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Ask the Expert

Ask the Experts features questions submitted by members like you to our nutrition, fitness and motivation experts. You can browse our list of questions and click on them to find answers.

Nutrition Questions
See Fitness Questions

Q Why doesnít SparkPeople offer dairy-free and gluten-free meal plans for members with these (and other) specific dietary restrictions?

Q I've been tracking my food, and I'm going over my daily cholesterol goals. Should I be concerned?

Q I'm on my feet doing a labor-intensive, active job most days of the week. Is the calorie range that provided to me accurate for my active lifestyle?

Q Why can't I track sugar on my SparkPeople nutrition tracker?

Q Why is SparkPeople so obsessed with water? Do I really need 8-12 cups a day?

Q Is Alli, the new weight loss pill, safe and effective?

Q Are SparkPeople's nutrition recommendations accurate for people who are in wheelchairs (and therefore mostly sedentary)?

Q Is it possible to be addicted to food and eating?

Q Does a "raw" vegan diet really enhance health and weight loss?

Q Is there really such a thing as "negative calorie" foods?

Q Is there such a thing as too much fiber?

Q How will fasting for religious reasons, such as Lent, affect my weight loss?

Q Will fasting jumpstart my weight loss efforts and boost my health?

Q How do I know if the recommended serving size is cooked or uncooked when I look at it in the food database?

Q If I consume fewer calories than my plan recommends, will I lose weight faster?

Q Do diet pills really suppress cravings and help you lose weight?

Q What is considered a serving of vegetables?

Q Can you give me suggestions for a good pre-game meal?

Q Can other drinks such as diet sodas and herbal tea count towards my 8 glasses of water for the day?

Q I get tired every afternoon. Is this normal?

Q What is the difference between simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates?

Q What are the benefits of drinking more water?

Q What are the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables?

Q I've heard that hydrogenated oils are bad for you. What foods should I avoid?

Q What are some ways to reduce the sodium in my diet?

Q What are some ways to get extra fiber in my diet?

Q What is wrong with eating too much protein in a day?

Q What are some of the pitfalls, if any, of becoming vegetarian or vegan?

Q How can I eat healthy while traveling?

Q When I eat, Iím still hungry. What can I do?

Q How can I prevent nighttime hunger?

Q My most difficult time is late evenings. How can I resist the temptation to snack at this time of day?

Q Can you explain the concept of "burning more calories than you consume" in order to lose weight?

Q What is the best type of diet to lose body fat while maintaining lean muscle mass?

Nutrition Questions
See Nutrition Questions

Q Why do my toes/feet get numb when Iím using an elliptical machine?

Q I don't have insurance and/or access to a medical provider. Why can't SparkPeople's experts answer my questions?

Q How do I track workout DVDs or other cardio activities that aren't listed in the Fitness Tracker?

Q Is it safe to wear wrist and/or ankle weights while walking, running or performing other daily activities?

Q I just finished a 5K training program and I'm ready for more. Is it OK to run every day?

Q I've heard it's a good idea to wear gloves while doing my weight training? Is this true?

Q My hands and/or feet swell during exercise. Is this normal?

Q I have chronic fatigue syndrome, which makes exercise difficult. Any suggestions?

Q I have asthma. Can I still exercise?

Q Will a heart rate monitor accurately estimate how many calories I burn during strength training?

Q How can I get rid of my cellulite? Will it go away when I lose weight?

Q I'm trying to build muscle while losing weight. Any advice?

Q Is it possible to do too much cardio?

Q I just started exercising to lose weight, but I've gained weight. Why did this happen?

Q For someone who has weak ankle and knee joints, do wraps or braces actually help prevent injury when exercising?

Q I read that weight training burns more fat than cardio. If I can only do one of the two, should I weight train?

Q Does sex count as cardio? How many calories does it burn?

Q Do lower-intensity "fat burning" workouts really burn more fat?

Q Does exercising on an empty stomach (such as first thing in the morning) burn more fat?

Q Is SparkPeople's cardio tracker accurate in how many calories it says I have burned? Most of the time it differs from what my treadmill says.

Q How do I know how many calories I burn doing Pilates? Does it count as cardio or strength training?

Q Is it true that lifting weights causes women to bulk up?

Q What can I do to lose weight in my stomach? Iíve been doing lots of crunches but they donít seem to help.

Q Does strength training burn a lot of calories?

Q I'm still sore from yesterday's workout. Should I rest today or keep working out until the soreness goes away?

Q Is it okay to exercise when you have a cold?

Q I can get by with 5-6 hours of sleep Ė is it really a big deal?

Q What is circuit training?

Q I know that exercise (stability) balls come in different sizes, but how do I know which size is right for me?

Q I just sprained my ankle pretty badly. What can I do to help it heal quicker and what kind of exercises can I do in the meantime?

Q How do you get rid of excess skin from weight loss or prevent this problem from happening?

Q Are there any exercises to strengthen my knees, or do I have to wait until I lose more weight?

Q How can I prevent my calf muscle from cramping while I jog?

Q How many reps should I do?

Q What exercises can I do at home? My budget is really tight and I cannot afford to join a gym.

Q I am never sure how much I should be lifting and have heard about max weights but have no idea how to find mine.

Q Will Pilates alone help to tone or should I lift weights?

Q How can I get more toned?

Q I have never done resistance training before Ė how should I start?

Q Can I substitute my yoga classes for a cardio workout?

Q Why is it important to warm up before exercise?

Q If you are doing cardio and weight training on the same day, does it matter which one you do first?

Q How do I know if I've reached a plateau? What can I do to jump start my weight loss again?

Q How do I figure out my target heart rate? How long do I need to work out after reaching it?

Q How often should I walk? Should I focus on miles or minutes?

Didn't find the answer you are looking for? Try posting your question on the Diet and Nutrition or Fitness and Exercise Message Boards where experts and/or other members can help you get the answers you need! We'll post common or particularly helpful answers here on Ask the Expert as well.

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