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Working out? Try the talk test

January 10, 2006

How do you know if your workout is working for you?

image In a chat with Get Ahead readers on January 9, nutritionist and fitness expert Samreedhi Sharma Goel suggested taking the talk test: 'If you want to assuredly burn fat while walking try the talk test: While walking if you are slightly breathless and can speak a few words but not complete sentences, you are in the fat burning zone. If you cannot talk at all, slow down, and if you can have a long conversation, speed up!'

Samreedhi is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. She runs her own fitness training studio, Size Wise. She also conducts fitness workshops. Besides training with the International Sports Science Association, USA, she has a PG diploma in nutrition and food technology and writes for a variety of publications.

For those of you who missed the chat, here is the transcript:

Part I: Want to be more alert at work?


samreedhi: Hi everyone! I wish you all an exciting new year ahead! Please start your questions with your AGE,SEX(M/F), Height in cms and weight. So, let's chat.


JJJJJ: Hi I am Female 25 and height 5.4. My current weight is around 70 kgs. I want to reduce . Please recommend if Yoga will help me reduce

samreedhi: Hi, assuming you are medium-framed you need to lose about 8-10 kilogrammes. While Yoga is great for improving flexibility and calming the mind, it would be advisable to combine it with another metabolism boosting exercise in order to lose weight. Try adding brisk walking to your routine for 30 minutes, three times a week and weight training for 20 minutes about two to three times a week. This will help you reach your goal soon!


Sudheker: Hi Samreedhi. I am 25 years old and weigh about 78 Kgs and my height is 176 CM. I have a huge tummy. I want to reduce weight as well as my tummy. Please suggest what kind of exercises should I do. Also the diet.

samreedhi: Hi! Assuming you are a medium-framed male, you need to lose about four to five kilogrammes in order to lose fat on the tummy.

i. Cut down on fried food, junk food, colas and other refined food.

ii. Exercise daily be it walking, cycling, swimming or jogging.

iii. Work out in the gym. This will give you a metabolic boost that can help reshape and tone your entire body and not just your abs!


akashsinghvi: 25 M 5'5" 55...Hi Smriti, I have been diagnosed with Congomalatia Patelle, (weaknoing of Knee muscles and Cartiledge)...can you give me some suggestions regarding My diet and exercises. I am currently undergoing Physiotherepy and taking multivitamin tabs/caps.

samreedhi: Hi! I think you mean chondromalacia. Firstly, you should be well-informed about any health problem you have no matter how minor. Physiotherapy and multivitamins are the right decision.

If you are going to a gym, avoid squats and lunges, aerobics or any exercise that involves hyperextention of the knee FOR LIFE. But you can ask your instuctor to show you some other hip and thigh strengthening exercises. Work on improving the strength of all the supporting muscles -- ie hip, thigh and back of the leg. Follow a healthy diet as, if and when you do put on weight, the pressure will fall on your knees and weaken them further. Keep exercising.


kritika: hi this is kritika, i m 21 yrs old -f,my ht is 5-2,my wt is 80kgs,i dont eat much ,like i eat only once in a day , pls tell me wat to do,i m really tensed.

samreedhi: Hi! Do you know stress causes weight gain? If you eat only once a day, you are forcing your body to conserve energy from whatever you eat -- ie your body is becoming more efficient in 'saving' fat from food.

Instead have three to four meals a day. Never skip breakfast, have a good lunch and a light dinner snack in between meals on fruits/ salads/ soups. Enjoy your food; you are young and can afford to make exercise a part of your lifestyle and you will never have to worry about your weight. Most of all, relax!


kushal: what is the most effective way to reduce extra wt. gained after delivery ? Does Sauna belt help ??

samreedhi: Hi! None of theses gadgets really help to lose weight. You can start exercising as soon as the doctor gives you the go ahead. Start with a brisk walk for 20 minutes each day and gradually build it up to 40-45 minutes daily.

Do not overdo on the post-pregnancy 'special foods'. Not only do you gain more weight, but you also get habituated to a high fat diet.

