Our experts answer reader questions about dropping the last 10 pounds—or more.
Question: I've heard that lifting weights helps the body burn calories even when you're not active. True or false? — Reiko
Answer: That's true. A lot of women prioritize cardio because they want to lose fat, but that burns calories only while you're exercising; as soon as you stop, you're no longer burning as much. Instead, lifting weights revs up your metabolism, so you'll continue burning calories for a few hours after your workout. And don't worry about bulking up; women don't have enough testosterone for that. But you will get leaner!
— Trudie German, certified personal trainer and owner of bodyenvy.ca, Toronto
Question: Is it possible I'm meant to be this big? I've been about the same size all my adult life, give or take a dress size. My mom and my sister are both size 14, and so were my grandmas. Maybe it's genetics? — Anne
Answer: Your genes do play a role, but it's more important to remember that size isn't really a good measure of health. If you're active, feeling good and sleeping and eating well, you probably don't have to worry. According to the World Health Organization, obesity is defined as "abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health." Of course, as you get heavier, there's a greater likelihood your health could be negatively impacted. But it's impossible for me to tell just by having you step on a scale; I have to do all sorts of tests to see if your weight really is affecting your health.
— Dr. Arya Sharma, founder of the Canadian Obesity Network and professor at the University of Alberta
Question: I'm injured and I can't work out. Is it still possible to lose weight? (Even if I'm eating my feelings about not being able to exercise?) — Katie
Answer: It's certainly possible! In fact, what you eat has more of an impact on your weight than exercise. You won't be able to work off extra calories, so be particularly mindful of other factors that influence weight, too, by getting enough sleep, finding ways to manage stress and choosing healthy whole foods in appropriate portions. And try these tricks: Serve vegetables family-style so they're within easy reach, but keep richer foods on the stovetop; use a smaller plate; and focus on your food—you're more likely to overindulge if you're distracted, so try not to eat in front of the TV, in the car or at your desk at work. Lastly, don't deny your hunger; eventually, it will backfire and you'll find yourself overeating or grabbing a convenient but unhealthy snack. People often think they have to cut back on food if they're going to lose weight, but I counsel my clients to eat more during the day. The idea isn't to willpower your way to weight loss; it's to make sustainable changes.
— Casey Berglund, registered dietitian and owner of worthyandwell.com, Calgary
<p>CL Books Contest (2)</p>
Enter for your chance to receive one of four prize packs with all seven of this month's top picks from Penguin Random House Canada.
Small Great Things: $32.00
I Am Brian Wilson: $34.00
The Award: $37.00
Wayne Gretzky: $35.00
The Whistler: $37.00
Girl on The Train: $22.00
Ryan Brook Credits: Ryan Brook
Whether it's for Christmas or her birthday, any woman would adore getting one of these homemade gifts.
Tea and coffee lovers can never have too many mugs! You can decorate this mug to suit your friend's personality—stripes, polka dots or bows look adorable. Then fill the mug up with cookies and a few tea bags before wrapping it with cellophane and a ribbon.
Need a quick gift? Then make this pretty bracelet! It's super easy to make—no crafting skills required—and would look perfect as a part of an arm party.
Do you have a friend or family member who loves home decor? Then she will adore these pretty lotion and soap dispensers. They're simple to make and budget-friendly.
Add sparkle to a floral arrangement with this easy project.
The stylish lady in your life will love this homemade clutch! You don't need to be a sewing maven to make this bag. It requires minimal sewing. And you can make it any colour you want! We love grey and black because it goes with everything.
Every woman needs a little sparkle in her life! You don't need to be a crafter to make this cover. You just need a steady hand and a love of glitter!
While a lace dress might not be her style, a necklace made from a piece of lace will be a welcomed addition to her jewelry box.
Canadians know you need a cozy cowl to protect your face from the cold. Knit this cowl in a colour that will match her coat. Then she will be ready to face the snow in style.
Keep her ears warm by knitting her this pretty winter headband.