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Ask Dr. Craig!: The Holiday Weight Gain

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Dr. Craig is a BellaNaija columnist and one of the doctors who writes for BN Doctors’ Lounge {Get familiar here}. The idea behind ‘Ask Dr. Craig!‘ is for BN readers to get quick sharp answers to niggling medical issues that they have. This does not in anyway mean that readers should not go to their doctors. However, sometimes you just need a human face to give answers to those fast, burning medical concerns our readers have.

Send your questions for Dr. Craig to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com stating your full name and where you are writing from. (Your name will never be published) The editor reserves the right to edit submissions for content brevity and clarity. We regret that we cannot provide individual answers to questions sent in and cannot state at which exact date answers would be published.

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Dear Dr. Craig,
I need your help! I feel like I’ve added over 10kg this Christmas holiday. Can you blame me? Jollof Rice, Fried Rice, Chicken, Turkey, Moi-Moi, Ice-Cream!
True, I’ve never been a size 8, and as far back as I can remember I have always been big, but now I no longer fit into my size 14 jeans. I feel fat and ugly and unattractive.
Is there is a pill that I can take to melt this fat?

Former-Size-14. Festac Town, Lagos.

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Dear Former-Size-14,

Happy New Year! You sound like you really enjoyed your holiday. Did you save me some Jollof rice?

First of all, let me say that you are beautiful, no matter what you weigh. Your self worth should not come from the number on a scale or the size on your jeans. Beauty is more than what you look like on the outside. Beauty is what resides within your soul! If you haven’t learnt to love yourself at size 16, then it’s unlikely that you will love yourself if you are a size 8.

Having said that, your health is important and that includes maintaining a healthy weight. Depending on how tall you are, there is a specific range within which you are less likely to be prone to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis and other diseases.

I doubt that you could actually add 10kg in one short week. A few hearty meals may make you feel bloated for a couple of days but won’t significantly add to your overall weight. However, rapid weight gain may be a pointer to hormonal imbalance and if what you describe is correct then it may be necessary for you to see a physician as soon as you can.

If you have noticed any increase in facial hair, any change in your monthly cycle, or have recently developed acne or unusually oily skin, then it is possible that you could be experiencing a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

There are many pills and teas marketed on the internet that claim to ‘melt’ fat in 28 days. They DO NOT WORK. A lot of them are diuretics which work by increasing water loss by urination and using them can cause severe dehydration and kidney damage.

Losing weight is possible but it will be gradual and will not be without sweat and pain. The only tested and tried way to lose weight is to reduce your caloric intake (what you eat) while AT THE SAME TIME increasing your energy expenditure (Exercise). Avoid processed food and sugary drinks and consider joining a gym where you can participate in both cardio exercises and weight training exercises. Weight training can either be body weight exercises like push ups and squats or free weight exercises like dumbbell curls and barbell dead lifts. Weight lifting is important because it helps to increase the amount of calories that your muscles burn when you do cardio and in turn will increase the amount of fat burnt.

I hope this helps,

Warm regards,

Dr. Craig
Disclaimer: This column is written for patient education. It is not intended to diagnose or prescribe treatment and does not replace the advice of your physician. It in no means attempts to cover the full medical scope of this condition. 

David Olamide Craig is a Pastor, Physician, Sex Therapist and Relationship Expert. Dr. Craig is double certified in Occupational Medicine and Family Medicine. He graduated Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Ibadan, holds a Masters in Occupational Health from the University of Birmingham and is a Member of the Royal College of General Practice UK.When he is not seeing patients or helping people find true love, Dr. Craig spends his time stretched out on his favourite couch, reading books, magazines, and blogs.Follow him @RevDrCraig or visit www.OlamideCraig.com

31 Comments

  1. uju

    January 7, 2015 at 11:07 am

    are you for real?is the picture really Dr Craig??…ok..i don’t usually do this up in here, but Dr you are fine!!…lol…nice writ though. I’m already cutting down on the food to loose the weight i gathered over the holiday. Happy 2015 guys!!

  2. Fols

    January 7, 2015 at 11:33 am

    This Dr. Craig shaaaa….!!! I didn’t even read the article; just came here to say I thank God for saving my soul and for my husband; otherwise, Doctorrrr!!! You would have found yourself with a new special “patient”. God will continue to help us (i.e. Me!)

  3. MIA

    January 7, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Doctor you are fine!!!! I am losing all my xmas weight the healthy way. 4kg before the end of Jan.

  4. Eileen

    January 7, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Is he married??

    • adelegirl

      January 7, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      No but soon to be. He is reportedly engaged to a beautiful lass. Saw them together at WedExpo Abuja. 🙂

    • Jay

      January 19, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Loool. His getting married ds year…

  5. Banjo

    January 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks Doctor, that’s so enriching. I always tell those weight loss lovers that pills is not the solution. They want to lose it fast. How come? And companies will make fast money from their desperate weight loss. Come, it is common sense in nature. You never grow big by taking pills, but rather is by what you eat and your lifestyle. So, go back and eat well and eat the gym ASAP.

    • Nahum

      January 7, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      I guess you are one of these “i am so cool, I hate fat people” type of guys abi? Always waiting to pounce on a chubster and dish out unsolicited advice on how they can lose weight. Why dont you make it your new year resolution to actually mind your business and not dish out advice to big people. Trust me, they know they are big, they do not need you pointing it out.

