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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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I know some doctors have gone over this with me, but maybe

Resolved Question:

I know some doctors have gone over this with me, but maybe a new doctor could give their opinion. When i plug in my height and weight into online bmi calculators i get obese-which is really harsh :( I am 5'3" and 168 pounds at 21 years i really obese?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Valarie replied 4 years ago.

Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome.


A BMI calculator I used (and keep in mind this only works for the average person, not people who are very muscular from athletics or working out), put you at 29.8, which is the high side of "overweight". Another 1.5 lbs would put you at 30.0, which is "obese".


You don't need to feel this is harsh, or feel bad about it. Many Americans (and other affluent countries around the world are beginning to have the same problems) are in your position. This information, especially at your age, can help you get motivated to do something about it, and dramatically improve your health, well-being, longevity, and quality of life.


Your body needs care and attention if you want it to work properly, stay healthy through the years and look good. Which ultimately causes you to feel good.


So, learn what you can do now to improve. Learn about nutrition, and about exercise and start putting some of these things into practice.


If you need some information to get started, just let me know.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i need some direction then with nutrition and exercise...
Expert:  Valarie replied 4 years ago.
To get started, have you had a thorough physical exam by a doctor?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
within the last year, yes. Last year in July i did...did not address weight though
Expert:  Valarie replied 4 years ago.

OK. Next time you see your physician for a general health check-up, you might want to discuss weight management.


In the meantime, you need to become knowledgeable about nutrition and exercise.


I do not know what you do or do not know about the subject. So bear with me.


Your body will want to gain weight naturally. This is a survival function and occurs without you even thinking about it. So, to lose weight (and then, ultimately maintain a good weight) you need to think about it and stay on track with diet and exercise. It sounds like a lot to do and think about, let alone the difficulty staying on a good nutritional diet. But with time and practice it will become second nature to you. And you will be grateful for it all of your life.


Basically, your body will store any calories you eat that are more than what you use in a day (or even a few hours). It doesn't matter what the calories are composed of (protein, carbohydrate, fat.....), they are calories and need to be used, or they will be quickly stored.


You will want to determine a good "diet" for yourself. Food is to be enjoyed, but most of us "enjoy" way to much of it. Practice enjoying small portion sizes instead. Portion size is the number one cause of obesity in America. Many foods, even sweets, are OK for you to eat in the correct portions.


For a guideline about what you need to eat every day, here is a link:

Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid tool

Just fill in the information about yourself, and it will give you a food pyramid that will help you accomplish your goals. You need to eat everything listed in the pyramid to make sure you are getting the correct balance of nutrients. Otherwise you will not be able to lose weight as the diet intends. Note that you can have some sweets; and you can have extra servings of non starchy vegetables and fruits. You can print out a 4 page document that lists foods and serving sizes in each group.


Here is another link:

This if free to use, and will give you calories, proteins, fats (and type of fat), carbs, sugars, fiber and other nutritional information about just about anything, even some restaurant foods.


The key to a successful diet is not to think of it as a diet, but as a lifestyle. You want a healthy lifestyle because it will make you feel physically and emotionally well. We all want that.


Before you eat anything, know what it contains nutritionally. This is hard at first, but with practice becomes easier. Read labels. Choose your foods carefully. And most important---track you intake and progress. Use whatever means suits you (notebook, scrap of paper, computer, IPhone...whatever) to list the foods groups you will eat daily, then tick them off as you eat them. When everything is ticked are done for the day. But with the Mayo diet, if you get hungry just eat more non starchy vegetables and fruits.


Drink plenty of water. About 8 cups of water a day, or more. Evaluate your beverages of choice. If they have extra calories you don't need, change to something that does not (or drink water instead).


Watch sodium as well. Too much salt can make you retain fluids, or will keep you from losing the weight you want to lose. You should stay at about 2300mg per day or less. Write down how much sodium you eat with each meal so you stay on track.


For exercise, start by simply getting physical whatever that means to you. Start walking...30 minutes minimum a day to start and work up. Get a bicycle. Walk to the corner store instead of driving. Join a gym. Many have programs where you can start free for the first month. Whatever it is you it every day.


Track your progress. Along with writing down everything you eat, note your weight daily. Women can go up and down a little from fluid shifts caused by hormones, but generally if you stick to your plan you will see a gradual reduction in weight.


Here is another link with some beginning, general information:

Aim for a Healthy Weight

There is a BMI calculator at this site as well.


Pretend that you are going to school to earn a degree in nutrition and weight and health maintenance. Look up things you have questions about. Sign up for sites that send you daily emails with nutritional information. Go to the library. Whatever you like, but read and take notes. Perhaps local health facilities will have talks about weight control. Maybe you would like to join an organized weight management group such as Weight Watchers. But make this your mission in life for now.


One day, you will know everything you need to know to keep yourself trim, happy, beautiful (on the outside as well as the inside), and healthy for many years to come. This is quality of life. It is well worth the effort.

Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience: 36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
Valarie and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So i am watching what i am true current body weight is at 166 pounds...still 5'3" but watching what i eat is helping...i am getting headaches while i exercise though :(
Expert:  Valarie replied 4 years ago.

The most common cause of headache, especially during exercise, is not drinking enough water. Be sure to drink plenty of water before exercise, during exercise, and after. This should take care of the headaches.


If not, you may need to tone down your exercise to a more tolerable level until you get more conditioned. (start slower and progress gradually). Be sure to do warm up types of exercise and stretching to prevent excess tension. Tension, especially in shoulders, neck and upper back is another very common cause of headaches.


If you still continue to have headaches after these remedies, you should speak to your doctor about it.

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