Fitness Q&A: Create a calorie deficit to lose weight

Fitness expert, Namita Jain answers readers’ questions on fitness. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Thursday.
This week’s answers:

1. Hello Ma’am, I am 22 weighing 68 kgs and 5.8 feet tall. I am keenly interested in building up a good physique and for this I am regular at my gym. I strictly follow a vegetarian diet including dairy products. But I am a little confused about the perfect diet chart. Can you suggest me a good diet chart which can help me to gain muscles.

The diet chart recommended for you should be based on the kind of workout you do (frequency, intensity and type of exercise), your body structure and your lifestyle habits. However, here are some general guidelines:

Healthy eating and exercising go hand in hand. If you eat healthy, you will have the necessary energy to exercise and be active. It’s a cycle. Nutrition is very important and a healthy well balanced diet should include: carbohydrates, proteins, fats and plenty of water. Carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, legumes) must make 55-60% of your diet, proteins (milk, eggs, sprouts) 15% and fats (oils, butter) 25-30%.

Consume adequate protein

If you workout regularly make sure you consume between 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. Proteins are essential in repairing tissues.

Animal sources such as milk, milk products are complete sources of protein. Vegetable proteins are incomplete and need to be combined with other foods to be complete. For example, grains and lentil (dal and rice), nuts or seeds with grains, nuts or seeds with legumes; are excellent vegetarian protein sources.

2. I want to know completely (type of exercise, what to take during breakfast, lunch and dinner etc) about how to lose weight and reduce the tummy.Thanks and Regards
j k rathi

To lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit. Weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is safe. To lose 1 pound a week you need to cut back on 500 calories a day. That is a total of 3500 calories a week. The best way to achieve this is by reducing your calorie intake and increasing calorie expenditure through exercise.

When you plan your meals, look at the caloric content and body’s nutritional requirement simultaneously. The body needs nutrients from various food groups. The food you consume should include calories from proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.

Diet plus exercise

Diet plus exercise is the ideal way to lose weight. A sound weight-loss program should include –

 Decreased fat consumption
 Portion control
 High fibre
 An active lifestyle
 Consistent, sensible eating and exercise habits

Exercise is crucial

Cardiovascular exercises help reduce body fat and burn calories. Also, metabolic rates can increase up to 25 percent for six to eight hours after a cardiovascular workout. A duration of 60 minutes of low-impact cardiovascular activity is recommended to lose weight. Examples of low-impact exercises are walking, swimming or cycling.

Strength Training: Strength training improves bone density, builds strength and enhances the metabolism. You can strength train on various types of equipment in a health club, gym or at home. Strength train two to three times per week.

3. hi lsoing abt 2 kgs and gaining them at intervals of 2 weeks since last 2 months. i am on a careful diet and do yoga. is there any specific reason for this?

If your diet and exercise habits are consistent and constant, you should not gain and lose weight at regular intervals. I suggest you consult your physician to evaluate your condition and make recommendations accordingly.

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