      My rant for today

    • D

      January 7, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Is this in response to the author of the original article or Banjo??? Shooo but why??? I am a chubster and I can boldly say I eat right, work out and do not eat processed foods because I like to know where my food is coming from but still chubby but I know I am healthy but I am curious which of the people wrote something that really got to you. I re-read the whole thing but still lost and yes there are people that need the motivation and any one knows the beginning of the year is when weight watchers and them others make money because people make resolutions and many involve losing weight or getting fit so Dr no mis -yarn oooo. Abeg forgive him or Banjo.

  6. Berry Dakara

    January 7, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    BUAHAHAHAHAHAHA, are we still swooning over Dr. Craig in 2015?

    Good advice Dr! I also don’t think anyone can gain 10kg in a week or two. Have a happy 2015.

  7. @edDREAMZ

    January 7, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    Ladies just dey die for this guy matter… Interesting…..
    *GLO BRING 3G TO KONTAGORA*
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  8. Kikky

    January 7, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Doc i want you on my speed dial!!

  9. bruno

    January 7, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    doctor craig, how u doing!!! happy newyear (famzing thingz).

  10. chizzy

    January 7, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Doc i won’t stop loving u…Be mine

    • adelegirl

      January 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      You are on a jonzing level m’dear. He is engaged to be married soon o. Go look for your own man and stop loving a taken man.

  11. nully

    January 7, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Doc, you are in trouble. i cover you with the blood of Jesus

  12. jhennique

    January 7, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    i weigh 6okg and i life heavy. Its soooo annoying when people in the gym be looking at me like “are u a guy? do you wanna grow muscle?” Thank God Dr craig has certified weight lifting in this article. I just taya for ignorant people

    • jhennique

      January 7, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      *lift

  13. Profound

    January 7, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Dr Craig – Apologies for veering slightly off topic. I noticed that you work at the Royal London Hospital. I’m resident in the U.K, pregnant and I’m considering having my baby there as I understand it has a great maternity ward. The other option is much closer to me i.e Queen Elizabeth, but I’m not too sure about it…Any advice for me?

    • DocDeola

      January 7, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Father, forgive me for I have sinned! Lol, you will be in good company with all the Bengali women!!! Btw is that small Chinese lady consultant still there (inspirational) Please find your way to UCH in Euston – amazing maternity department!

    • Nne

      January 8, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      Looool. That is true. That area is full of Somalians and Asians and there level of care in these type of areas is below (I know as I’ve got friends who have worked there). UCLH IS THE BEST. My hubby works there so that’s an added bonus, and it’s one of the best hospitals in UK. I gave birth there and had a wonderful experience.

  14. Que

    January 7, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Poor Dr Craig… #thatmomentwhenyourlooksbluroutyourprofessionaladvice. Ndo Nna.

    • Que

      January 7, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      #…blursoutyourprofessionaladvice.

  15. mrs chidukane

    January 7, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Lo”. All these comments come across like “hey Dr. Craig, I love you and i’m losing this 4kg for you so we can cement our love! “Its all good though. Happy New Year

  16. chinco

    January 7, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I just want to add that some of those diet pills are statins which people take for cholesterol so it may help a bit but damage the liver as well but the safest and healthiest option is good food ( regular, small portions, healthy) and proper exercise . Just making sure you are burning more than you are eating, some do that by counting calories.
    @adelegirl, relax about the married issue, most of the people drooling are just having fun, I dont think they will actually seek him out. The guy has always had that effect on girls since U.I days especially the Christian sisters, hes not complaining

  17. Banjo

    January 7, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    @Nahum: I guess this is for me because the Doctor was just answering a question and decided to share the answer to the needed public. Hey, I don’t hate your type. That word is even too much. Just as the Doctor confirmed, strive and maintain a healthy weight. Yeah, of course, I mind my own business. I only advice my friends and a colleague and it mostly initiate through chit chat. I don’t hate or dislike fat people.

  18. HAWTTALKWITHTOSAN

    January 7, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Well said! There is no way to lose weight other than eating less and exercising!

  19. tunmi

    January 7, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    This is the most I have heard a doctor with a platform emphasize exercise. Dr. Oz sure doesn’t which is sad. I normally get my exercise in by timed biking: 5 second normal speed and 5 second sprint, 10 second normal and 10 second sprint, and the same for 15, 20, and 30 second intervals. And repeat the process again so cardio time adds up to roughly 5 minutes. And the next 15 minutes is spent weight lifting: 2 12-repetitions for arms, 2 12-repetitions for legs, and 1 12-repetition or abs. It will take time to see a noticeable change, about 3 months. Also give your body time to rest, exercise 3 times a week (every other day is fine).

    • tunmi

      January 7, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      And when you can lift a particular weight 12 times, increase the weight and keep at that weight for the next days/week till you can make 12 repetitions

  20. Susan Maiava

    January 8, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Yes, I agree but I think there is more to it. The media makes you think that weight loss is only about food and exercise but really we need to look at the emotional side. Fat Chance program will help you achieve your weight loss goals more effectively.

  21. Jay

    January 19, 2015 at 11:13 am

    @Eileen: Loool. His getting married ds year…

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