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What to do to stay fit and healthy?

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Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 2189 Questions
Hello Doctor,
I had been to a gym instructor, he calculated something on a machine and told me that i have 40% fat, and 85 Kgs , height 168. I might even have BP , please advice me for health improvements , I walk 40 mins daily. Is that good enough to fight all these
Posted Sat, 2 Feb 2013 in Weight & Lifestyle
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 3 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Firstly, let's see if your weight for your height is healthy or not.

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a widely accepted formula which is used to assess whether a person's weight for height is appropriate or not.

Your height: 168 cm
Your weight: 85 kg
Your Body Mass Index works out to 30.1, which indicates that you are just falling into the Obesity category.

WHO(World Health Organisation) - BMI Classification:
18.5 to 24.99 Normal Weight
25 to 29.99 Overweight
30 or more Obesity

Now, there is another measure called "Body Fat Calculator", which actually determines how much percentage of body fat you are having. This can be done in two ways - one is by manually calculating it from various body measurements like waist, wrist, hips, forerm, etc. or by a computerized scanning of the body for the density of tissues and thereby determining the fat content.
A body fat content of 40% is also indicative of obesity.

Here is the classification according to the body fat percentage:

Classification     Women (% fat)     Men (% fat)
Essential Fat     10-12%      2-4%
Athletes      14-20%      6-13%
Fitness      21-24%      14-17%
Acceptable      25-31%      18-25%
Obese      32%+       25%+

So, from the above two measurement, it is clear that you have to lose some weight, since obesity can put you at risk for various medical problems. I don't intend to scare you, but since you have a strong family history of medical problems, you have to be extra-careful.

It is very good that you are walking everyday. Please maintain that. In addition, you will also have to follow strict dietary modifications:

Remember, diet control is not just about how much food you restrict, rather its about how many calories you cut down. Rather than merely reducing the quantity of your intake, try taking more proportions of low carbohydrate, high fibre foods and avoid the high calorie foods.

Vegetables — Avoid vegetables that have high carbohydrate content like potatoes, peas, corns, carrots, beetroot, etc) Take more of vegetables which have more water or fibre content like cauliflower, cucumber, beans, greens, brocoli, lettuce, etc.

Fruits — Choose watery fruits like oranges, sweetlime, watermelon and papaya. Avoid dense fruits like bananas, pears, apples, pineapple, dried fruits, etc.

Cereals - Take rice for only one meal a day and substitute it with whole wheat bread, oats, corn flakes, etc.

Drinks - Take skimmed milk and lime juice. Avoid carbonated drinks, milk shakes and fruit juices (you can eat a portion of raw fruits everyday.

If you are a non-vegetarian, you can take more of fish and avoid red meat. Eat the white of the egg and avoid the yolk. Try to cook boiled or baked preparations and avoid XXXXXXX fried or oily preparations.

Strictly avoid fast foods, any XXXXXXX fried foods, sweet foods and carbonated drinks.

When eating, you can fill your plate with salads and vegetables, so that your stomach feels full and at the same time you don't end up taking more calories.

Follow a stricter timings for your meals and avoid time delays. Delaying your meals increases the stomach acid secretions, which will further increase your hunger levels and make you end up eating more than you intend. For example, you can follow a 'three meals and two snacks pattern' of diet. This way your intake will be more evenly spread out and you would this be avoiding overeating.

Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks like cereal / oat bars, etc., have a jar of lime juice in your fridge and clear out any sweets, chocolates or unhealthy snacks, so that whenever you have uncontrollable urges to eat inbetween, you'll have healthy alternatives.

I would also advise you to get your BP, sugars and cholesterol checked, in order to detect any problems early itself.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar

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Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What to do to stay fit and healthy? 1 hour later
Dear Doctor,
Thanks for the Advice,
I would work on the Diet plan as said above , is it possible to send a day to day chart for me
What i am doing currently is
Morning : 7.30 am
1. Early in morning 1 glass juice ( bottle gaurd mixed with pudina, pepper or lukewarm water lemon juice)
2. One and half plate break fast ( IDli or Dosa or poha or upma)
After noon:12.45
1. mixed rice
Snacks: 7.30 pm
1. same as morning break fast but little less quantity ( normally 1 full cup)
Dinner : 9.30 pm
1. 2 chapathi ( with out oil ) + cut raw vegetable of carrots and cucumber.

Am I doing right ?
Should i change the snacks to juice at 5.30 ?

Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 9 hours later
Hello again,

Your current diet plan seems quite okay and healthy. It's better to change the timing of your evening snack to 5:30 pm, since this will be more evenly timed. Rather than juice, you can take a glass of skimmed milk or buttermilk, since you don't seem to be having any significant source of calcium in your diet. If you want to have a snack, then you can have a small cup of boiled channa or XXXXXXX gram.

Best wishes,
Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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