Q: I am a 30-year-old woman with weight 79kg and height 5ft 6 inches. Please suggest a diet plan for post-pregnancy phase along with some light exercises. Afshan
A: Dear Afshan, it is good that you want to keep yourself fit through a balanced diet and exercise. It would be much better if you had mentioned whether you are a lactating mother or not. However, you can take help from the prescription given below.
• 100ml fresh juice
• 1-2 slices of bran bread with peanut butter + 1/2 cup whole-grain cereals + 100ml skimmed milk + 2 egg whites
• 1 apple + 200ml skimmed milk
• 1 cup fresh salad + 150g lean meat + 1/2 cup rice + 1 cup plain yogurt
• 1 handful of nuts/ beans/ peas + 1 cup green tea with lemon and a teaspoon honey
• 1/2 cup fresh salad + 1 cup mixed pulses/ legumes + 2 slices of bran bread
• 200ml skimmed milk
• Drink 2.5-3 litres of water every day
• You can cook your meals in vegetable oil. Avoid fizzy drinks, confectionaries, deep fried foods, sweets, candies, cakes, bakery items, saturated fat, ghee, butter and egg yolk
• You can have BBQ/ steamed/ boiled forms of foods
• If you feed your baby, keep yourself hydrated. Don't forget to have a glass of water before feeding your baby.
Warm up: 10-15 mins; 50-55% of your MHR; Recumbent bike.
Resistance training: Specified according to days; 12-15 reps; 1-2 sets; rest for 30 secs after each set.
Seated leg curls
Single leg lifts (face up)
Single leg lifts (face down)
Cardio: 50-60% of your MHR; all exercising days; 10 mins each of the following. Keep your intensity for each 10 mins. Cardio activity as given below.
Time (sequence of minutes) - Intensity (% of MHR)
Cool down: Walk slowly for 5 mins on a treadmill
Flexibility stretch: Isometrically stretch all major muscle groups, each for 10-15 secs. Try not to hold your breath while in the stretched position.
Q: I am 19 years old and weigh 47kg. My height is 5ft 5 inches. Please suggest some tips for gaining weight and increasing height. Azaz
A: Dear Azaz, the tips given below may help you in achieving your targets.
Firstly, you must have an active lifestyle. You should engage yourself in a physical activity for 30-40 mins daily. You may join a gym or take swimming classes. You may also join some sports team or do aerobics, yoga, water aerobics and dancing. Exercising at least thrice a week is mandatory. Initially, you must exercise in presence of a physical instructor to avoid poor exercise posture and to execute exercise in its proper form. Keep your exercise intensity, duration and frequency according to your required goals.
Secondly, you must take a balanced diet. Have 4-5 small but nutritious meals in a day. Add variety to your food. The easiest way is to check the colours in your platter. You must have fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, eggs, poultry, whole-grain cereals, plain yogurt, milk and fresh juices. You should prepare your meals using vegetable oils.
Thirdly, you should keep yourself at bay from stress. Enjoy sufficient time at sleep. Height is usually genetically manifested but environmental factors may help in improving it. By adopting the above mentioned lifestyle changes, you may find growth in your height as well. Additionally, you should bear a good posture. Avoid stooping yourself while studying or working on any of your gadgets.
By performing some specific exercises like hanging over T- bar, skipping rope, swimming, yoga and isometric stretching, you can give a strong boost to your height. Likewise, balanced and healthy eating, having your meals at proper timings and including fresh juices and milkshakes will additionally help you in getting your targets achieved.
You should be aware of keeping yourself away from any sorts of addictions like caffeine or nicotine. Remember, such things decrease calcium from your bones and hinder your growth.
Q: I am 21 years old and overweight. I weigh 68kg and my height is 4ft 8 inches. Please suggest some healthy foods that also help me in weight loss. Also, what is better for me – egg whites or whole eggs? Nisa
A: Dear Nisa, if you aim at reducing your extra fat masses, it's not only the type of food that you need to monitor but your daily activities including an exercise regime. It would be better if you try to make your lifestyle active.
The benefits of exercise go way beyond burning calories. Exercise can increase your metabolism and improve your outlook and it’s something you can benefit from in various ways. Go for a walk, stretch, move around and you’ll have more energy and motivation to tackle the other steps in your weight loss programme.
If you do not find time for a longer workout, three 10-minute spurts of exercise per day are just as good as one 30-minute workout. Always remember, something is better than nothing, so you must start off slowly with small targets of physical activity each day. Then as you start to lose weight and have more energy, you’ll find it easier to become more physically active.
Learn to enjoy whatever you do. Try walking with a friend, dancing, hiking, cycling, playing some sports that interest you most, join water aerobics or floor aerobics class or yoga.
Whether you’re specifically aiming to cut carbs or not, most of us consume way more sugar and refined carbohydrates than required for our health. Eliminating candies and desserts is only part of the solution, though. Sugar is hidden in foods as diverse as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, and many foods labelled “low-fat” or “no fat.” All this hidden sugar amounts to nothing but a lot of empty calories.
Switching to diet soda is not the answer as it can trigger sugar cravings and contribute to weight gain. Instead, try switching to carbonated water with a splash of juice or unsweetened iced tea. To avoid unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, avoid refined carbs such as white bread, white rice or pasta, and opt for their whole-grain counterparts instead.
Add variety to your foods with fresh fruits and vegetables. You can have lean meat, cottage cheese, and meals cooked in vegetable oils. Avoid taking egg yolk as it is full of cholesterol. You can take fat-free milk, plain yogurt, bran bread and peanut butter.