Q: I am 36 years old. My height is 5ft and weight is 65kg. I want to gain weight and build muscles, but I don’t feel hungry. Please suggest what I should do.
A: Dear Kumail, the most common reason for someone to not feel hungry is that they have either just eaten, or they have not burnt enough calories since they last ate. However, not feeling hungry or not wanting to eat when your body needs the calories is called anorexia and has many causes, including psychological (anorexia nervosa); chronic illness (especially kidney disease); and cancer. If you have anorexia combined with weight loss, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Always keep this in mind that approximately three hours after eating a complete meal, you should feel hungry. It may occur even sooner if you are eating five to six smaller meals a day. If you do not, it may be for one of the reasons below:
• Low blood sugar from not eating properly. You might feel tired, irritable, lightheaded or jittery, and you don't recognize these feelings as hunger. Always think back to when you last ate. This will be your cue.
• You forget to eat because you are too busy. Be sure to set a regular eating routine especially if you have busy work schedules. Long periods of not eating can lead to overeating.
• You have always had a weight issue and never felt hunger? It is time to experience hunger. It can only happen if you eat at regular intervals.
If you are trying to gain muscle at the moment, unfortunately there is no magic bullet. You just have to eat. Resistance training and balanced eating are a great idea. You should also try just having more meals each day. You must start taking a balanced diet with added calories. Remember, you don't have to be hungry to eat, but you do need to eat to get healthier. You just need to figure out whether you desire it enough or not.
Q: I am 27 years old with weight 66kg and height 5ft 2 inches. My cholesterol levels are very high. Please suggest a diet plan to keep it at moderate level.
A: Dear, high cholesterol increases your risk of heart diseases and heart attacks. You can improve cholesterol with medications, but it is better if you first make certain lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol. Remember, diet alone won't be much beneficial. Exercise can improve cholesterol as well. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol. With your doctor's recommendation, work out for at least 30 minutes in a day.
Physical activity, even with 10-minute intervals, several times a day, can help you begin to lose weight. Just be sure that you can keep up the changes you decide to make. Consider the following:
• Taking a brisk walk daily during your lunch hour
• Riding your bike to work
• Swimming laps
• Playing a sport
To stay motivated, find an exercise buddy or join an exercise group. Do remember that activity of any kind is helpful at this stage. Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator or doing a few sit-ups while watching television can make a difference.
• 200ml skimmed milk + 1 cup whole-grain cereals + 1 apple
• 2 slices of bran bread + 2 egg whites
• 1 large bowl of fresh salad + 125g lean meat + 45g homemade chapatti
• 1 cup mixed fruits
• 1/2 cup fresh salad + 1 cup mixed pulses + 1-2 slices of bran bread
• 100ml low-fat milk
• Drink plenty of water each day. Eliminate trans-fats from your diet. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Increase soluble fibre in your diet and add whey protein as well.
Q: I am 15 years old. My height is 5ft 4 inches and weight is 42kg. I want to increase my height to at least 6ft 2 inches. Please suggest some exercises and a diet plan for me. Also, I want to increase my weight.
A: Dear Faris, usually a child's height is determined by internal and external factors like genetics, daily nutritional intake, rest and sleep cycles, lifestyle, posture and environment. A person’s growth slows down after the first year of life, breaking down into mini growth spurts. By the time a child reaches adolescence, growth rates increase once again with girls hitting a major spurt between the ages of 8 and 13. Boys reach this growth spurt between the ages of 10 to 15. In order to ensure that you reach a healthy height and weight, you must learn certain lifestyle habits while practicing patience. Every child grows at a different rate, which stops after puberty.
These lifestyle changes include:
You must go to bed early in the evening. Sleeping about 10 to 12 hours every night is mandatory for you. You cannot grow properly without adequate rest. Boosting bedtime to even an hour earlier every night will help ensure rest for your growth cycle. Always take a balanced diet. Never be deficient in any of the vitamins and minerals. Exercise regularly. Keep yourself active all day long. These activities will encourage you to active, instead of sitting in front of the television or playing video games. A healthy routine will definitely help you in gaining height and weight. Here is an exercise and diet plan for you.
Mon/ Wed/ Fri:
Warm up : 5-10 mins; spot jogging; moderate pace.
Resistance + Cardio:
Perform each step for 60 secs followed by rest for 10 secs; repeat the whole cycle twice.
Modified push-ups + farmers walk + assisted dips + jumping jacks + squats + aerobic tread + mountain climbing + toe touch walk + lift up on T-bar + 90 degree crunches + floor swimming + cross crunches + bridging
Cool down: Walk slowly for 5 mins.
Stretching: Stretch all major parts of your body and hold each for 15 secs.
• 200ml fresh juice
• 1 whole egg + 1 egg white + 2 slices of bran bread + 1 apple + 200ml milk
• 1 cup pasta
• 1 cup fresh salad + 150g meat + 50g homemade chapatti
• 1 cup mixed fruits or baked potato
• 1/2 cup salad + 1 cup plain yogurt + 100g beans/ legumes + 1/2 cup rice
• 200ml milk