Fitness Q&A: Diet plan for weight loss

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:

Dear Ma’am

I am 24 years old, 5′ 1″ and my weight is 56.5 kgs… i have body fat concentrated in upper body…i workout a lot,but i need a good diet….i want to be 50 kgs as i have less pain when i am that weight…i am an insulin dependant diabetic and i was told to lose weight because i am getting insulin resistant…Please help 🙁

Yours faithfully,

Hi Viola,

Thank you for writing to me. These are a few suggestions i would like to make, do consult your physician before you implement any of these. Two things that are critical for a diabetic are diet and exercise.since you are insulin dependant, we need to work both these around your insulin doses.

One of the better exercise for you is walking, this needs to be done every day for upto 45 mins to an hour, if you are not exercising at all, please start with 20 minutes and then build up, you could also swim, as that will have less impact on your knees, gentle yoga will also help. do remember to have a snack , a small apple for example before you head out for exercise… it is also a good idea to carry a fast acting carbohydrate- chocolate, candy etc during your workout, in case your blood sugar suddenly drops.ideally a pre and post workout BSL is advised and hold your workout if the BSL is below 100 or over 300 mg/dl.

you need to have 5 -6 meals in a day, and their composition will determine both sugar control and fat loss.

Have a good amount of complex carbohydrate- whole grain, oats, dalia, jowar, bajra are some options, consume raw or steamed vegetables, sprouts, curd. your protein intake has to be sufficient and that can be achieved with lean( fat less) chicken , fish, pulses , soya products, egg white and milk . avoid fried foods , butter, cheese, but consume olive, sesame , mustard oil in small quantities.good luck and hope this helps, yours in fitness- sonali

I am working at home after graduation. I was 50 Kg when I started working now I am 60 Kg. :(. My job is all about sitting in from of computer 10 hrs. Please help me.

Thanks & Regards,

Hi Priyanka,

Thank you for writing to me. Please try and get some exercise , something as simple as a 20 minute walk , cycling, swimming or a yoga or dance class will contribute to your health and fitness . You have the advantage of working from home- that saves a lot of time in commuting, so try and use that to incorporate exercise in your daily routine, do take mini breaks from the computer, to stretch, walk around a bit or simply to rest your eyes. All the best- yours in fitness- sonali


I am 31yr old male and I work in night shift from 6:30- 3:30. My height is 5.10 and my weight is 105 kilos I am unable to reduce weight because of my shift timings. Can you please suggest a good diet and exercises that will help in reducing my weight.

Eagerly awaiting your response.


Hi Aravind,

Thank you for writing to me, From what i understand, your body clock has readjusted itself to these timings, so lets work something around the same. I am assuming a few things, one of which is that your day begins post noon, ie you probably sleep around 4- 430 am .

if that is the case, you can try to exercise in your’morning’, it will require a little effort on your part, but it can be achieved, so to start with you can have a small snack- piece of fruit, few raisins or 2-3 dates, and then go for your exercise, to begin , it could be a 20-30 minute, walk, cycle, swim atleast 4 days a week, you could also join a gym if that means more commitment, take it slow and gradually build up to 45 mins to an hour atleast 5 days a week.

Post exercise , have a good breakfast- idli, upama, poha, oats, meusli, dalia, or even roti sabji are good options, along with seasonal fruit.If possible carry a salad to your work place to consume with your next meal or have curd or buttermilk or a fruit.

Avoid excessive tea or coffee, and in case you feel like snacking, carry some multigrain biscuits or soya/ wheat puffs with you . Please consume atleast 2 -3 litres of water, keep a two litre bottle at your desk and make sure you finish it.I hope this will help, good luck, yours in fitness- sonali

Hi Mam,

I am pinky from Delhi, I am 37 years old, my height is 5 feet 2 inch, my weight is around 90 kg, I am working in administration , 10 to 6.30 is my sitting job, just i want to read use my weight , i want make my good personality, kindly give me better solution for my self and arrange any
diet chart . kindly do the needful .


Hi Pinky, thank you for writing to me, i would like to suggest some small changes, which will contribute towards your health and fitness.If you are not doing any exercise at all, the best way to start is with a walking programme, 20 -30 minutes as per your capacity, 5 days a week and then build up to 45 minutes to an hour, as you get more confident, you can include variations- cycle, swim, join a yogasana class, introduce weight training.

whether you choose morning or evening time to exercise have a small healthy snack, a fruit perhaps half an hour before your exercise.have a good breakfast, oats with skim milk, dalia, meusli,, idli, upma, poha are good options, try and have a medium sized seasonal fruit.

For lunch you can have more salads, curd along with your regular food, please dont skip meals. have a snack around 5- khakra- plain, few raisins, puffed wheat or soya are some options.consume dinner early and make it light and non greasy- steamed veggies, broths( thick soups with vegetables, chicken or fish) are healthy and filling.

you can be physically more active at your work place by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to a colleagues desk instead of pinging, are some small but significant contributors to utilise calories.good luck , yours in fitness- sonali

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