Ask Dr. Sarkar MD

Question 3: There are so many diets out there, I am confused. What should I be eating to lose weight?
A.S., Monrovia, CA
It is true that there are so many diets out there, that it is confusing for the consumer. What all diets have in common is that they reduce the number of calories that one consumes. You want to lose weight gradually not go on a crash diet and be on a ‘weight’ rollercoaster, and you want to slowly alter your eating habits, so that you live a healthier and more fulfilling life and keep the weight from coming back. Most women require between 1300 – 1800 calories a day.
First of all read labels on all foods you buy. Secondly, stop eating fast foods, which are high in calories and fat (for example a double cheeseburger, small fries and a coke at a popular fast food chain has about 900 calories with 50 grams of fat). Cut back on your fat intake, to no more than 30%. You should limit carbohydrates to about 50% and proteins to 20% of your total calorie intake. Eat more complex carbohydrates, which will fill you up more. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index as these cause the blood sugar to increase rapidly and will lead to weight gain. Make healthy choices, for example have whole grain bread instead of white bread, and avoid potatoes and sugar.
Spread your calorie intake throughout the day. Eat 5-6 small meals and snacks rather than 2-3 big meals. Also it is important to drink lots of water – at least 8 glasses a day. Keep working at it and soon you will be losing weight and feel better about yourself.
Dr. Sarkar MD is a Board-Certified physician in Pasadena, CA specializing in Weight Loss Medicine. You can e-mail your weight-loss questions to him at: and he will answer them in this column. For more information visit


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