Is there a dietary program with exercise that will help me lose weight and tone my body?

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I am aware that you have no idea who I am, but this morning I was on the Women’s Sport & Fitness page and I got your link. I have many questions that hopefully you can give me some answers.

I completed the Healthy Body Calculator® and it provided me with information regarding what my nutritional daily intake should be. What I wanted to know was, is there a way for me to set up an exercise program that will help me lose weight and tone my body?

I am already a moderately active person. I eat healthy, meaning that there is hardly any grease, salt, or fat in my diet. I eat a lot of vegetables, rarely do I eat red meat and try to encompass my 4 basic food groups in my 3 a day meals. I understand that you might not be able to help me out or give me any information but if you could, I would appreciate it.

I work out about 6 days a week running 3 and biking 3 with weight training all 6 but different muscle groups every other day. My main concern is that I am not losing any weight and not toning like I want to. I am not sure if this is the result of an exercise program or my eating habits, which I feel are rather good. I just have those target areas (hips, abs, inner thigh, and butt) that I would like to see in better condition.

Once again I thank you for your time. Any help that you could provide me with would be appreciated. If you have a website that you feel could help answer my questions, please feel free to suggest it. If you need any further information about me, ask. Thank you.

Using the calories, fat grams, vitamins and minerals determined by your physical data in the Healthy Body Calculator® as a guide, select foods that you like. The nutrient values reported in Your Nutrition Facts depend on whether you included a 1 to 2-pound weight loss or weight maintenance in your personal data.

Then use the My Plate to meet your body’s need for a variety of foods. My Plate is ver 3.0 of the Basic Four ver 1.0 from the USDA with the Food Guide Pyramid as ver 2.0. But since My Plate eating plan has 2000 to 2500 calories, you may have to reduce the number of servings. If your calorie intake is below 1200, you will probably not meet your RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for vitamins and minerals and should take a multivitamin while losing weight especially for women who need extra iron monthly.

Another choice would be to use the exchange list, which is easy to follow whether you want to lose, gain, or maintain your weight. The foods in each exchange i.e. milk, meat, starch/bread, fruit, vegetable, and fat are similar to the My Plate but exchanges can be planned for different calorie levels. You see each exchange contains foods with similar calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrate. For instance, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, potatoes, corn, and winter squash belong to the Starch/Bread exchange because they have equivalent amounts of calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrate.

Maybe you should talk to a dietitian. Most college campuses have one in the student health center. Ask if they have a dietitian with whom you can make an appointment.

As to an exercise program, go to your campus Physical Education department and ask to talk to an exercise physiologist or certified trainer. Go over your exercise program, ask for recommendations and a demonstration of how to do recommended exercises in particular weight training so that you do not injure yourself yet achieve your physical goals.

As to spot reducing, I’m afraid that is not possible. You can exercise to strengthen underlying muscles in all areas of your body with weight lifting and reduce body fat with aerobic exercise so that these stronger muscles are better defined. However, I would caution that since you are a woman, not to lower your body fat below 18% as you may quit menstruating. You need body fat to make female hormones.

Do you realize that with weight training, you are increasing your muscle mass and may be the reason for not losing weight?  Do you notice your clothes are loose?

Since you have tried myHealthy Body Calculator®, click on the button “do you need a healthy eating plan” on your results page. Your data will be transferred to HELP Healthy Eating For Life Plan® which will create a healthy eating plan with your preference for the type of milk, meat, beans, and snacks.