Fitness Q&A: Is a size zero figure healthy?

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. Hi, i’m 30 yr old and weigh 74 kg and 5’1″ tall and want to reduce my weight.i have a 3 yr old kid.pls suggest me how to lose weight.
To lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit. Weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is safe. The best way to achieve this is by reducing your calorie intake and increasing calorie expenditure through 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

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.

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 30 to 60 minutes of low-impact cardiovascular activity is recommended to lose weight. Examples of low-impact exercises are walking, swimming or cycling.

2. My name is Mohan, im 26 yrs old and i weigh 80 kgs…im 6 feet 2 inches a body builder….i dont wanna get fatter but at the same time wanna increase y muscles as well…kindly tell me what sort of food should i take to get that lean muscular look…..looking forward to your answer….
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. It is essential that you consume adequate protein. If you are a body builder make sure you consume between 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. Proteins are essential in repairing tissues.

Animal sources such as milk, milk products, meats and eggs 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.

3. I am underweight, 5 feet 4 and 46kgs. Please tell me how to put on weight.
Many people, often have trouble gaining weight. It is not a good idea to eat mega-meals at fast food joints or high- in- fat foods to gain weight. An effort like this will increase your body fat, putting you at risk for health problems. Rather work on improving the quality of your diet. Focus on eating healthy, growing strong and staying fit. Try eating six small healthy meals per day. Eat small meals of nutrient dense foods which you enjoy – this optimizes the smaller stomach capacity and provides structure.

Include 2 to 3 servings of fruits and vegetables in the day. Drink juice and smoothies made with milk and fresh fruit. Liquid supplements taken with or between meals – milk with complain, fruit milkshake… is especially imp when it is necessary to overcome the lack of interest in food and eating. If you are an avid exerciser, eat 2 to 3 hours before workouts and then within 45 minutes after your workout, and keep yourself hydrated.
Here are some ideas:
· Use whole fat dairy products such as whole milk, regular cheese and yogurt, cottage cheese.
· Modify Cooking: Experiment by adding almonds to salads, cashews to a trail mix, or granola to yogurt.
· Increase portion size gradually: Slowly try to increase the overall volume of the food at each meal, starting with one meal. For example, try adding one food item to a typical breakfast such as – add some fruit to cereal and milk. Then try increasing the amount of cereal. Once portions have increased over a few days at breakfast, add more to dinner or lunch.

5. Is zero size figure healthy?
No. Women who go to great lengths to get the skinny look—often use diet pills, unhealthy methods of weight control like vomiting, laxatives and skipping meals.

The frightening side to Size Zero
When the BMI is less than the WHO recommendation of 18, there is considerable health damage. Experts say that being this thin can lead to
· Hair fall
· Dry skin
· Loss of periods
· Insomnia
· Lack of concentration
· Mood swings
· Incontinence
· Thinning bones

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