Fitness Q&A: Suryanamaskar helps in losing 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 thursday.

This week’s answers:

I am 24 year girl and my height is 5ft 3 inch and my body weight is 60.3kg. Earlier I was 52 kg but from last 2 years I am working in night shift and have gained 8 kg. I will be really happy if you can suggest me a diet chart to follow since I don’t stay at home my eating habit is very bad. My day starts at 2:30 or 3 in the after noon because I work from 6:00pm till 4:30am.
Stuti Sharan

Hi Shruti, thank you for writing to me
One of the main reasons for your weight gain is a disturbance in your biological clock, due to your work timings- since we cant do much about it, i do suggest some form of cardio exercise like walking for 15 to 20 minutes atleast thrice a week. You may want to start doing Suryanamaskar-6 in the beginning and build up.

As for your diet, please try and have well balanced meals at home- I think you might be having one or two meals at home. carry healthy snacks- fruit, dahi, khakra, roasted peanuts to your work place and try consuming small meals every 2 to 3 hours.
good luck, yours in fitness- sonali

I am 20 years old. I lost nearly 23 kgs of my weight last year with diet control and walking. I dropped down to nearly 43 kgs. but now am 50 kg n i am not able to maintain my weight and am gaining it all over again. Help me out by suggesting a diet plan. I do not live at my home and live in a hostel. So please suggest me a diet chart which i could follow and lose my extra fat as well..
Jasmine Kalra

Hi Jasmine,thank you for writing to me
Its great that you took a lot of effort to lose weight, 23 kg is amazing…. I suggest that you keep up a walking programme and also start doing resistance training – ie light weight training as it will keep your basal metabolic rate high, Make sure you are eating well and at regular intervals to ensure you get the best of your workouts- please do not go on any crash diets or eliminate food groups- its harmful.
good luck- yours in fitness- sonali

I need advice to reduce my weight. My weight have tremendously increased about 40 kgs in past 2 years. I fell lazy and distracted all time. I can’t even concentrate on my studies. I feel tired quickly when doing any work. Need help.

Hi Kamal,thank you for writing to me
I really suggest you see a good physician, who will examine you and perhaps suggest some tests- thyroid function, blood sugar levels etc. since 40 kg weight gain is a lot, lets rule out or deal with any underlying medical issues and then take it from there. meantime walking for about 20 minutes, at a speed that does not cause breathlessness is something you can attempt.
good luck- yours in fitness- sonali

i do surya namaskar 100 times a day, kapalbharti pranayam 1500 times a day but no walking or cardio exercise. will it help to lose my weight in a drastic way?

Gayatree Samarpita Ray

Hi Gayatri, thank you for writing to me
wow! 100 suryanamaskar- that means you have amazing stamina, its in credible…. if doing both the exercises you have mentioned dont cause any discomfort, please continue, you are getting your cardio workout with what you are doing. I would like to suggest you take up resistance training, maybe twice a week to complete your fitness programme.
good luck- yours in fitness- sonali


Dear Vinod, thank you for writing to me
with the information you have provided, i would like to suggest a few exercises that will help. you may be doing these already, but if not, lunges, squats and calf raises, along with leg extensions and leg curl should help. cycling, stair climbing and walking or jogging as per your fitness level, will also help.make sure you stretch after your strength training
while doing all this make sure your diet is appropriate and you get adequate protein. if your weight training is with heavy loads, please ensure you get rest to allow muscle repair.
good luck, yours in fitness- sonali

hi madam,i am 25 yrs old.recently i have lost 15 kgs through gym now i have left that.please guide me how can i maintain this weight.please help i need your help.can your diet help me in this and can i take flavoured oats porridge like strawberry.thanks in advance

Dear Shivani, thank you for writing to me
i am happy that you took effort to lose 15 kg- congrats…. the tough part is keeping it off. you are 25 years of age and i think its the right time to make fitness a part of your lifestyle- please understand staying fit is a lifelong commitment to yourself- so continue exercising, you might want to join a gym, or go solo , such as walk, run, cycle, swim, dance, do yoga- the options are tremendous… do what you enjoy.
ideally you need to consume 5 to 6 small meals, ask yourself- what am i doing 2 to 3 hours hence. as for oats, they are a good option post exercise, have fun, moderation is the key.
good luck yours in fitness- sonali

Hi,I am 52 years, 5’8″ and weigh 83 kg. I work out regularly 4 – 5 times a week but can’t seem to get my weight down. My workout routine and typical diet is given below. Would greatly appreciate your advise.

My fitness goal is to get my waist down to 35 inches (it was 37+, I have got it down to 36 but no progress after that) and weight down to about 75 kg by May.

Workout Routine:
Cardio: 10 – 15 minutes on cross trainer.
Bending and Stretching: About 5 minutes.
Push ups – 25, Squats – 15
Weight training
– shoulder press – 2 X 15 reps
– Bench Press, inclined press – 1 X 15 reps each
– Leg extensions and leg curls – 1 X 15 reps each
– Shrugs and lateral pull down – 1 X 15 reps each
– Biceps and triceps (dumbbell curls and raises) – 15 reps each
Cardio: 10 minutes on treadmill
Abs – 30 reps

Vary routine slightly but essentially try to work out all major muscle groups each time. Take a break every 2 – 3 days to avoid excessive strain.

Typical Diet:
6:30 AM: Cup of tea with 1 tsp sugar
Breakfast: 8:30 AM – 2 eggs, 4 slices of bread, an apple and a bowl of yoghurt (made from toned milk). As little butter as possible.
Lunch: 1 PM: 2 chapatis, a bowl of veggies
Evening Snack – 6 PM: 1 cup tea with sugar (1 tsp), 2 biscuits or equivalent.
Dinner 8:30 PM: 2 chapatis, 1 bowl dal, 1 portion veggis, rice with yoghurt.

Food is not very oily or rich (my family of four go through about 3 1/2 litres of oil eery month). If I drink tea or coffee during the day its always black and without sugar or artificial sweetners.

Thank you in advance for your help.

PS: I have been working out fairly regularly for the last 8 years and have always weighed between 80 – 85 kg (80 – 81 when I exercise regularly and 85 if I don’t)

Dear Anand , thank you for writing to me
first of let me congratulate you for being so consistent with your work out, your workouts seem quite good, as is your diet. To move towards your goal, may i suggest a few changes…
thrice a week do 20 to 30 minutes of indoor or outdoor cardio, apart from your total twenty minutes, so you can do 10 mins of cardio with your gym work out, and an added 20 mins, maximal 30 mins, all building up over a few weeks.
you are doing abdominal exercises, if you are not working out your oblique muscles, please do so. you can also include lateral bends at the waist, using dumbbells.

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