Q: I am 33 years old and my menstrual cycle has become irregular in the last two years. I get my periods once in four months. I had consulted a doctor and he told the frequency is normal. Is there any medication, which can solve my problem? I have also gained weight and doctor advised me to shed a few kilos. Please suggest a diet plan for PCOD that can help normalise my menstrual cycles. - Asma Zaiba

It is important to know about PCOD to follow few important rules and guidelines. You must be aware of the reasons for irregular periods. It can be due to nutritional deficiencies. Often PCOD results in weight gain, which you have to manage to normalise your cycle and retain energy in the body.
Reduce the intake of simple carbohydrates that are present in baked goods and aerated drinks. Instead increase amount of complex carbohydrates by consuming oatmeal, whole wheat, broken wheat etc. Replace red meat with fish and poultry, as red meat is high in fat content. Make sure you are fortifying your body with multivitamins, calcium and magnesium. Avoid processed food, fast foods, sweets and consume less amount of saturated fats. Include plant-based proteins, lean meats and fibres in your diet.

Q: I am 5 ft 10 and weigh 55 kg. I believe that I am still thin in proportion to my height. I want to gain a few kilos, but don't really know what diet plan to follow. Could you please suggest a diet that is easy to follow and helps me gain weight? I want to remain healthy, energetic and fit. - Monica

To gain weight, it's essential to focus on your eating habits and having the right amount of food at the right time. Consume protein-rich foods like eggs, lentils, beans, dairy, chicken, fish, etc. Carbohydrates help in weight gain. You can include rice, barley, wheat, beans, chickpea, oatmeal etc. to increase the carb content in your meal. Snack on nuts and dry fruits like apricots and raisins, as they are high in carbohydrate and fat-free.
Don't binge on foods like cakes, fried snacks, soft drinks etc., as they are high in carbs, but low in nutrients. Your aim should be to focus on healthy weight gain to avoid future complications. Smoothies are calorie-dense and rich in nutrients. Take 150-200 ml of milk, add a banana, a few dates, a teaspoon of flax seeds and blend it. Have this once a day and gain weight in a healthy manner.

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