Q: I am 47 years old and a heart patient. My weight is 72kg and height is 5 feet 6-inches. My doctor has advised me to lose some weight as it will help improve my heart condition extensively. Kindly guide me what to do? Ahmed
A: Dear Ahmed, no doubt, losing weight is the key to lowering heart disease. Losing weight requires a simple formula: reduce calories in and increase calories out. So if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. In practice, it may be very difficult for you. However, you can educate yourself. The first step is to understand how many calories you need each day based on your physical activity level, age and gender. This will help you identify lifestyle changes you need to make. For a week in the next month, keep a food diary to improve awareness of what you are eating, and also keep an activity diary to track your daily activities and your health level. Once you have a clear picture of your habits, set a realistic goal. Remember, you did not gain weight overnight, so plan on losing it over several months. Make healthy eating choices and exercise in a way you can sustain in the long run. Losing weight is a gradual process. If you fall off your plan one night, forgive yourself and get back on track the next day. Learn about your situational and emotional triggers that might push you toward unhealthy choices. DASH eating plans are usually recommended for patients with hypertension. You may consult your dietician for approval. About exercise, never forget to have an appointment with your physical therapist first for setting appropriate heart intensities for you. Interval training at intermittent intensities would suit you best. Make sure your gym instructor is aware of your condition before training you.
Q: I am 37 years old. My height is 5 feet 4-inches and weight is 53kg. Please tell me if my weight is fine according to my height and whether I should gain or lose a few kilos. Ismat
A: Dear Ismat, a healthy weight range for you is 49-66 kg, and your BMI is 20.01 kg/m/m that suggests your weight is in accordance with your height, and it is normal. You need to reduce only a few kilos to be at your lower limit but you should also check your body composition to find out the exact content your body holds so that you may set appropriate targets for yourself. However, you should try to make your lifestyle active by following an exercise regimen that suits you the most with a balanced diet. You should also check your sleeping hours that must be around 7-8 hours a day, and the most suitable time to sleep is at night. Keep yourself far from stresses in order to enjoy a healthy and peaceful life. Here are a few tips that may help you improve your lifestyle. Improving your lifestyle can seem like an impossibly lofty goal. Changing everything about your life all at once is probably not realistic, but there are lots of small changes you can make to improve your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, and to enjoy your life more. Start small by making one or two changes at a time. Before you know it, you'll have the lifestyle you've always wanted! Try incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins (including fish, chicken, legumes, and nuts), and healthy fats (including olive oil, salmon, and avocados) into your diet. Avoid processed foods, salty foods, added sugar, and fatty foods as much as possible. Regular exercise is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. Try to include at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (like brisk walking) by keeping your frequency 4 or 5 weeks. Staying active is much easier if you find an activity that you genuinely enjoy. Try new sports or exercise classes. Exercising in a group or with a friend would help you more and let you enjoy your work out. Lack of sleep can make you to feel tired and unproductive throughout the day, which may prevent you from feeling good and from accomplishing your goals. Try to go to bed a bit early so you can face the day rested and energised.
Q 4: I am 29 years old. My weight is 47kg and height is 5 feet 9-inches. I recently joined a gym to gain some muscle fat but couldn't keep up with it because of my job. Can you please tell me if there is any other way to do so without having to hit the gym. Thank you. Rameez
A: Dear Rameez, firstly, there isn’t anything like ‘muscle fat’. Your body is composed of fat mass and fat free mass and it includes bones, muscles, water, and some other tissues of the body. Your body composition must have some percentage of fat depending on your height and age, and similarly other part of your body weight must be from fat free content. A body composition test can tell your exact figures and how much you need to gain and from which part you need to gain or there may be some fat mass that you need to reduce while gaining some muscle mass, even though you appear lean. It is not surprising that you may develop in several health conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you still eat healthy and live an overall healthy and active lifestyle. Secondly, healthy weight gains always come through healthy lifestyle. If you really find it hard to go to the gym, than you may choose to adopt playing some sports of your interest or you may go swimming or any other physical activity that you like to do. My suggestion for you is to create a group of friends to engage in some physically active hobby like camping, gardening, mountain climbing, cycling, jogging etc. Thirdly, balanced eating is mandatory for fitness goals. Here, you need to eat smaller but frequent meals to boost up your metabolism. You should look for appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and unsaturated fats. Eat nutrient rich foods. You may eat whole grain cereals, oat meal, eggs, yogurt, skimmed milk, lean meat, bran bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, nut butters, dried fruits, fresh juices and shakes, vegetable oils and fats. Lastly, you should keep yourself far from stress and enjoy a full night’s sleep. Usually 7-8 hours of sleep at night is recommended for adults. If you don’t allow your nervous system to get a profound state of restful alertness, you will get stressed and unhappy as you don't sleep well and it will make you lose weight.