I want to get your advice on dieting. When I got marrried I was very slim, but after my first pregnancy I gained too much weight.
My daughter is one and a half now, so I really want to lose that weight. I work from 8.30 to 6.00, so I don't have much time.
My weight is around 80 kgs. My height is 5 ft 5 inches. Can you tell me the proper weight for my height? Please help me to reduce this excess weight. - M. S.
Dear M. S.,
According to the metric conversion I did, you are 5' 5" and 176 lb, metric 165 cm and 80 kg. Your body mass index is 29.5. The ideal body mass index for your height is between 18.5 - 25, which would make your ideal weight range between 54 and 68 kg.
According to the BMI chart, your weight is verging on obese. There are many serious health risks in being that much over your normal weight.
Here's a quote from the U.S. National Institute of Health website:
"People who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or other lipid disorders, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, and even a small weight loss (just 10 percent of your current weight) will help to lower your risk of developing those diseases."
I know it's difficult to take care of your family and yourself while working the hours that you do. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill to make you lose the weight. Actually, there are diet pills - but the side effects are very bad, and the weight comes right back.
Losing weight is something which needs your steady attention (not obsession) over a long period of time - like the rest of your life.
Looking at things in a long term context actually makes it easier, because you know you don't have to do the impossible and lose a lot of weight immediately.
Start with modest efforts - when those are successful, you'll feel better about your body, and you'll be encouraged to do more.
Aim to lose 5 - 8 kg in the beginning, and don't try to lose too quickly. When your weight is stable, then set another goal. This process may take a year or two. By then, you'll be in the habit of maintaining your weight at a normal level.
Get some help from a dietition in planning a healthy diet for yourself, and join an exercise program - any kind - for support and motivation. There is no doubt that the benefits of regular exercise, even 15 minutes a day, will help keep your weight down.
WebMD explains: Weight Loss: Exercise and Weight Control
Anne Collins: This is a vegetarian diet plan, which costs a small amount to join, and is widely recommended. I don't know how well it will apply to your Indian vegetarian diet, but it may give you some ideas.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian