Ask the Expert

Despina Hyde, Dietitian

1. I was told to keep a food journal. How will this help me lose weight?

Keeping a food journal is an important tool for weight loss and keeping it off forever. Research shows that dieters who fill out a food journal lose twice as much weight as those who do not. A food journal can be helpful in determining which foods you can tolerate and which situations and/or moods can cause you to overeat. If you are gaining weight it can help your doctor and nutritionist find the reason. There are great websites and Smartphone apps that can help you track calories and keep an exercise log.

2. Greek Yogurt vs. Non-Fat Yogurt. What’s the Difference?

They are both good sources of calcium and have beneficial bacteria to aid in digestion. However, non-fat plain Greek yogurt has half the amount of sugar than light fat-free yogurt and double the protein! Regular non-fat yogurts can have up to 15 grams of sugar which is comparable to the amount of sugar in a donut! Greek yogurt is a great breakfast option alone or mixed with berries and a high fiber cereal. It can be substituted for mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, and cottage cheese in some recipes.

3. I am worried about having excess skin hanging after weight loss. What can I do to minimize excess skin?

Exercise and diet can help improve skin tone by helping skin conform to your new smaller body. Aerobic exercise that increases heart rate such as walking, biking, and/or Zumba classes can help minimize the excess skin you might have after weight loss. Weight bearing activity can help the appearance of your skin by building muscle under the skin. Consume a diet high in protein, drink plenty of water and take your vitamins to help skin look its best.