finger holding donut

We find out if the temperature of your drinking water matters and why do we crave chocolate just before that time of the month?

I have lost a lot of weight in the last 18 months by eating right and exercising three times a week, but I still need to lose 5kg.  The trouble is I get tired that it is hard to stay motivated.  Any ideas to help get my energy back?

I can understand that you feel frustrated, but you must not consider your weight loss as a diet, rather as a change of lifestyle.  Your weight will then gradually drop until you attain your goal weight.  You cannot remain motivated forever, you actually have to live.  If you are tired you must look at your food intake.  Perhaps your iron intake is insufficient.  Your doctor should investigate your continual fatigue.  So what is going on?  Since I do not know how hard you are working out or what you are eating, I can only speculate on why you are pooped.  Fatigue can be a symptom of numerous things such as overtraining, irregular sleep patterns, feeling depressed or incorrect eating habits.  Your diet may be too low in calories, which can sap your strength, especially when you are working out regularly.  Add some lean red meat to your diet and be sure you are getting plenty of fruit and vegetables, and that you drink enough fluids.

I know drinking water is a good idea but does the temperature of the water matter?  I am trying to lose weight and have heard that cold water is best.

Let us call that an old wives tale. It is good to drink the water of course, but forget about the temperature. While your body does use up a few extra calories to warm cold water to body temperature, the amount is negligible.  Drinking ice-cold water to drop kilos is like sitting in a chilly room shivering to lose weight.  Water only helps you lose weight by making you feel full and therefore assisting you in consuming fewer calories.

Why do I get so ravenous before I get my period?  I can eat anything at this time and always break my diet, which makes me so depressed especially because I have been going so well all month.

Progesterone and oestrogen levels peak at this time causing blood sugar levels to drop.  This increases hunger and cravings for some time like chocolate.  Levels of serotonin, a mood chemical, also drop, triggering a craving for sweet biscuits, cakes and chocolates.

Why do I get thirsty after coffee?

Coffee is a diuretic, which means that it causes your body to excrete fluid.  When fluid levels in the body drop, receptor cells in our brain compensate for the loss by triggering thirst.

Is it true that your stomach shrinks when you go on a diet for a long time?

The capacity of the stomach of an overweight or obese person has been shown to be much larger than that of a lean person.  There is a popular belief that the stomach “shrinks” when a person goes on a diet, but there is no scientific evidence of this.   However, it has been demonstrated that there is a reduction in gastric capacity after a long-term restricted diet.

How intensely should I exercise?  When I walk too fast I really do not enjoy it.  I am trying to walk four times a week for 45 minutes.  At this time I cover about 4km.  Is this enough?

To maintain any regime, you must enjoy it; otherwise, you will eventually give it up.  The simplest method of measuring whether your exercise intensity is correct is by “the talk tees”.  If you can talk while you are exercising without gasping for breath, then the level you are working at is about right for you.  If you cannot talk as you are puffing and panting, you should reduce your effort until you can talk.