Q: I am a 28-year-old guy. My weight is 51kg and height is 5 feet 8-inches. I want to gain some muscle fat through my diet and exercise. Kindly give me some tips. Ashfaque
A: Dear Ashfaque, a healthy weight range for you is 55-74 kg. Human body is composed of fat mass and fat-free mass like muscles, bones, water etc. Muscle and fat are two different structures that make up your body composition, and there is nothing like muscle fat. You should check your body composition to set your target appropriately. You might need to gain muscle and fat mass both, or only muscle; you might also need to reduce fat mass and gain some muscle. Here I am prescribing you an exercise regimen and diet plan to begin with. You can follow it for 4-5 weeks. You can ask later once you are done with your tests.
200ml milk shake prepared with skimmed milk; 1 bowl whole grain cereals/ oat meal, 1 apple or 2 bananas, 2 egg whites and 1 boiledegg; 1 bowl fresh salad, 250gm lean meat (bbq/ steamed/ grilled), 1/2 cup plain yogurt; 1 cup mixed fruit/ 1/2 dried fruit and 1 cup yogurt milk; 1 cup cottage cheese, 1.5 cup pasta/ 1 cup mixed pulses and 50gm home-made chapatti; 200ml skimmed milk
Warm up: 5-7.5 minutes; walking/ jogging/ cycling
Resistance training: as prescribed according to days, 10-12 reps, 2 sets for each exercise (start with one set for each exercise), 30-60 sec rest after each set.
Mon: Chest press; Seated cable rows; Shoulder press
Wed: Leg press; Leg curls; Standing calf raises
Fri: Basic crunches; Oblique crunches; Bridging
Tues/ Thurs/ Sat/ Sun: Rest days
Cardio training: 10 min each of the following at moderate to high pace
T.M run; M.B
Cool down: 2-5 min; R.Bike
Flexibility: isometric stretch of all major muscles, hold the stretched posture for 10-20 secs.
Q: I am 23 years old. My weight is 55kg and height is 5 feet 1-inch. I tried losing weight eight months ago by skipping meals and avoiding oily foods; however, it did not help me in anyway, instead, I fell sick. Please give me a healthy diet plan to follow and tell me if skipping food helps or not? Zahabiya
A: Dear Zahabiya, skipping meals has negative consequences on your health. One of the biggest consequences is that if you go too long without eating, you are likely to eat too much of your next meal. Therefore, skipping breakfast, or any meal for that matter, will catch up with you. In fact, adding a timely snack or grazing is like a vaccine to prevent overeating. Secondly, the brain’s exclusive fuel, glucose, is compromised within four to six hours if you have not eaten. That’s because the glucose stored in the liver as glycogen, runs out during this time period. The liver is like a traffic cop for blood sugar. When blood glucose dips too low, the liver converts glycogen into glucose and releases it into the blood. But if its glycogen depletes, the body has to turn to less efficient fuelling methods. Thirdly, when you skip your meals not only your physical performance level slows down but thinking capability is also compromised. Fourthly, and most importantly, you are at a greater risk for some diseases. Our bodies need to be fed regularly in order to maintain healthy levels of blood lipids such as cholesterol, hormones such as insulin, and normal blood pressure. As we sleep all night we are fasting, and if we do not have breakfast regularly in the morning, it puts a strain on our bodies that overtime can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and blood pressure problems. Here is a diet plan that you may follow;also, never forget to exercise for it keeps you fit.
Breakfast: 1 cup whole grain cereal, 200ml skimmed milk, 2 egg whites
Morning snack: 1 apple, 1 slice bran bread, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 teaspoon peanut butter
Lunch: 1 bowl fresh salad, 120gm lean meat (bbq, grilled, steamed), 1/2 cup rice
Evening snack: 1 cup mixed fruit/ 50gm chicken kebab, 1 cup green tea with lemon and honey
Dinner: 1 bowl mixed pulses/ pasta, 40gm home-made chapatti, 1 cup plain yogurt
Post-dinner: 100ml skimmed milk
Q: I am 19 years old and have tried losing weight through dieting. My height is 5 feet 2-inches and weight is 47kg. I always give up on my dieting because of my sweet tooth. Kindly tell me if there are any alternatives to eating sweets, which can help me lose
A: Dear Aisha, 45-64 kg is a healthy weight range for you and you do not need to reduce a lot but just a few pounds. Firstly, you should adopt a healthy and active lifestyle to stay fit. Maintaining a balanced diet is one part and exercise makes up the remaining share of an active lifestyle. Secondly, you should be mindful of watching and fixing your habits. Here are a few tips that may help you:
1. Try to satisfy your sweet tooth naturally. To satisfy your sugar cravings opt for fresh fruits, vegetables and fresh juices.
2. Drink plenty of water. You may sometimes think that your body is asking for sugar, when in fact it is dehydrated and really craving water.
3. Boost your serotonin. Serotonin – happiness hormone – can be raised through diet, exercise, and a right sleeping schedule. When you have plenty of serotonin, you are less likely to have cravings for sweets.
4. Eat several small, healthy meals throughout your day instead of three large portions to avoid dips in blood sugar. This way your blood sugar level will be maintained and you will not crave for sweets.
5. Add variety to your platter through vegetables of different colour; add much of the green ones that help boost your energy and reduce cravings for sugars.
6. Remember, sugar and processed foods are as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Eating sugar artificially stimulates a region of your brain to produce dopamine – a neurotransmitter that makes you feel pleasant. As soon as its levels drop, you start to feel down. People who have a sweet tooth crave this feel-good feeling which eventually leads
7. Do not forget to exercise regularly to stay fit. You may choose any of these healthy and physically active forms of exercise or a combination that interests you the most: yoga, meditation, aerobics, water aerobics, weight training, brisk walking, cycling