Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

10 Lbs. Down Dilemma

Posted June 24, 2009

I've hit a mid diet slump. The Ten Pounds Down weight loss challenge seemed easy the first three weeks. Now I've struck a bump in the road. I'm stuck. Stuck at 180 pounds. We're five weeks into the challenge and I should be five pounds down in the ten week program. I started at 184 so I'm off only four pounds. I still think I can make my goal but I'll have to work both smarter and harder.

It's my own fault. I've gotten a little lazy and overconfident. Plus, I went on vacation last week. The weather was lousy in the mountains and I wasn't able to get out and run. Plus, I chose to sample some fabulous key lime pie, sensational summer pecan pie, shrimp and grits and a few too many chips and cashews. In addition, I stopped my food and exercise log. Naughty boy.

Okay, I'm back on track this week and more determined than ever. I will hit 179 next Wednesday. Count on it.

How about you? How are things going in your Ten Pounds Down weight loss quest. I hope you've had more success. Please share your stories and pose your questions. We've got experts ready to help you. Personal trainers and registered dietitians Tara Wind and Avril Young have been most gracious with their time and expertise.

Here some recent questions and Tara’s answers. Keep the faith!

1) I’ve hit a wall in weight loss and can’t seem to budge from my current level. What should I do?

Start by keeping a food journal - see if you are sneaking in a few hundred extra calories that you were unaware of (candy, handfuls of nuts, M&Ms, coffee drinks, cheese cubes). You can also see if you are skipping meals and not getting enough calories, eating too big of portions, eating foods high in fat and calories. Next take a closer look at exercise habits - have you slacked off, been doing the same workout for months on end, using the same weights. . .Sometimes people get over plateaus by self monitoring, sometimes it requires changes in nutrition and exercise routines.

(2) How do you deal with the temptation of terrific desserts when you are a dinner guest?

First if you know you are going to a dinner that will have terrific desserts make sure you eat nutritious foods during the day leading up to dinner (ie lots of color and whole grains). Is this the Key Lime pie you are referring to? haha.   At dinner have a piece of dessert - maybe a smaller piece and skip the ice cream! Make sure the dessert is worth it and that you are not just eating it cause it's there. I always joke with my clients if they are going to eat dessert it better be one that someone slaved over making :)

(3) Is it true that you sometimes need to eat more if you want to lose weight? How does that work?

Absolutely! Think about this as fueling the body - if you are not eating enough calories and protein to maintain basic functions (like breathing, heart beating, liver working) you are going to break down your own protein stores and glycogen to use as energy. Along with that comes your body's protective response which results in lowering of your metabolic rate.   Especially with people who exercise sometimes increasing the calories and protein can yield a whole lot better results - you have more energy to work out and get a better workout, not to mention recover better after a workout.

(4) Is it okay to drink a glass of wine while attempting to lose a few pounds?

Everything in moderation :) Avril would agree with me on that!

(5) Do you recommend any books on diet and nutrition?

Gosh I have read so many -- I actually just read "The Abs Diet" which I liked alot - I must admit it is the first ever 'diet' book I read all the way through. I just prefer the word core instead of abs :) I also like sports nutrition books by Nancy Clark, Monique Ryan and Susan Kleiner. I try to make sure the book is written by a Registered Dietitian or someone with appropriate credentials.


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  • bleslie Jun 25, 2009

    LMRA - Congratulations! I hope I can follow you with a little plateau buster next week!

  • LMRA Jun 25, 2009

    YIPPEE . . . broke my plateau and lost 1.0 this week! Depending on which scale you can believe . . . I've either lost 10 lbs (doctor's scale) or 6 lbs (our work scale). Both are fine with me!

  • bleslie Jun 25, 2009

    From Tara Wind: Some carbohydrate sources are better than others ( I avoid the good v bad mentality ). Good sources of carbohydrates include fruits, low fat dairy products, whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta and other starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and corn. These products are nutritionally dense containing vitamins, minerals and fiber. They also have a high water content.

    Less nutritionally dense carbohydrates are food items such as doughnuts, white bread, cookies. . . These products are often processed and stripped of all nutritional value. They can also be very high in fat and calories and low in fiber.

    Ultimately all sources of carbohydrates (both the nutritionally dense and non-nutritionally dense) can be built into ones diet with the emphasis being on the more wholesome ones

  • thefensk Jun 25, 2009

    Alamm ... I am not an expert by any means but can offer a little. Someone else already mentioned flour and sugar ... that is a good start. It is complex carbohydrates vs simple carbohydrates. Sugar and its derivatives are the simplest. Highly processed flour (i.e white) qualifies. I get confused by potatoes. Personally I don't think they are that bad but people do bad things to/with them so they get a bad rap.

    My pet peeve is hidden sugars. I've mentioned "reduced fat" peanut butter here before ... it is my favorite example. If you look at the label for reduced fat, you will see that it has the same # of caloris as regular PB but almost three times the carb count. That is from corn syrup. The real reason to reduce fat is to reduce calories. But all that sugar? It's going to make you hungrier sooner, plain and simple. Check labels, you'll see sugar/corn syrup/corn syrup solids all over the place.

  • alamm Jun 25, 2009

    Bill, I hear a lot about good carbs and bad carbs. Can one of your experts explain what is a good vs bad carb? Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • jaynet Jun 24, 2009

    Cut out ALL flour and sugar. No exceptions. And take it easy on the white potatoes.

    And wine, even one glass, can add a lot of calories!

  • bleslie Jun 24, 2009

    fgump - keep up the great work! I guess with a name like that you must enjoy shrimp & grits as well!

  • fgump Jun 24, 2009

    I use the food diary on It REALLY helps keep you in-line. You can get an estimate of calories required to lose, maintain, or gain at specified rates. It has thousands of foods pre-loaded; you need only select them (or add them if needed) to find their nutritional value and load them to your deck. It also allows you to enter your exercise for the day, and determine the calorie offset. Since I started using it in February (and purchased a digital scale), my weight has stayed pretty consistently in a +/-2 lb. range. Granted, I'm working out quite a bit (12+ hours/week-amateur triathlete, runner, cyclist), but I eat a TON!

    Good luck-it'll come off for you! Keep up the good work.

  • bleslie Jun 24, 2009

    Thanks for the encouragement. It's grilled chicken and salsa tonight and oatmeal tomorrow morning! It's time to tweak the diet a bit.

  • LMRA Jun 24, 2009

    Bill - it's ok! I'm also stuck (have maintained - no gains). That includes a weekend in Pinehurst for my parent's 50th anniversary (being Italian = LOTS of food!).

    This week, I'm concentrating on more veggies, salads, grilled chicken . . . and lots of water. I'm hoping to break my plateau when I weigh in tomorrow morning.

    Last week at our work weight loss group, we exchanged some recipies! My favorite - brown some chicken breasts on stove, put in baking dish, cover with salsa and bake for 10 - 15 minutes (more if the breasts are thick). When it comes out, you can even sprinkle on some low fat cheddar! Yummy, quick and delish!





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Bill Leslie