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This article was first published 3 years ago  » Getahead » ASK KOMAL: How do I stop snacking at night?

ASK KOMAL: How do I stop snacking at night?

December 14, 2020 12:45 IST
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‘Excess calories at dinner will get converted to fat and will result in weight gain,’ warns Komal Jethmalani.

Sonam Kapoor in Aisha

IMAGE: Sonam Kapoor in Aisha. Kindly note that this image has been used for representative purposes only.


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 for her advice.

Hi Komal,
I’m Joseph, 37 years old, 177 cm height and weight around 90 kg (overweight).
I do not eat much for breakfast and lunch as my work gets in between, but dinner I eat too much.
Even after a good or heavy dinner, I feel hungry at times after a while and I end up eating again.
Not sure how I can control my urge to eat at night.

Diet should comprise of small frequent meals to increase your metabolism.

Include nutrient dense foods with high protein and fibre to increase satiety value and provide essential nutrients.

As you are busy at work, include healthy foods like buttermilk, fruits and nuts as fillers in between meals.

Avoid skipping meals as this will lower your metabolism.

Excess calories at dinner will get converted to fat and will result in weight gain.

Have a bowl of salad before dinner and include fibre rich foods to add bulk to your diet.

Have a cup of skimmed milk at bed time in case you still feel hungry.

Milk has the amino acid tryptophan, which helps in inducing sleep and provides protein which is slowly digested and raises the satiety value.


Dear Komalji
Thank you for your service in helping people like me.
I am female, 45, getting fit for first time.
I am 5”3, 75 kilos, age 44.
What is best exercise for me -- yoga, walking, zumba or something else?
How I should change food habits?

Fitness is very essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Incorporate healthy food habits and focus on body toning to start with.

Include foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables as a source of fibre and good protein sources like milk and milk products, eggs, legumes and lean meat.

Avoid high fat, high sugar, packaged foods, fruit juices, alcohol, etc.

Follow a regular schedule of exercise that includes cardio and strengthening exercises.

Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.

Dear Komal
I am a fun loving guy, 26 years, 5’9” height, 82 kgs.
I love to snack -- wafers, chiwda, chakli, fafda -- any savoury snack, any time, and I am game.
I like my drink too… a couple of glasses every day and without limit when I am with friends.
During the lockdown, all this was not available.
Now that it is, I am back to normal.
But I realise that there is a difference in my health.
How do I start taking care? Since there is no lockdown, it will not be easy for me to resist.

Enjoying life is definitely important but not at the cost of your health.

Make your health a priority and you will enjoy the best of life.

Endangering your life by carelessly eating will create more problems and take away the happiness of enjoyment!

Set a list of your priorities and focus on a scheduled exercise regimen.

Include healthy food options like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, eggs, etc. And avoid unhealthy fats, high sugar fast and packaged foods.

Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.

Limit your drinks and avoid binge eating.

Be firm, strong-willed and determined to lead a healthy life.

Hi Komalji
I live in joint family, non-veg. Our family ladies are very good cooks.
We eat delicious, rich, heavy food always and non-veg every day.
My friends are telling me this is not good; I should eat more healthy.
Now I agree but I cannot change my family.
What can I do for myself to eat healthy and stay healthy?
I will become a graduate this year.

It is good that you are now aware of the significance of a healthy lifestyle.

Make an effort to educate your family about the repercussions of the unhealthy food habits they follow.

It may not be very easy but it can be slowly and gently conveyed by you becoming a role model.

And impress upon the ladies, at least one of them, about the detrimental effects of the excessive oily and rich foods they cook.

Explain the adverse conditions like high cholesterol, liver diseases, heart conditions, etc, which are more likely to affect the men in the family.

Include healthy and easily accessible foods like fruits, nuts and buttermilk as fillers.

Have small frequent meals.

Adopt a regular exercise regimen for body toning and burning excess fat.

I suggest learn to cook easy and healthy food options for yourself.

Dear Komal
I am not fond of exercising.
Can one keep healthy with diet only, without exercise.
Generally, I am not active and my work is online.

Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand.

If you are inactive your metabolism will be lowered and excess calories will be stored as fat.

Physical activity helps in blood circulation, bone fitness, muscle development, etc. which will result in poor health if ignored.

As you work is online, make it a habit to get up and move about for 15-20 minutes every 2 hours.

Try to take a walk for about 40 minutes daily, walk up and down the stairs or join live cardio/strengthening online sessions.

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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