I’ve got the answers to the most frequently-asked weight loss questions, from a list of top MDs:

  • First: How long will it take to lose weight? Well, during the first week of a low-calorie diet, you lose mostly water weight.  Until week 3, you’re losing mostly muscle mass. In fact, you won’t lose a significant amount of fat until week 4.

  • Another frequently-asked weight loss question: How do I push through a plateau? Our friend Dr. David Katz says that cutting calories can work, but going too far can be dangerous. You’ll start losing MUSCLE – and that’ll slow your metabolism. Your best bet: Add resistance training to your workout like pumping iron, or using resistance bands. Because for every pound of muscle you add, it takes 50 more calories to maintain your size.   So, adding muscle can help you lose weight without eating less.

  • Another question: What are some simple tricks to make weight loss easier? Get more sleep. When you’re sleep deprived, you hunger hormones go crazy, because they want to make sure you have the energy to get through the day. So tired people eat more unhealthy foods for energy.

  • Finally: Do negative-calorie foods exist meaning, do some foods provide fewer calories than they take to digest? No. No food has negative calories. Take celery.  A cup has only 16 calories, and it does take your body more time and effort to digest and absorb it. But the calorie burn of digestion is negligible. So if you lose weight by eating celery, it’s because it has a lot of fiber and hardly any calories. Not because your stomach is working so hard to digest it.