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‘I’ve gained a lot of weight recently. What’s the best way to get rid of it?’

‘I’ve gained a lot of weight recently. What’s the best way to get rid of it?’

Dwayne’s had a rough year. He lost his high-paying job and now he’s making only half the money he used to bring home. He’s feeling depressed, has been partying, and as result, has gained 60 lbs. He wants to know what he can do to snap out of these bad habits, and get back to feeling fit again.

My advice:

Dwayne, every five pounds of extra weight is an extra inch on your waistline, so this means you’ve gained 12 inches on your belly. This is a huge increase in just one year! I’m glad you recognize that you’ve got a serious problem here that you need to deal with ASAP.

The good news is, it’s not as hard as it may seem. Exercise is important, and if you can begin burning more calories in a reasonable way, great. But the best thing you can do to lose the weight is to cut carbs from your diet. You need to avoid eating certain foods, and here’s my list of the five dishes to avoid: breads, pizza, pasta, cookies and cake. These aren’t real foods, they’re just filler and not only do they add empty calories, they change the way your body regulates your blood sugar, which can cause all sorts of other problems. If you just avoid these five foods you’ll be making some great progress.

You’ll also need to limit your sugar and sodium intake as well. This includes sugar-sweetened sodas and foods with added salt. Salt will make you thirsty and hungry, and when you’re eating and drinking more than you need to, you’re consuming more calories than your body needs.

As far as exercise goes, start with something simple. Since your day job has you sitting all day, try walking 10,000 steps a day for your daily workout. Grab a pedometer so you can track how much you’re walking every day and get to it. 10,000 steps, by the way, isn’t as much as it sounds … most people take about 7,000 steps a day without thinking about it.

I know you’ve been feeling depressed about your job situation, but keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of money in order to be happy or project confidence to your family, friends and colleagues. It can really help to talk about how you’re feeling with somebody you completely trust.  I’m not talking about a professional therapist, either — though there’s nothing wrong with that.  I’m talking about what the professionals call a “confiding relationship” — a best friend, sibling, relative — anybody you can be completely yourself with. There’s no agenda or anything—just talk about what’s going on in your life. Research shows that people who have confiding relationships are generally happier than people who don’t.

So: Pay attention to your diet, get more active and cultivate a confiding relationship and you’re going to start feeling better in no time.

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