

Because its formulation is nutritionally complete, it keeps you feeling satisfied and is combined with CBT which will alter your mind set about the way you relate to food. The combination of the low-calorie programme and the counselling is unique to LighterLife.

What are the health risks of a VLCD?

There are no documented health risks provided you adhere to the instructions. There is however a health risk in being overweight. The LighterLife programme is formulated to give you all the essential nutrition that you need, so do not worry – the effects are all good :)

I’ve recently moved in with my partner and we now cook meals together. I’ve been eating larger portions and have gained weight.

Use a smaller plate than your partner, after all your normal size should be smaller than his. Chew your food for longer & make it last and drink a glass of water before the meal, which on average reduces the calories you consume quite significantly.

I have been exercising regularly but haven’t seen any weight loss – am I doing something wrong?

Exercise needs to be moderate to high intensity to burn calories, simply walking is too economical with energy. Raise your pulse rate to over 100+ and ensure that your breathing increases to about 40 breaths per minute. You will sweat and know you are burning calories. Do this for 40 minutes minimum because until then you’re only burning stored sugar not fat.

I have one more stone to lose and am losing focus. What can I do?

Remember your original target weight and how you wanted to feel in yourself at the outset. Weight loss always slows at the end of the programme. But this is precisely why you need to refocus now. Get this last stone off and your life can change. Throw yourself into any activity that sabotages your motivation, take up a new hobby, exercise with friends, be disciplined. You can do this and I want you to let me know in 3 months from now that you have achieved it!

Is it better to exercise before or after breakfast? Does it increase cortisol levels if done before?

Cortisol levels are highest in the morning when you wake up. The word breakfast literally means to break the fast, which occurs during the night. Exercising before breakfast will certainly burn more stored fat but be harder. I suggest enjoying a light breakfast and exercising 2-3 hours later which is more natural.

Dr Hilary Jones concluded the live Twitter Q&A with a closing statement:

Summer is coming, my Daybreak weather presenter tells me. Remember how you want to look in your swimming costume when the sun comes out. Keeping your discipline now will pay dividends. Thank you for all your questions. Tweet us again soon!

So if you have any questions about how to achieve healthy weight loss then get them ready!

If you are interested living a lighter life please visit the our website to find out more or visit our Facebook page to see how others are getting on!