Five days ago I started on Slim Fast as a substitute for just one meal a day.

Five days ago I started on Slim Fast as a substitute for just 1 meal a day. I drink it in place of lunch and eat a light breakfast, a sensible dinner, with no desserts and low-fat cooking. I’ve already lost 5 pounds.

I’ve started “lap-walking” at our local mall, too. Yesterday I noticed a lot of deep tingling in my hands while starting my 6th lap. So I sat and rested until that symptom disappeared. Do I need to be concerned?

I’m a 58-year-old woman and in good health. Thank you!

First, talk to your doctor about your tingling hands. It may not be anything major, but your doctor should be aware of any change in your health and it would give you the opportunity to discuss your new exercise program. He/she will probably be pleased.

Try this. While standing still, swing your arm around in a big circle parallel to your body for about one minute. Do you feel the same tingling sensation in your fingers?

When you walk around the shopping mall, are you swinging your hands? If so, you are pushing blood into your fingers which may cause the tingling. Was this in both your hands or just on the left side? If you experience a tingling or numbness on your left side, sit down and ask for help if you don’t feel well or the tingling increases to a level of pain. Did you notice your fingers or hands swell after you completed your walk? This can happen because your hands are hanging down while your heart has to pump the blood uphill from your fingers as well as provide extra oxygen to your legs during exercise.

You may want to elevate your hands for a period above the level of your heart to reduce any tingling or swelling while walking. Try to lift small weights (1 or 2 pounds) to shoulder level while you are walking. You could alternate arms, bending your elbow while lifting the weights to shoulder level. Remember to do this exercise while maintaining a slight bend in your elbow. Don’t lock your elbow in a straight extended position while lifting the hand weights. To exercise other muscles in your arms, lift the weights out to the sides also. You can do the side lifts with a slightly bent elbow to exercise some different muscles. May should reduce tingling, possible swelling, and increase muscle strength in your arms.

Slim Fast is Instant Breakfast with added fiber and contains only about 200 calories. This may not keep you satisfied for 4+ hours till the next meal.

The main problem with meal replacers is what are you going to eat for lunch when you have reached your goal weight? You certainly can’t go back to what you were eating for lunch before your weight loss because that may cause you to gain weight back. Think about that even though you didn’t ask. Try my HELP Healthy Eating for Life Plan® where you can choose the type of milk, meat or not, beans or not, snacks or not. If you are unsure how many calories for HELP to plan, try my Healthy Body Calculator®.