Dear Dr. Sears,
Q: I have been on the Zone since Aug. 8 and have lost 27 pounds and more than 17 inches. I am thrilled. However, while I had extra energy at first, I am absolutely exhausted now. I also notice that for the first time in my life I have dark circles under my eyes and some wrinkling under them too that I never had before. I am 61. I hate to think finally losing weight will age me. I have also noticed some wrinkling of the skin on my inside lower arm. I do have severe osteoarthritis of my entire spine and knees and hands, as well as fibromyalgia severe enough that I was approved for SS disability. Is there a chance I am not eating enough protein? I am following everything religiously. When I lost weight on Nutri-System, I never got flabby anywhere, but I did go into a six-month-long status asthmaticus and was black and blue all over my body. I know I am eating healthier than I have in ages, and yet why do I no longer have the energy I did at the beginning? Please help. I have a long way to go yet but don't want to look 30 years older in the process.
Thank you, Nancy
A: I would increase the protein content slightly at every meal and take more omega-3 fatty acids. I would also increase the intake of flavinoids (these come the inner skin of fruits like oranges). The wrinkling of the skin and dark circles under your eyes are indication of decreased collagen formation in the skin and around the eyes. The higher protein content (especially adding some extra gelatin to your meals) should solve the problem.