Q: What is a safe amount of weight to lose per week?

A: This is going to vary greatly based on your current weight and health, as well as your lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep, etc). It is also going to depend on whether your body is losing fat, water, or muscle. Fat loss is the goal for most people, as well as some water loss (excess water is often due to inflammation from a poor diet).  Loss of muscle mass isn’t usually the goal, so if you are experiencing unexpected muscle loss you will want to talk to your doctor. That being said, you can expect a loss of anywhere from 0.1 pounds to 5 pounds per week, with a more realistic number being 1-2 pounds per week.

Q: What’s the best way to get rid of belly fat?

A: In short, I recommend 3 things: reducing (or cutting out) alcohol, reducing processed foods as much as possible, and reducing/managing stress as much as you can. Alcohol and processed foods directly affect the liver, which can cause you to accumulate belly fat. Managing your stress helps to reduce the cortisol hormone, and may mean saying “no” to more requests in your personal life, trying meditation (as simple as a few minutes of deep breathing each day), walking or yoga, or other stress management techniques you find beneficial. You need to be as consistent with these as possible to see results!

Q: How can I avoid overeating and indulging in comfort foods during the colder months?

A: Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy! Anything warm and flavourful can be comforting if you look at it that way; roasted potatoes, hearty soups and stews loaded with veggies, and even baked apples with a little maple syrup and oat topping (a healthy apple crisp) will leave you satisfied and nourished. As far as avoiding overeating, you need to practice this type of self control! Slow down and ask yourself if you’ve had enough food. Keep yourself distracted and occupied to stop you from heading to the fridge every 5 minutes, and avoid too much time spent hibernating on the couch – where many snacks are consumed during the winter months!