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Suggest a diet plan that would help me lose 4 -5 kg.

Q: I am a 25 years old female weighing 68 kg. Please suggest a diet that would prevent my hair fall, keep my asthma under control and also help to lose weight, at least 4 – 5 kg, in the next three months.

A:There is an important link between good nutrition and maintenance of good health. Protein, which is the major constituent of blood, matrix of bones, teeth, skin, nails and hair has an important role in maintaining healthy skin along with Vitamin A, E, C, B2, B6 and niacin. Therefore it is essential to eat a well balanced diet which can be achieved through the blend of different food groups comprising of cereals (chapati, porridge, poha, upma), pulses (dals), fruits and vegetables, milk & milk products, meat & meat products, sugar and fat. However, it would be advisable to consult a doctor for correct diagnosis and proper treatment of your hair fall problem.

Regarding the query on weight loss, one of the key factors in maintaining good health is eating balanced diet and maintaining a calorie balance.

Caloric requirement depends on a number of factors like height, weight, sex, age, existing nutritional status and physical activity. To maintain an optimal body weight the calories intake and expenditure must be balanced. It is most desirable that your caloric requirement is determined on an individual basis keeping in mind the above factors. A daily diet and activity plan should be prepared in consultation with a dietician, as this requires individual counselling. However for your information given below is a small note on Balanced diet and suggested intakes.

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is one, which provides all the nutrients in required amounts and proper proportions. It can be achieved through a blend of different food groups. The different food groups that should be included in the diet so as to get the necessary nutrients are cereals & millets, pulses, fruits & vegetables, milk & milk products, meat & meat products, sugar and fat. In addition, a balanced diet should provide non-nutrients like fiber, which provide positive health benefits.

The diet that one consumes must provide adequate calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Since the nutritional requirement varies, it is best to consult a dietician to prepare an individualized diet keeping in mind the age, sex, physical activity, the nutritional status etc.

Daily guidelines of foods required from different food groups [approximate quantities] for adult woman [as per dietary guidelines for Indians by the Indian Council of Medical Research]

  • Cereals (Wheat, Rice, Millets) - 300g - Whole grain cereals like wheat flour, unpolished rice, dalia, oats are preferred as they provide fibre.
  • Pulses (For a vegetarian - 60g and for a non vegetarian - 30 g) - Sprouting / fermenting grams helps to improve the vitamin content and improve the availability of iron to the body.
  • Egg / chicken / fish (in addition to pulses for non-vegetarians)- 30g - Provide good quality proteins, essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Vegetables (minimum) - 300g - Vegetables having orange / yellow and green flesh are preferred (e.g. pumpkin, carrot, beans, peas, saag, etc).
  • Fruits (minimum) - 100g - Fruits which are orange/ yellow coloured on the inside (e.g. papaya, ripe mangoes) and other fruits like amla, guava, oranges etc. are a good source of vitamins A and C.
  • Milk & milk products - 300g - Good quality proteins and calcium are derived from milk.
  • Sugar - 20g - Concentrated source of energy.
  • Fats (oil/ butter / ghee) - 20g - Oils are a concentrated source of energy.
  • *Amounts in (g) refer to edible portion in the uncooked form.


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