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Why won’t the weight come off? – January 22, 2010

Dear Lucy: Your answer to the question about basal metabolic rate just raises another question in my mind: Let’s say, just hypothetically, that a woman has been consuming fewer calories than her “total daily energy expenditure,” or TDEE, and still is not losing weight. What should she do? Talk about frustrating!  —T-weedle-DEE

Read Lucy's answer

Bathroom reading – December 16, 2009
I was just in the bathroom at work reading the fine print on a can of germicide spray. It says that it’s for “hard porous surfaces” and that it is... more

Take a seat! – November 9, 2009
I am really confused about the correct posture for sitting. The data on the web seems contradictory. For instance, some sources advise keeping the... more

Immunity, one nibble at a time? – October 13, 2009
I have been a nail-biter for as long as I've had teeth. For years, people have been telling me to quit. They tell me how gross it is that I ingest... more

Please squeeze the avocado! – August 25, 2009
Avocados are an expensive fruit for a student budget, which is why whenever I misjudge an avocado and open up an unripe one, I’m tempted to eat it... more

Should I head “South” for the summer? – July 27, 2009
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Get with the program! – June 11, 2009
I’d always assumed that a “patient advocate” was a person. But evidently, at MIT, the patient advocate is anonymous. Or perhaps a committee. Or,... more

What a pain! – May 11, 2009
I have a dull pain in my legs that starts from the very top of my thighs and works its way down my leg. It is usually better when I first get up... more

Nighttime napping – April 22, 2009
During the semester when I have a lot to do and am short on time, I take naps (10–20 minutes each) throughout the night. But is it... more

To your health! – March 18, 2009
I'm a 61-year-old endometrial cancer survivor. I’ve heard that one small drink of red wine a day is good for a woman's health. But if I run out of... more

I’m a grown-up; could I have ADHD? – February 2, 2009
What are the symptoms of ADD/ADHD in adults? How do I go about determining whether or not I have adult ADD/ADHD (without doing one of those online... more

Where'd you get those pills? – January 6, 2009
Given the alarming news about contaminated drugs and other products from China, I am wondering about the purity and the country of origin of the... more

Keeping my germs to myself – December 1, 2008
  I've been pretty lucky this fall; I haven't come down with the colds or stomach bugs that have been knocking everyone else for a loop. However,... more

This too shall pass – October 30, 2008
I recently had some kidney stones dissolved via lithotrypsy—I think that's how it's spelled. Could you tell me how this procedure worked and... more

Should I cancel my appointment? – October 6, 2008
I have an appointment with a nurse practitioner soon to get the HPV vaccine and consult for birth control. But I think I'm going to be having my... more

Wax on, wax off – July 16, 2008
When I told my sister I'd had a hearing test, she asked if I'd had my ears cleaned first. I hadn't. She then wanted to know how I could have had... more

A horse named Charley – May 16, 2008
Lately, I've occasionally been waking up at night with a "Charley horse" in my legs. What causes this? more

New HPV vaccine? – March 19, 2008
Do you recommend that college women who have not been sexually active take the three doses of the new Gardasil vaccine? My doctor mentioned that a... more

Basal Metabolic Rate? – February 22, 2008
How do I figure out my basal metabolic rate (BMR)? When it comes to the number of calories I consume each day, should I aim for this number to... more

Eyes wide shut – February 1, 2008
I'm often seized by extreme sleepiness about one and half or two hours after lunch. I'm usually much sleepier at this time of day than I am at... more

Perimenopause? – January 8, 2008
I assume I am in perimenopause. I just got my period after 10 months. Does that mean I am ovulating again? My energy level is very low, so I... more

It's not the cough; it's the cover-up – December 7, 2007
I've seen the video that is making the rounds about the proper protocol for sneezing or coughing into your shirt sleeve rather than into your... more

Can we scrap the Pap? – November 16, 2007
Since we now have a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), developing an HPV blood test would seem to be a simple matter. Why can't doctors do an... more

