Fitness Q&A: Diet plan for gaining weight

Dr. Sonali is a certified fitness specialist from the American College of Sports Medicine.She runs a fitness consultancy, Santulan, providing lifestyle management programs for individuals and groups.Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Friday.

This week’s answers:

Dr Sonali

Name : Anand Barkade
Height: 5 Feet 4.5 Inch.
Weight: 90 Kilo
Age : 25.7
Profession: IT (S/W Engg)

Diet Habits : No Smoking or Drinking. Veg & Non veg.
Breakfast : Half glass of skimmed milk/tea with
Lunch : Three chapatti (without ghee), dal & seasonal sabji ,some rice
Dinner : Two parathas, sabji, some rice

Exercise : Play 30 mins TT daily.
Swims: for 40 min. twice a week.

I was weight lifter & wrestler during my college days.

I have reduced my weight from 91 to 79 with help of running and swimming without any diet in 3 months, but i again regained the same weight as i am suffering from knee joint pain.

I still feel need to reduce 15 kg .more to have better fitness…

Please give me your expert advice or any suggestions to change the daily life with some diet.

Anand Barkade

Hi Anand, thank you for writing to me. You have mentioned that you were a wrestler and weight lifter, first thing I would like to suggest is that you go in for a body composition, which can be done in most large gyms, so that we have an idea about your fat percentage.

I am glad you have added more cardio to your workout, if your knees are hurting while running, you can walk briskly, and continue swimming, maybe you can increase the number of days. I also suggest that you add some resistance training to your workout, do a full body workout- less weight, more repetitions.As for your diet, try to include more salads, fruit, curd and have 5 small meals instead of 3 large ones.

good luck- yours in fitness- sonali


I would like your expert advice on a weight loss product. My questions are given below:

1. Is Herbalife effective and safe to use?
2. Would you recommend exercise with it?
3. Does it have any side effects? I am hearing a lot of things about kidneys being affected due to high protein content.


hi Sheba, thank you for writing to me, sustained weight loss and maintenance is a possibility with regular physical activity, and a balanced , nutritious diet. Products as the one mentioned by you, may assist in weight loss especially in the beginning, but is it possible to consume such products all your life? also do not think of weight loss as the only goal, you will derive many other health and fitness benefits from regular exercise- so yes, please exercise.

All the best, yours in fitness- sonali

Hi Dr. Sonali,

Following are my details,

Name : Aufo Zeny
Height: 5 Feel 10 inch
Weight: 75 Kilo
Age : 30+
gender – female (single)

Diet Habits : Mainly vagitrain, eats only chicken (mostly leg piece) and bit fish occassionally, say once or twice in a month.

recently (since last month) i have changed my eating habits as follows –

morning – a cup tea mostly
Breakfast : a glass milk or cereal bowl or 1 brown bread
pre lunch – a seasonal fruit like banana or watermelon or apple/ someimtes a piece of
bread with paneer
Lunch : two chapatti (without ghee), dal or seasonal sabji (sometimes salad and curd too)
or rice with daal
Dinner : same as lunch( followed by 1 glass milk)
snacking during day – marie biscuits/ digestive biscuits/ half roti with sabji/small
katori rice with daal/ a glass milk

Exercise :

1. Walk 50- 100 minutes a day (with breaks during a day
2. yoga for 2 house at weekend (Sat/sun)
i am planning to join aerobics also.i have a sitting job and i am very fond of munching. i wish to reduce my weight from 75 to 65-67 suiting my height.

please guide me any particular item i should include in my diet and what to avoid. i have most fat around my tummy (due to sitting job and less walking) and thighs.

please help.

thank you.
Aufo Zeny

Hi Aufo Zeny,

thank you for writing to me, let me first congratulate you on your effort to get fitter, and you are on the right track. your diet and work out seem alright, i would like to suggest a few things. Since you have a sedentary job, taking care of your back and abdomen is vital, please include some exercises such as yogasana, suryanamaskar, crunches and back extension , and also some weight training to strengthen your muscles. as for munching, go for healthy foods, fruit, salads, curd, roasted peanuts, raisins, soya milk, puffed wheat or soya, are a few options.

wish you all the best, yours in fitness- sonali


I am 23 yrs old .i have weak physique and looks thin . my height is 5.9 feet and weight is 54 kgs please suggest me full diet plan to gain weight. i have also joined GYM recently.
naveen tiwari

Hi Naveen, thank you for writing to me, its good to know that you have joined a gym, work out regularly, but make sure that you slowly build up your workout to avoid injury. if you are working out in the morning, have a small snack, a fruit, or some raisins or a few dates before your gym. Post workout, within half an hour consume a good breakfast, oats, meusli, roti subji, idli, , cheese veg sandwich, eggs, are some options

mid morming- say 11am have a small snack,lunch should comprise of your regular meal and add a good source of protein, paneer, soya, tofu, all daals, and chicken or fish .evening snack- milk with two scoops b- protein
dinner- same as lunch rice , one spoon permitted,

all the best, yours in fitness- sonali

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