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ASK KOMAL: Am active, but not losing weight

September 13, 2021 16:24 IST
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Dietician Komal Jethmalani provides expert help.

Katrina Kaif

*IMAGE: Katrina Kaif at the gym. Photograph: Kind courtesy Yasmin Karachiwala/Twitter

Dear readers, are you worried about your health as we battle COVID-19?

Concerned about what you and your family are eating as you cope with staying indoors?

Struggling with weight gain?

Or are you facing other heath issues like diabetes, blood pressure, joint pain or heart problems?

Please mail your questions to Nutritionist Komal Jethmalani (Subject: Ask Komal) for her advice.


Hi Komal.
This is Asiya -- age: 30, height: 5'7, weight: 65.
I'm suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Which diet do I have to follow?
Even though I’m on pills, the pain is not being relieved.
Can you please suggest a better diet?
Also, please tell me about intermittent fasting.
Thank you in advance.
Asiya Shaik

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition, so any acidic food will increase inflammation.

These include junk foods, sugary foods and red meats. In fact, many find relief by avoiding non-veg foods.

Gluten restriction can also provide relief. However, the response to food restrictions will vary from person to person.

An anti-inflammatory diet might lessen the number of flare-ups you have or it might help reduce your pain.

The main theory behind intermittent fasting is that we extend our body's time to detox as we fast more and more.

If we eat constantly, our body channelises most of our energy into digesting/absorbing/assimilating the food instead of detoxifying our body; we need to reverse this.

Hi Ma’am.
I am a regular housewife, aged32 years, weighing 67 kgs and 5'8" in height.
I’m totally active from morning 7 am to night 11 pm. Sometimes, I don’t even get the regular hour rest.
I have three kids -- twin daughters who are 10 years old and a son who is 6 years old.
I’m doing all the cooking all by myself; we hardly eat outside, just once a week. I eat my dinner latest by 8.30 pm.
I do yoga five times a week for 60 to 90 minutes. Still, I am not losing any weight. I have a really bad fat pouch on my lower tummy and lower sides.
Please guide me.
Komal Guglani

The key behind losing body fat percentage is a balanced diet with adequate protein, high fibre, low carbs and low fat along with a fitness regimen.

Although you may be active throughout the day, the exercise has to be directed towards muscle gain and include strengthening exercises as well.

Routine activities are cardio exercises which often are not done with a specific intensity and speed. This coupled with a customised diet will help you lose weight.

Dear Komal,
My name is Sweeta Bhatra.
I am a vegetarian.
My weight is 52 kgs, but I look like 48 kgs. I am 5’4 because of genetic factors.
I try to eat healthy -- only ghar ka khana, fruits, fluids, homemade chapati with homemade ghee.
Then also, I know something is missing in my daily regimen.
I don’t eat fast food a lot.
Please give me a proper vegetarian diet plan.
Sweeta Bhatra

It’s good to know that you eat healthy.

Focus on a high protein, fibre rich, low fat and low carb diet.

Eat lots of vegetables, fruits and salads.

Include whole grains, nuts and anti-inflammatory foods.

Drink plenty of water to remain well hydrated and sleep well.

Do strengthening and endurance exercises with some cardio activities to increase lean mass.

Dear Komal,
During the pandemic, one of the few things that can alleviate boredom or stress is food.
We tend to order out a lot and it is now showing in our physique.
Not ordering food is not an option. How do we order food that is healthy and tasty?
We most order non-veg, though we eat veg food as well.

The pandemic has led to lethargy in today’s lifestyle although there are many who have explored their culinary skills.

Eating healthy includes having whole grain cereals and legumes, more vegetables, fruits and nuts, etc, to include the healthy fibre component.

While eating outside, make sure these foods are added in the meal.

Include low fat foods like roasted, baked or boiled lean meat, sauteed vegetables, etc.

Avoid fatty foods, fast foods, savouries, sweets, chocolates, desserts, packaged foods, etc. Make sure you remain well hydrated and focus on portion size.

Dear Komal,
What causes water retention in the body and how can one prevent it?
Thank you.
Pranita Kaul

A number of factors can cause water retention, including:

  • Standing or sitting for too long
  • Menstrual changes
  • Fluctuating hormones
  • Eating too much sodium
  • Medications
  • A weak heart
  • Flying in an airplane
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Some simple dietary changes may help reduce water retention.

For starters, you can try eating less salt by, for example, cutting back on processed foods.

You can also consume foods that are rich in magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6.

Kindly note this image has been posted for representational purposes only.

Komal Jethmalani is a dietician with over 25 years of experience in food, nutrition and dietetics, with an MSc in food science and nutrition.

A certified diabetes educator and lifestyle coach, specialising in diabetic, cardiovascular, weight loss and various therapeutic diets, she consults under the brand, The Diet Mantra.

And she will try and help you achieve your dietary and fitness goals through healthy lifestyle changes.

Do share your complete health details including age, weight, height and health issues if any.

Write to (Subject: Ask Komal), along with your name. You are most welcome to share your photograph as well.

This column is an advisory. Please do consult your doctor as well.

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