A Pox on your House – October 12, 2007
I know that an adult who had chicken pox as a child can get shingles from the dormant virus. Is there any medical consensus on how to prevent... more

Oh, deer [fly] – September 12, 2007
Can deer flies transmit West Nile virus or eastern equine encephalitis? I'm attacked by far more deer flies than mosquitoes on my morning walks.... more

Can I run away from fat? – August 15, 2007
I know you can lose fat if you run just about every day at a proficient speed. But can running help you lose fat in the upper-torso area—for... more

Star Trek X: The Wrath of the Ear Khan-al – July 9, 2007
I had knee surgery a few months ago. I now swim four or five times a week for physical therapy and fun. I love it! However, I recently noticed... more

Softener fabrication? – June 15, 2007
During parent meetings at my son's school, the school psychologist often discusses the issue of fabric softeners. She states that they can cause... more

Booster shots for adults? – May 23, 2007
I am not sure if I have had a booster for polio as an adult. If I have, what would be the consequence of getting a second polio booster (about 10... more

In the rough – May 4, 2007
My golf game seems to be suffering these days. Is it possible that going through the change (menopause) could have anything to do with the slump... more

Bird flu & bird doo – April 9, 2007
I read a newspaper article about bird flu, in which a scientist from Harvard's School of Public Health noted that putting one's hand in bird... more

Into the drink – March 22, 2007
A friend just told me that sparkling water (seltzer) doesn't count towards the eight glasses of water we are supposed to drink each day. But I... more

Sleepless nights – February 28, 2007
For a month, I've been feeling blue and anxious and have had trouble sleeping. I am job hunting and struggling with a difficult project. About... more

Upstairs, Downstairs – February 7, 2007
I had a conversation with a friend who recently had knee surgery. She told me that one of her doctors told her that no one should use stairs, even... more

Calcium and osteoarthritis? – November 9, 2006
I have never paid much attention to my calcium intake until recently. But now I am 26 and have the beginnings of osteoarthritis. I can only fault... more

Headache after exercising – October 4, 2006
I've been trying to shed some extra pounds by exercising regularly. Normally I do about 40 minutes of cardio on a treadmill or elliptical machine... more

Back off! – September 5, 2006
I have a pain in my lower back on the right side, and sometimes the pain travels to my right thigh. This only happens when I am walking briskly,... more

Covering my a** – June 28, 2006
I was wondering if there are communicable diseases one can get from using a public toilet and if toilet seat covers actually reduce the chances of... more

Tae Kwon Don't! – June 7, 2006
I compete in taekwondo. I am 5 ft., 4 in., and normally weigh 120 pounds, but after taking time off from my training due to a shoulder injury, I... more

Acupuncture coverage? – April 24, 2006
I have the MIT Traditional Plan. Does my medical coverage allow me to use acupuncture treatments? more

Peanut allergies? – March 29, 2006
At my son's school, we've been asked not to send peanut butter sandwiches, or any food containing peanuts, for lunch or snack. I don't remember... more

Caffeine addiction? – March 7, 2006
I think I might be addicted to caffeine. I usually have a cup or two of coffee and several diet cokes throughout the day. How can I tell if I'm... more

Feel the Brrrrrrr...n! – February 13, 2006
Is it true that you burn more calories when the ambient temperature is lower? Should I quit exercising at the Z-Center and take up running along... more

Jump and hurl? – February 6, 2006
When working out, especially when doing anything that includes jumping, I end up tossing my cookies, and then I feel better right away. If I... more

Craving cashmere – January 10, 2006
Clothing with wool (even a small amount) makes me itchy, and I've avoided lanolin products for years. But with all the lovely looking cashmere... more

Live long and perspire? – January 3, 2006
I've heard that aluminum deposits have been found in the brains of people who have died of Alzheimer's disease. Will using underarm deodorants or... more

Will they lettuce have some peas? – January 1, 2006
According to the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, an individual on a 2000-calorie-per-day diet should be eating two cups of fruit and two and... more

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