Hi, my name is Yesenia. The doctor told I am on the borderline of having diabetes. I weigh 220 and I am 31 years old, with two kids. I can't seem to lose the weight that I am carrying with me. How should I go about losing 100 pounds? Please help, I don't know. They told me to see a counselor about my eating habits. I don't know what the right portion is that I should be eating right now before I go to the counselor.

It would be a good idea to see a “counselor” or a registered dietitian to help you with your diet. Your physician may be able to get you in touch with a local dietitian but if you are having trouble locating one, I would recommend going to the American Dietetic Association’s website (http://www.eatright.org) and then click on “Find a Nutrition Professional”.

I would begin by setting measurable and obtainable goals. Losing one hundred pounds is a very lofty goal and you may want to set a smaller, more reachable goal to start (say 20 pounds). Reward yourself when you reach this goal (a new item of clothing or a trip to the movies) and then set another. This will help keep you motivated.

In order to lose weight you need to take in fewer calories than you are expending throughout the day. Begin by analyzing your diet. Do you eat three meals a day or skip meals? Do you snack between meals and then what is it you are eating? Do you go back for seconds and third servings? Do you get daily physical activity? If you find that you are not getting much exercise, eating several portions, skipping meals and then eating a lot of snack foods (cookies, potato chips, ice cream, soda), try making one or two changes to start. For example, eating more slowly and putting your fork down between bites will allow you to savor the flavor of the meal. It will also allow time for the food to reach your stomach and for your brain to send out a signal telling you that you are full. This may help prevent going for extra portions. If snacking is a problem for you, make the change at the grocery store. Avoid buying the processed snack foods and purchase “snacks” that the whole family can enjoy. Pre cut veggies and fruit are healthy filling snacks. Low fat yogurt/string cheese and high fiber granola bars are also good choices. Having a healthy snack a few hours before dinner will also help you from overeating at the meal. Finally, move around more. It could be as simple as taking the stairs when you can and walking briskly wherever you go. You may wish to check out Kristi’s exercise section for more ideas.

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