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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26383
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Dr. Chip, I am trying to lose weight. I count calories and

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Dr. Chip, I am trying to lose weight. I count calories and eat only when I am hungry. However, other people say that I shouldn't only eat when I am hungry; they say that slows down my metabolism. What is your opinion? What should I really do? Thank you.
HI. First off--your height and weight and have you been able to lose any weight so far? Do you have an idea of your total daily calorie intake?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weigh 320 pounds. So far, I have lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks. I once heard that if a person weighs 320 pounds, that person can eat less than 3200 calories in a day and lose weight. However, I try to shoot for 1,600 to 2,600 calories per day. In the last 4 weeks, it is usually 2,200 to 2,400 calories that I eat in a day. However, I am trying to gradually go to trying to shoot for 1,600 to 2,000 calories per day. I think that's what brought this question up. Thank you.

OK--next, give me an idea of what exactly you eat and how often per day you eat
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I eat 2 or 3 meals per day. I eat either a Weight Watchers TV dinner with 3 slices of bread or a Bean and Black Bean Burrito from Taco Bell, (both are diet) or The Grilled Chicken Sandwich, small chili, and a small coke at Wendy's, (760 calories total) or a 6 inch or foot long sandwich from Subway. (either Roast Beef, Oven Roasted Chicken, Ham, Turkey Breast, or Ham and Turkey Breast) I indulge once a week at Luby's. I eat Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes with brown gravy, corn, a wheat roll, a dessert, and a coke. When I snack, I either eat a pear or a Slimful Bar (90 calories) with a glass of water. I drink aXXXXX Pepper only in the morning.

OK. So with that regimen, you somehow are hungry at times? And I know it sounds like a stupid question, but what do you define as feeling hungry?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not hungry by eating as I described above. I'm sorry. In my original question, I meant to say that I was going to try to change my diet by eating ONLY when I get hungry and that people tell me I shouldn't because it would slow down my metabolism. By feeling hungry, I mean not only wanting to eat or feeling the need to eat, but where you even feel your stomach and throat making gurgling sounds and you begin to feel kind of weak. Thank you.

OK. The reason I ask is because many people mistake true hunger for thinking they're hungry. In other words, they watch the clock and say, "Oh--it's time for lunch so it's time to eat." It's sometimes hard to separate the desire for food from the real hunger. As for your question, yes the metabolism is slowed a bit by say waiting until you feel hungry. Another example is people (like me, truth to tell) that only eat one meal a day (mine is dinner--I just don't feel "hungry" at all during the day). So "fueling the furnace" on a regular basis--three small meals a day with snacks--does keep the furnace burning all the time, but really that alone won't make much difference when it comes to losing weight. For the most part, so long as you burn more calories in 24 hours than you take in, you lose weight. For you, I'd suggest about a 1200-1500 daily calorie intake along with regular exercise, even if that's just a 15 minute brisk walk every day. I would also suggest you read Eat to Live by Joel Furhman MD--great treatise on a nutrient dense diet that will help with your weight loss goal.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Since I'm in my 40s and have problems with my thyroid gland, (I take 125 MCG of Synthroid daily) I don't want to risk exercising for nothing on account that my metabolism may not be working too good. That's why I am trying to see if I lose weight at a good pace first by dieting only. However, I am considering other incentives to exercise even if exercise doesn't help me lose weight because of my metabolism such as exercise might still help health wise as it keeps the circulation going or might relieve my anxiety.

A healthy weight loss is about four pounds a month. Not sure about your statement on exercise and using the word "risk?"
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What I mean by my statement is that if I have problems with my thyroid gland and I am in my 40s, don't these factors effect my metabolism? And if my metabolism is not working too good, won't that cause a person to exercise, and not lose weight, since the metabolism is not working too good? In other words, won't such a person exercise for nothing?

Well, exercise isn't a good way to lose weight. Let's put it this way--you could go out and run as hard as you could for half an hour and, at best, XXXXX XXXXX maybe 400 calories. But exercise in regular amounts is very important for everyone for heart health and overall good health.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does exercising in regular amounts help relieve anxiety?

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