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ASK KOMAL: How do I reduce my belly?

May 06, 2021 15:59 IST
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Dietician Komal Jethmalani provides the right answer.

Diet, combined with exercise, helps reduce weight.

IMAGE: Kindly note this image has only been posted for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Jonathan Borba/

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.


I need to reduce my thighs and belly.
Also my hip part is more than it should be.
Please help.

Loss in body measurements is an indicator of fat loss.

To bring about loss in body fat percentage, the prime tools are diet and exercise.

Follow a dietary regimen of balanced macro and micro nutrients with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods.

Avoid simple carbs and high fat foods.

Focus on complex carbs including fibre to increase your metabolism.

Include protein rich foods for muscle gain and recovery.

This, coupled with a fitness schedule of strengthening and cardio exercises, will bring about loss in overall body inches.

I am 74 years old, weigh 62 kgs, take a very nominal dose of high BP medicine.
I’m diabetic, remain on the higher side of normal and once had angioplasty done.
I do about 40 minutes of walk in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.
I attend office for about eight hours.
Would intermittent fasting help me?
Narendra Nahata

Intermittent fasting can aid weight loss and has several other benefits. 

It decreases insulin resistance, has a positive effect on gut microbiota and increases energy levels/productivity. 

It should be combined with strength training and cardio workouts for effective fat loss. 

This diet should be followed only with professional guidance. 

Diabetes management requires carb control and consumption of low glycemic foods like whole grain cereals, vegetables and fruits.

Hi Komal
With the pandemic situation worsening once again, I am feeling increased levels of stress and anxiety.
Can you recommend what kind of food and diet helps reduce stress?
Hemlata Nagrani

Stress is a major cause of ill health.

In COVID times, frustration, desperation and helplessness have led to emotional stress affecting one and all. 

It is best to work towards building our immunity and maintain a calm and positive attitude. 

Eat dark chocolate to improve your mood. 

Include whole grains as they are rich in complex carbohydrates and provide the required energy to your mind and body, besides regulating the hormones that make you feel stressed. 

Green tea, healthy fats and warm milk are good for a better sleep cycle. 

Eating well and healthy and maintaining an exercise schedule to include physical activities which bring joy will go a long way in reducing stress. 

Dear Komal
I am 45 years old and vegetarian.
I am diabetic and have water retention, but there are no other health issues.
My salt intake is less and I don’t eat junk food.
How can I get rid of water retention?
Kala Pandian

Water retention could occur due to various reasons. 

Some of the reasons may include consumption of high carb and high fat foods, low hydration levels, altered kidney function, arthritis, etc. 

You need to identify the cause and treat it accordingly. 

Reduce salt intake, eat more potassium rich fruits like banana and papaya, limit refined carbs and drink plenty of water. 

Dear Komal
I am 47 and have developed cholesterol.
I am 78 kgs, 5.4 feet tall.
Can I get my cholesterol under control naturally, but without a strict diet?
Thank you.
Arvind Mishra 

Hyperlipidemia, which includes high cholesterol, is generally an unhealthy lifestyle consequence. 

This can be controlled by adopting healthy lifestyle habits like eating more complex carbs, avoiding refined and processed foods, high fat savouries, reduction of salt in the diet, etc. 

Inclusion of plant foods like cereals, millets, fruits, vegetables, beans, etc, with an exercise regimen will also bring about effective lowering of lipids.


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.

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

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