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ASK KOMAL: Have thyroid, struggling to lose weight

September 30, 2021 17:24 IST
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Dietician Komal Jethmalani provides expert help.


IMAGE: Kindly note that this image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Tim Samuel/

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.


Dear Komal,
My name is Arati, I am 43 years old, 147 cm and my weight is 55 kgs.
I am consulting a dietician since last year and my weight has come down from 62 kgs to 55 kgs now.
I am a high BP and thyroid patient.
Having said that, I have not lost any further weight in the last three months.
My thyroid has come down; inch loss is happening but not evidently. What could be the reason?

Weight loss is a gradual process.

When you follow a balanced diet and exercise regimen, there is muscle gain.

This gain in lean mass is the reason for slow weight loss.

Inch loss is an indicator of fat loss.

The thyroid hormone regulates metabolic processes essential for normal growth and development, as well as regulating metabolism in an adult. Thus, hypothyroidism reduces metabolism.

Consistency and compliance are the two key factors in achieving one’s health goals. So, continue with your healthy lifestyle.

Hello Ms Komal.
My 21 year old daughter (5'3" height) has had a severe acid reflux problem for the past one year.
Her weight dropped to an extreme low of 31.5 kgs from 47 kgs.
Her menstrual cycle has also stopped for the last six months.
After undergoing treatment for about eight months, she is feeling better.
Her symptoms of severe burping, bloating and loss of appetite are gone.
She has started increasing her food intake and her weight has gained by about 3 kgs in one month.
However her doctors have advised her to have high calorie diet to help increase her weight.
Her current diet is:
Breakfast: 3 bread toast slices with butter with 1 egg masala burji or 1 egg omelette
Mid-morning snack: 2 black dates and 2 almonds
Lunch: 1 chapati, 1 serving vegetable, 3/4 bowl rice with dal
Sometimes she skips the chapati, if her morning breakfast is heavy with extra burji or cheese slice is eaten.
Evening at 5 pm: 1 glass mango milkshake
Dinner at 8 pm: 1 bowl rice with dal and 1/2 bowl vegetable
After dinner at 10 pm: 1 glass cow’s milk with 1 scoop of Ensure protein powder.
She is unable to increase the food intake per meal as she feels full and anxious about burping symptoms coming back.
Kindly advise changes in the diet to enable weight gain of 5-6 kgs per month.
Also please inform what should be the ideal weight for her age and height.
Thanking you,
Best regards
P S Salelkar

Gut health has a primary role in absorption of nutrients from food and subsequently good health.

Ensure your daughter has good probiotic and prebiotics in her diet.

A high protein, fibre-rich and complex carb diet will be ideal for her.

She must follow an exercise schedule which will lead to gain in lean mass and thereby weight gain.

Sound sleep, adequate water intake and low stress are amongst the components of a healthy lifestyle.

Hi Komal.
I am 49, 165 lbs and height is 5.6 inches.
I do regular exercise along with pranayama, yoga and swimming.
My problem is I have facial fat. My face looks bloated.
Is there any remedy for it?

Facial fat could be genetic or may be due to a high body fat percentage.

Follow a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise regimen aimed at fat loss.

A high protein, low carbohydrate and low-fat diet with strengthening and cardio exercises will lower body fat and increase lean mass which will gradually make your face leaner.

I am Payal, a working professional, vegetarian, 54 years old.
Height: 5'1"
Weight: 64 kgs
Sleep: Approximately seven hours.
Food: I eat 2 chapatis in a day, little salad and little fruit. Apart from that, one cup of tea with one rusk and a few biscuits during the day but in controlled portions. Mostly eating home cooked food. Water intake is very low, 2-3 litres only despite conscious effort.
Exercise: Walking approximately 40 mins daily. No other exercise as I have back issues after hysterectomy around 10 years back.
Health: Also suffering from chronic sinusitis. Borderline diabetic (genetic) since a couple of years. Bowel issues as stomach does not cleared in one go so gastric issues too.
Stress level is high because of issues in joint family, especially nowadays as I have been working from home for last 1.5 years.
Need your guidance to lose around 6-7 kgs weight
Best regards,
Payal Madan

Weight loss is a gradual process.

Balanced diet and an exercise regimen will help you achieve your goal.

You need to have an adequate protein, high fibre and low carb diet to boost your metabolism.

Gut health is of prime importance in overall health. Include pro and prebiotics to strengthen the gut and provide an alkaline medium.

Bowel movements can be improved by including complex carbohydrate and fibre-rich foods like millets, vegetables, fruits, salads, etc.

This will improve your insulin resistance and bring about body fat loss.

Stress is a major contributor of poor health.

Having adequate sleep and avoiding unhealthy food habits/lifestyle will help in achieving your health goals

Dear Komal,
I've been facing severe hair loss post COVID.
I was tested positive in April 2021 and this issue is going on since May.
I consulted a dermatologist a couple of weeks ago and she recommended vita medicines. But there is no visible improvement in my hair loss.
I'm very worried.
Even my teenage kid is now facing the same problem.
Please advise.
Rozina Gupta

Covid infection leads to a poor nutritional status and a weakened body which leads to poor immunity.

Hair fall is a manifestation of nutrient deficiencies.

Supplements may be necessary but you also need to focus on a healthy diet, rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, etc.

Absorption of nutrients from natural foods is far better than supplements, so include B complex vitamins from grains, pulses, nuts, etc.

Eat iron rich foods like green leafy vegetables and Vitamin C rich foods which will help in improving your nutritional status.

Ensure you have adequate sleep, drink plenty of water and avoid stress.

Exercise to improve your metabolism. This will also help in increasing your endurance and stamina.

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.

Disclaimer: All content and media herein is written and published online for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It should not be relied on as your only source for advice.

Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Do not ever disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

If you believe you may have a medical or mental health emergency, please call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital, or call emergency services or emergency helplines immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.

Opinions expressed herein cannot necessarily provide advice to fit the exact specifics of the issues of the person requesting advice.

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