Have milk twice a day at least, eat dry fruits, eat plenty of fruits and salads, include ragi in your diet. Do not overemphasise on ghee, laddoos, etc. Eat them only as snacks in between meals.


san: hi samriddhi jee ... i am 26 yr old guy,52 kg weight and 170 c.m height.how can i increase my weight. pls tell me

samreedhi: Hi!You don't gain weight easily because you have a very high metabolic rate. When you do gain weight you should aim at muscle gain, as excess fat would affect your health adversely. To gain muscle mass you must:

i. Train with weights with a 'GOOD KNOWLEDGEABLE TRAINER' three to four times a week.

ii. Eat at least five to six small meals (take a good diet plan from a nutritionist/ dietician).

iii. If you are non-vegetarian consuming a good quality protein is easy; in the way of milk, eggs, chicken and fish. For vegetarians, make sure you drink milk and combine cereals and pulses for good quality protein.

iv. Just over-emphasis on protein won't help. See that your diet includes plenty of complex carbohydrates -- ie whole grains, cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables.

Happy body building!


pankaj_kumar: Hi Smreedhi I am 5.11 and 24 years my weight is around 80 and medium frame body.. what should be my approppriate weight.

samreedhi: Hi! 72-77 kilogrammes.


wrud: myself 85kg/5 ft. 11inch,waste 36inch, wants to reduce some inches around my waste and stomach. i do daily pushup and warm up exercise for 5-10 minuits. last year my weight was 88kg now its 85 kgs as i told you, i think my body is taking shape but taking so much time. is it ok?

samreedhi: Hi, just doing push-ups is not enough.you must do a workout for the entire body. You need to step up your exercise routine. Do a cardio workout (walking/ cycling/ swimming/ treadmill) for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. You can also start a weight training routine with light weights, two to three times in a week. 

Watch your diet. Try to change one bad habit at a time ie if you are used to eating oily snacks like vada pav/ samosa in the evening everyday, switch to a dry bhel or a fruit plate and see the difference.


ani_scorpio8: Hi! there. I am 23 years old & weigh 85 kgs and height is approx 5.5. I ve done a lot to loose weight but invain. I joined yoga, gym but of no use at all. I had also bought ab king pro to reduce my tummy, but no positive results. I work & my office timings are 930 AM to 530 PM but due to private firm I need to work late hrs. Some one suggested to have wheat grass juice. Is it good? Pls......................do advice & reply

samreedhi: Hi, if one particular food helped lose weight miraculously, there would be no fat person on earth. You need to review your diet honestly and see if you are eating right. Your exercise routine too may not have been strenuous enough, so look into that as well. I am sure you will find the cause.


genu: Hi I am genu. 32 years old, male. height is 175cm and weight is 58kg. I have diabetics. I do brisk walking for 5kms @the speed of 5km/hr. Please suggest me good diet and exercise routine.

samreedhi: Hi, you have not specified a type of diabetes. Divide your day into four meals a day. Try to eat at the same time daily. Omit refined and processed food, avoid fried and high fat food like dry fruits, liver, kidney, red meat, etc. Eat more whole grains and salads. Stick to only one fruit a day. Make yourself more aware of the Glycemic Index of foods and you will be able to guide yourself for meals.


sam: HI! I AM 37 YR/FEMALE/162CM/61KG.PLEASE EXPLAIN WALKING AND BRISK WALKING AND WHICH ONE IS CARDIO. THANX.

samreedhi: Hi there. If you want to assuredly burn fat while walking try the talk test: While walking if you are slightly breathless and can speak a few words but not complete sentences, you are in the fat burning zone. If you cannot talk at all slow down and if you can have a long conversation, speed up!


suchi: hi, I am 27yrs, female, 165cm, 72kgs. I maintain a balanced diet and also exercise. I have gained weight in the last 18 months due to the sedentary natur of job.But not much wt loss has happened. Do all these wt loss advertisements shown by VLCC, Body care etc actually help in loss, is it adviseable to opt for them. Plz advise

samreedhi: Hi, the best and most permanent way to lose weight, stay fit, look good, feel good, l ook younger, glow, feel younger, feel energetic, work longer, feel less tired and more happy is EXERCISE.

THERE IS NO SHORT CUT TO GOOD HEALTH! Can you starve your way to health?


Part I: Want to be more alert at work?

DON'T MISS!



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Number of User Comments: 3




Sub: wieght

im 14 around 5'6 ft tall and about 160-170 pounds, i wanna lose wait and gain muscle for the upcoming foot ball season what should ...


Posted by steve





Sub: i am too overweight

my name is raghav.i am 21 yrs old and male.actually i was a perfect looking boy.now my height is 5\\\'9 and i am 94kgs.the problem ...


Posted by rags





Sub: working out try the talk test

very good and informative.Samriddhi's email address should have been added as even at a later date her help could be taken by the needy. Dr.A.V.Pathak


Posted by dravpathak




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