How To Optimize Your Body Mass Index

LFM_Body_Mass_indexBy: Danielle E. Lane, M.D.

For our family it begins on November 1st – the day after Halloween. Armed with candy, my family, friends and I slowly begin our plunge into the holiday eating binge. There will be turkeys and stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, apple pies, pumpkin pies, holiday cookies, fruitcakes and every other weight-gaining food known to woman. And by the time it’s over, the food saddled with travel and decreased exercise rarely results in less than 10 pounds of weight-gain.



So here’s the good news! Now it’s over. The family, friends and food were great, but 2015 has arrived! You are back in your own home, with your normal routine. This means that with a little focus and consistency you will be back in fighting shape.

Weight is a simple equation. It is the balance between calories in (food) and calories out (exercise). So decreasing the caloric intake and the type of calories (lowering carbohydrates) and or increasing the exercise regimen will get your body back to its normal weight.

Carbohydrates can be tricky. The easy things are easy to recognize: pastas, potatoes, rice and breads. Everyone knows about the cookies and cakes, but what about the more subtle carbohydrates. Here’s a hint: if it tastes sweet, there are carbohydrates involved! Table 1 provides a comprehensive list of low-carbohydrate options to be considering in your diet.


If all of these carbohydrates have to be used in severe moderation, what does that leave? Weight gain will be most easily curbed by a diet containing a predominance of lean meats and vegetables. Snacks must be minimized, and water should be drunk in abundance. And yes, you will be a little hungry at first. Depending on the level of carbohydrates that you are eating, exercise may be an adjunct to a strict dietary regimen.

weight-factsWhen I was in my fellowship, I used to argue with my division director that weight loss was very hard, and that the reason it worked in clinical trials was because the food was often given to patients, and a study coordinator would call patients weekly or sometimes daily to check in and see how they were doing. In this setting, it was hard to fail. The good news, is that study-like conditions are now easily obtained by the general public. In the last decade multiple physician-supervised weight-loss clinics have developed. Some are integrated into health plans such as Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health, others are commercial endeavors that may or may not take your insurance (JumpstartMD, Nutraworks). All have the ability to help you manage the diet and exercise regimen necessary to reach your goals.

Fast Facts About Your Weight Loss contains a few known weight related outcomes to consider. So, as we enter 2015, take the time to optimize your health and achieve a body mass index that will help with your goal of creating your family. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015!


1 Falsetti L, Pasinetti E, Mazzani MD and Gastaldi A (1992) Weight loss and menstrual cycle: clinical and endocrinological evaluation. Gynecol Endocrinol 6,49–56.

2 Kumar A, Mittal S, Buckshee K and Farooq A (1993) Reproductive functions in obese women. Prog Food Nutr Sci 17,89–98.

3 Clark AM, Ledger W, Galletly C, Tomlinson L, Blaney F, Wang X and Norman RJ (1995) Weight loss results in significant improvement in pregnancy and ovulation rates in anovulatory obese women. Hum Reprod 10,2705–2712.

4 Galletly C, Clark A, Tomlinson L and Blaney F (1996) Improved pregnancy rates for obese, infertile women following a group treatment program. An open pilot study. Gen Hosp Psychiat 18,192–195.

5 Norman RJ and Clark AM (1998) Obesity & reproductive disorders: a review. Reprod Fertil Dev 10,55–63.

6 Bellver J et al (2010) Female obesity impairs in vitro fertilization outcome without affecting embryo quality. Fert Ster 93, 447-454.



Danielle E Lane, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist. Dr. Lane attended McGill University before completing her medical training at the University of Pittsburgh school of medicine, her residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and her fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. She opened the Center for Reproductive Health at Kaiser Permanente in Napa-Sola-no in 2005. In 2009 she founded Lane Fertility Institute. The Institute has grown to a four physician, multi location practice with a state of the art embryology laboratory. She is committed to providing education for women about preservation of their fertility and developing lower cost models to improve access to care.