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Suggest some exercise and diet plan to reduce weight

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Dietitian & Nutritionist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 123 Questions
hello, I'd like to lose a few pounds so that I can feel light and healthier. I have been running (average 5km) but recently stopped because heavy work loads. as living in Shanghai, air is not clean and winter is coming, so hard to do outdoor activity. I am 158cm tall and 55kg... I want to lose 3kg... any advice on exercise and food control?

Thank you.
Posted Sat, 24 Nov 2012 in Weight Loss
Answered by Grace Abraham 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

As you know the most promising ways to reduce weight is through diet modifications and lifestyle changes. Since you cannot go outdoors for exercise the best way would be to concentrate on the diet.

Some general useful diet tips to achieve weight loss:

1) Each kg weight loss should have an average 7000 Kcal deficit.

I suppose you require 1800 Kcal per day to continue daily activities (office job, daily chores at home etc) and maintaining same weight. You should try to have a deficit of 250 Kcal each day to achieve a total deficit of 7000 Kcal in 28 days. This can done by consuming lesser calories or spending extra calories in the form of exercise. You can plan it better now.

The more deficit the faster is the weight loss.

2) Basically diet should be high in fiber, which includes complex carbohydrate XXXXXXX foods and also foods low in fat. Principle is to choose food where you require to chew a lot before you swallow. They are the ones XXXXXXX in fibre.

3) You can lose weight by making smart choices every day and you have to eat fewer calories, so it does not mean that you have to eat less food. The key is to add the types of food that can keep you feeling satisfied and full, without packing on the pounds. Do you know that a coke can or a cup of coffee requires 45 minutes of brisk walk to burn same calories. So be a smart food picker.

It would be better if you can send me the common list of food items you eat. I will check if there is any low calorie alternatives to add.

Here are some tips which you can follow:
1) Pour a little less cereal into your morning bowl to make room for some blueberries, strawberries, or sliced bananas. You’ll still enjoy a full bowl, but with a lower calorie count.
2) Replace one of the eggs and scramble with vegetables. Try tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach, or bell peppers.
3) Avoid some of the meat and cheese in your sandwich with healthier veggie choices such as lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers, and avocado.
4) Instead of a high-calorie snack, such as chips and dip, try baby carrots with hummus, a sliced XXXXXXX or the old-favorite: celery with peanut butter (make sure you don’t use more peanut butter).
5) Add more veggies to your favorite main courses. Even dishes such as pasta and stir-fries can be diet-friendly if they are less heavy on the noodles and more focused on vegetables.
6) Try starting your meal with a low-density salad or soup (just watch the dressings and sodium) to help fill you up. Do not skip breakfast, it is the most important meal.
7) Use Whole grains – Try high-fibre cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat or multigrain bread, XXXXXXX muffins, or air-popped popcorn.

Let me assist you with following exercises that are conveniently practiced indoors and boost the weight loss. The trick is to keep the ‘keep moving’ message in mind. Write the word ‘move’ on post-it notes and put them in places you’ll notice them when you’re sitting still. Ideally we advise to spend 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Then, take every opportunity to move – here are some ideas for burning calories:
•     Tap your feet
•     Swing your legs
•     Drum your fingers
•     Stand up and stretch
•     Move your head from side to side
•     Change position
•     Pace up and down
•     Don’t use the XXXXXXX phone – go in person
•     Use the upstairs too
•     Park in the furthest corner of the car park
•     Stand up when you’re on the phone
•     Clench and release your muscles

You’ll find lots of opportunities for burning more calories if you remember that you’re looking for them!

Hope I answered your query.

Grace Abraham
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest some exercise and diet plan to reduce weight 3 hours later
Thank you Dr. Grace XXXXXXX

I did not know each kg equivalent to 7000kcal... below is the list of food that I like to eat....

Morning : black coffee, whole grain bread, yogurt, cereal bars,
Lunch : all kinds of noddles, rice, All kinds of vegetables and fruits,
Dinner : home-made salad with cheese, soups, noddles, seafood spaghetti, sushi, dim sum, chips, burgers.. alcohols - wine with cheese, beer..

In between, I drink average 500ml of tea everyday....I am not big fan of red meat. I like to eat white meat and veggies... personally I think I have a problem to control amount of food, especially for dinner.... I just finish all...

Appreciate if you could give a tip for food too..

Thank you!
Answered by Grace Abraham 4 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
You could consider the following recommendations for your diet plan. We would basically substitute some food with low calorie alternatives.
Below is the sample diet plan which you can try to follow to achieve your goal.
Morning: Black coffee (without sugar), Whole grain bread with vegetables sandwich, low fat fruit flavored yogurt along with some cut fruits. You can avoid cereal bars since it is high in calories (nuts present in these bars are high in calorie)

Mid-Morning snack: Herbal or XXXXXXX Tea can be taken without sugar, which aids in reduction of fat deposition in the body and also helps in weight loss.

Lunch: You need to avoid Noodles, since it is made from refined flour, instead you can use Multi grain or Wheat noodles prepared with more vegetables, along with a salad which should not have high calorie dressing like mayo sauce. Rice can be taken in small quantity; if possible brown rice (unpolished rice) can be used.

Evening Snack: A cup of Black Tea with some boiled corn or a fruit or mix fruit bowl or a small portion of sprouts. The mentioned foods are high in fiber, and very low in calories which helps to fill your stomach , so that you will try to have a light dinner.

Dinner: Dinner should be basically be very simple. You can have salads, home made soups- preferably clear broth with more vegetables and two slices of whole grain bread toast.
Non – vegetarian foods like chicken or fish can be taken on regularly but restrict on shell fish like prawn, crab, lobster and red meats since they are high in fat.

The following are some steps which will help you:
1. Instead of the 3 meals a day, eat only when you are actually hungry, and eat what you like but try to be healthy. Avoid eating anything 3 hours before sleeping.
2. Avoid chocolate, cake, brownies, potato chips, ice cream, fizzy drinks or any junk food.
3. Never starve yourself. It shuts down your metabolism which is a major process to help you lose weight. It also makes you feel woozy, tired, and makes you hungrier and your weight-loss plan unsustainable
4. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, especially if you feel like snacking or for dessert. Note that some plants such as avocado, banana, coconut, contain a calories lot more calories than others. You don't need to avoid all the high calories plants but just don't think you can eat them as much as you want.
5. Aim to eat 'good Carbohydrates (which have a low glycemic index) such as brown rice, oats, whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta. Try not to have them after 5 pm as any unused carbohydrates will likely be stored as fat overnight.
6. Don’t forget about exercising!
7. Eat breakfast every single morning. Eating something in the morning gets your metabolism going and prevents you from binge eating later in the day.
8. Drink plenty of water, and cut down on carbonated beverages, particularly those with a lot of sugar. Try not to drink any soda.

I hope I have addressed your concerns. Lt me know if you have any more questions.

Grace Abraham
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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