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Obesity and Weight Management

Unexplained weight gain

03/13/2008

Question:

Hi I ahve a question? I had a tubal done with a bladder repair in 2004 year after I gave birth to my son. I have never really been able to recover from that. It took me 11 and half months to recover. since then I have had horrible weight gain. I swim everyday plus do a lot of excercising. I had every blood test known to man and it is normal. I am currently on the college swim team despite my weight gain. I went from 27% body fat to 45.5 % now. I gain on an average 8 to 10 pounds per month. I do not eat junk food and I eat 2000 to 1900 calories per day becuase I am an athlete. I hike and I am very active but I am getting to the point I am having joint pain and it is definitely not lack of excercising? Any suggestions

Answer:

Weight management is not easy. It sounds like you are on the right track. There are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First of all, since you are an athlete, you don't want to just use weight as the only measure for body fat because it will not reflect the true picture. You want to also measure your inches around you waist with a goal of less than 35 inches. Remember that since you are exercising, your weight will not change and may even go up because you are adding muscle which weighs more than fat.

One way to lower your percent fat is to add a weight training program and fat burning program in order to mobilize the fat stores and increase your muscle tone. All exercise, although good for the cardiovascular system, is not equal for weight reduction. Swimming is excellent for cardiovascular health and toning muscle, but you still need to add a weight training program.

Additionally, cutting down your calories to 1800-1900cal will help to create enough of a caloric deficit to mobilize and burn fat.

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Response by:

Esa M Davis, MD, MPH Esa M Davis, MD, MPH
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University