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Dear Hungry Girl,

I recently lost 45 pounds but my BMI is still at 26, which is considered overweight.  My body fat percentage is in the low 20's.  Am I still overweight?

-- Bummed About My BMI


Dear Bummed,

Congrats!  Losing 45 pounds is an amazing accomplishment, so you ROCK!  Here's the lowdown on the BMI situation;  While Body Mass Index (BMI) is a handy way to determine whether or not someone's at a healthy weight and whether or not they're risk for certain diseases, it is a very broad measure.  And it's not always an accurate measure of whether or not someone is overweight because it doesn't distinguish muscle from fat.  Muscle weighs more than fat.  So people who have a lot of muscle can have a BMI that places them in the "overweight" category when they're really healthy and in shape.  A September, 2000 study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that body fat percentage is a more reliable measurement of fitness than the BMI is.  This means someone with a high BMI and a low body fat percentage (especially someone who is muscular) should put much more confidence in the body fat percentage information and not worry about their BMI.  Your low 20's body fat percentage is very good, by the way.  Yay!

Dear Hungry Girl,

Are tic tacs allowed on a low carb diet?  I love them.

--Tic Tac Toni

Dear Tic Tac Toni,

Each tic tac has just 2 calories and 1/3 of a carb--so for every 3 tic tacs you eat, you'll be taking in just one measly carb.  Eating tic tacs should NOT hinder your low-carb diet, unless you're really packing 'em in by the dozens!  Plus, munching on these low-cal mints can ease your sweet tooth and can keep your mouth occupied (so it will have less time to chew on high-carb foods!) with practically no consequences.  Another tip for you:  Have a tic tac after dinner.  Your mouth will feel minty-fresh (almost like you've brushed your teeth), and you'll be less likely to give in to those late-night snacking cravings.  Stop worrying and eat your tic tacs (within reason) guilt-free!

Today, December 22nd is National Date-Nut Bread Day.  Date-nut bread isn't exactly good for you, but it's still better for you than dating a nut.
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