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Make your diet work for you!
June 26, 2007

Do you have a healthy appetite, but can't manage to reach your ideal weight? Or have you been working out regularly but can't seem to lose the extra weight?

There is more to being fit than just the size of your waist or the shape of your body. You need to eat right and exercise right.

Fitness consultant and nutritionist Samreedhi Goel chatted with readers on June 18 about this and other health and diet-related issues.

For those of you who missed the chat, here's part II of the transcript.

Part I -- Fad diets: A long-term weight loss solution?


vijji asked, I am a 53-year-old working lady. What diet is suitable for me?

Samreedhi Goel answers, Never skip meals especially breakfast. Have your three main meals ie breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack in between on fruits, popcorn, kurmura or khakhras. Limit your tea/ coffee intake to about 2-3 cups a day. Drink plenty of water. Avoid fried food and excess sweets. Exercise daily. Remember, dieting is about options not restrictions it is about making right food choices, enjoying the food you love in moderation and getting healthier and not just slim/ thin.


jisk asked, My problem is that I have a good diet but my weight does not increase to my expectations. I am 34 years old and 5'4" tall. Right from childhood I have been a good eater but then the ratio of my weight increase and diet intake is not right. Recently after taking Supradin, my weight increased from 58 to 64. Can you tell my what the problem could be?


Samreedhi Goel answers, You don't gain weight easily because you have a 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 first train with weights with a knowledgeable trainer three to four times a week.


Eat at least five to six small meals (take a good diet plan from a nutritionist/ dietician). If you are non-vegetarian, consuming a good quality protein is easy; in the way of milk, eggs, chicken and fish. If you are vegetarian, make sure you drink milk and combine cereals and pulses for good quality protein. But just an over-emphasis on protein won't help, see that your diet includes plenty of complex carbohydrates ie whole grains, cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables.

sandeep1 asked, Which is preferable -- going to the gym or jogging daily?

Samreedhi Goel answers, Going to the gym and walking daily is a good combination.


reach asked, Can we control stretch marks with proper diet? Are there foods that we should avoid?

Samreedhi Goel answers, There is no going back from stretch marks. An oil massage with Vitamin E oil can help make them lighter though.


sandhya asked, I am 27-years-old and weigh 36 kg. My haemoglobin is 8. Please give me a advice on how to increase my haemoglobin?

Samreedhi Goel answers, Your weight and haemoglobin is way too low. I would suggest you speak to your doctor and start an iron supplement immediately.


sammy asked, I am a large framed woman, but my large frame is mainly on the upper half of my body. This makes my arms and shoulders look rounded and huge. My lower half is quite fine for my height. Plus I have a tummy. Can you please suggest what to do to lose weight on these parts?

Samreedhi Goel answers, Start with light weights three times a week and either cardio exercises for the other three days. This will help you achieve shape and reduce fat, but be patient give it at least 6-8 months.


madhu1 asked, Is it possible to gain muscle mass by starting exercises at the age of 40?

Samreedhi Goel answers, Yes, it is. Anyone who weight trains at any age does gain a few pounds of muscle after training with weights for a reasonable amount of time.


Geeta asked, I have been gaining weight for the last 6 months. My work schedule is very hectic and I don't have time to go for a walk or gym. I do have two holidays in a week. Can you suggest something I can do on these days?

Samreedhi Goel answers, You could hire a personal trainer who will train you on weekends or join swimming or tennis.

kiran asked, I wanted to know what type of foods increase metabolic rate?

Samreedhi Goel answers, Eating 4-5 meals daily can increase metabolic rate and working out with weights too can help you achieve the same.


SP asked, I weigh 61.5 kilos and my height is 160 cms (female). What is the ideal weight for my height? How do I maintain the ideal weight? I walk for 20 mins on most days.

Samreedhi Goel answers, If you are medium framed person your ideal weight is between 53-59 kgs. Increase your walk to 30-45 minutes daily.


kiran asked, I wanted to know the type of walk we need to do. Does slow walking give the same results as the brisk walk?

Samreedhi Goel answers, No, slow walking will not help you burn fat at all. You need to walk fast so that your heart rate goes into the fat burning zone. To find out if you are walking fast enough do the TALK TEST, to see if you are comfortably breathless. If while exercising you find it difficult to say a few words, you are probably working out too hard. If you are talking all the way through your workout you are not working hard enough. For a good indication of aerobic exercise you should be able to say a few words, catch your breath and then carry on talking.



Part I -- Fad diets: A long-term weight loss solution?

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