» Getahead » Dear Komal: I want to lose 20 kg

Dear Komal: I want to lose 20 kg

January 21, 2022 14:35 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 Vicky Bhargava/

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 Komalji,
My son is seven years old.
His weight is around 21.5 kg.
I feel that his physique is too lean. He is not much interested in food. Every time, we have to push him to eat.
He falls sick very often, especially with throat infection.
His daily diet is:
Breakfast: Milk every day with PediaSure powder and bread/egg white/chapati/paratha on rotation basis.
Before lunch: Apple/Orange/Seasonal fruit
Lunch: Usually Chapati/Rice/Dal sabzi
Evening: Milk with PediaSure powder
Dinner at 9 pm: Usually Chapati/Rice/Dal sabzi
This is almost his daily routine. 
The problems we are facing:
He doesn’t eat much.
He falls sick very often.
He is too lean but active.
Please advise a good plan for him.
Avinash Kumar

The growth of a child is influenced by poor or adequate nutrition, environment, exercise, hormones, serious or chronic illnesses, etc.

Based on his activity and nutritional requirements, he needs to take a high protein diet which will help increase his muscle mass.

Include protein-rich foods like eggs, low fat dairy products, nuts, lean meat, etc, in every meal.

Add lots of vegetables, fruits and salads in his diet to include antioxidants and fibre which will improve his gut health.

His immunity will improve with a good nutritional balance in his diet and energy-dense foods to sustain his activities. 

He must drink enough water to remain well-hydrated, sleep for at least eight hours daily and have a happy social environment.

Hi Ma’am
This is Zubair Tambe.
I am suffering from kidney stones and obesity. My age is 43 years old, weight 91 kg, height is 5.4 inches.
I want to lose minimum 20 kg.
Please advise me.

Obesity is one of the influencing factors as far as the development of kidney stones is concerned.

A high fat percentage can affect the kidneys’s function, thus increasing the need to exercise and lose weight.

Include an exercise schedule to increase lean mass and have a nutritionally balanced diet with a focus on low carb, high protein and fibre.

Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidney.

Include more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy in your diet.

Limit the intake of sodium, sugar and red meat.

Fruits rich in citric acid have also been shown to have a positive effect in preventing kidneys stones.

Get to know the particular fruits and veggies that have high oxalate content and try to limit them or be sure to eat them in combination with calcium-rich foods.

Including extra water in your diet can help prevent the formation of both uric acid and cystine stones.

Dear Komal,
I have been diagnosed with a fatty liver.
What diet and exercise should I follow to make my liver normal again?
I am a non-vegetarian, sedentary. I have been told to stop drinking and smoking.
Age is 35 years.
Thank you for your help.

Fatty liver is a condition in which there is an increased build-up of fat in the liver and scarring of the tissue.

It is important to lose weight and increase physical activity.

Avoid refined carbs and include leafy greens -- they contain chlorophyll which helps cleanse toxins from the bloodstream.

Make sure your diet has enough MUFA (healthy fat) by including nuts and avocado.

Green tea and garlic work as excellent antioxidants.

Ensure your diet has enough high fibre and adequate protein, combined with high intensity workouts.

Hi Komal Ma’am,
Are protein supplements safe?
I work out regularly and have been taking them for a while (since I was 16, I am now 24).
Will it harm my health in the long run?
I have worked hard on my body and don’t want to lose my shape.

Protein supplements are generally whey protein, which is excellent for a high protein uptake post workout.

If you can achieve your protein requirements with natural foods, then it is not necessary to take protein supplements lifelong.

They are advised only in case of a high protein requirement due to HIIT (high intensity interval training workouts) or due to poor protein absorption due to gastric issues or any other illness.

Consistency and compliance, as far as a nutritionally balanced diet and an exercise regimen is concerned, will help you maintain your body shape.

I want to turn vegan but I am worried that it will affect my health because I may not get the nutrition I need.
Can you please advise me about how to keep track and what I must keep in mind after I become a vegan?
Also, are plant-based meats and other non-veg products made from plants healthy?
I love non-veg food so how do I handle my cravings?
Thank you for your time,

Being vegan has its challenges.

A high protein requirement is difficult to achieve in a vegan diet, though not impossible.

Plant-based foods with good cereal-pulse, cereal-nut combinations, lentils, soya, quinoa, spirulina, etc, can provide a good protein diet.

All meats made from plant food or vegan meat are good and include proteins from plant origins.

They are a good source of fibre, folate and iron, while containing less saturated fat than animal meat. There can, however, be nutritional deficiencies in a vegan diet if not properly balanced. 

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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