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How to lose weight living in a hostel? (Diet query of the day)

I am an engineering student and I stay in a hostel. My weight is 85 kg and I want to cut it down to 75 kg. I run 2 km daily, but can’t seem to find the right diet for me. Please give me a sample diet that I can use. I can’t get home food and have to rely on the hostel food. 

Answered by nutritionist Dr Neha Sanwalka

I would need more information like your age, height, your food habits, the kind of food you get at hostel and your daily routine to prescribe a diet. Diets are tailor-made for each and every individual according to his needs and physical activity status. However, based on your query, I could give you some suggestions.

Before you go for a run, consume a banana or apple. The muscles require carbohydrates during exercise and a banana or an apple could be a good pre-exercise meal.

Post running you should consume a source of protein such as a whey protein supplement. You could also eat egg whites. Here are some more before and after workout snacks. 

Overall, your diet should be high protein, low in fat with moderate carbohydrates. If you are vegetarian, include skimmed milk, skimmed curds, dals and whey protein supplements to increase protein intake.

If you are non-vegetarian, you could include egg whites and lean cuts of chicken to increase protein intake. Also see vegan protein sources. 

Consume large serving of vegetables at each meal (make sure they are not very oily vegetable) and consume a fruit or two every day.

Drink 3-4 litres of water every day. Read the importance of drinking water. 

If possible and if available in your hostel mess, start your meals with a big serving of salad.

Avoid any fried items, sweets, cakes and chocolates as they are a huge hurdle in weight loss. 

Contact a good dietitian/sports nutritionist to get your healthy and personalised diet today. 

Another leading nutritionist Naini Setalvad gives the following tips to people living in hostels. These can help you eat healthy even if the mess food is bad.

Stock up on fresh fruits or nuts in your room. These can be eaten at any time and will keep you full. Have a mix of almonds, cashew nuts, dried apricots, walnuts, etc to munch on. You can also stock healthy snacks like chana, roasted papad, dry bhel

Opt for sandwiches. You can either make one as it does not require any cooking or buy one from your mess or outside. Switch to multigrain/whole wheat bread instead of white one which is made of refined flour. Add vegetables and chutney and very little cheese to make a filling snack. See how to make a healthy sandwich. 

If not else, eat some boiled potatoes to get your carb intake. Potatoes aren’t fattening if eaten the right way say nutritionists. You can mix other veggies with it if you can or simply boil with the skin in tact to get more nutrition.

Also read:

  • Fad is bad: Say no to diets which promise speedy weight loss
  • 6 diet tips to lose belly fat
  • Tasty recipes for weight loss
  • Eat and lose weight: 10 food items for weight loss!
  • Why drinking is bad for your weight loss regime
  • 10 superfoods for weight loss

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