ASK KOMAL: Is drinking too much water a problem?

Dietician Komal Jethmalani provides expert help.

Dear readers, are you worried about your health as we battle COVID-19?

Concerned about what you and your family are eating as you cope with staying indoors?

Struggling with weight gain?

Or are you facing other heath issues like diabetes, blood pressure, joint pain or heart problems?

Please mail your questions to Nutritionist Komal Jethmalani (Subject: Ask Komal) for her advice.

Hi Komal,
My husband is doing WFH like others from the starting of COVID.
His job is into shift (1 pm to 2 am). 
He is on a regular strict diet from the last one year since he had to face severe problem due to penicillin reaction last year. Due to that he has been facing gastritis issues and a tensed feeling (how to say… muscle shivering would justify I guess).
His diet includes
Morning: 3 idlis with ginger chutney/sambar
Mid-morning snack: Any fruit 
Lunch: 100 gms rice with curry and curd
Evening: 15 almonds with chai/coffee (using honey instead of sugar)
Night: 100 gms rice with curry and curd
Late night snack: 100 ml diluted milk
Exercise: He makes sure that he completes 10,000 steps in the whole day. Yet, he is unable to reduce weight. His current weight is 100 kgs.
Kindly help me out.
Thanks and regards, 

Fitness is acquired by an increase in lean mass and reduction in body fat percentage. Following a regular workout with a good balance of nutrients is the key to overall health.

Your husband’s diet seems to lack in protein. He must include protein-rich foods in his diet like low fat dairy products, eggs, nuts, sprouts, beans, etc, and adopt strengthening exercises to increase his stamina and muscle mass.

Vegetables are an important source of fibre and play an essential role in gut health. Include salads, fruits and more vegetables in his diet.

Fibre contributes in increasing metabolism and helps in lowering the glycaemic index.

Add more complex carbs in his diet and include anti-inflammatory foods to increase his immunity.


I have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I am 35 years old.
Could you suggest an exercise and diet routine to help me reverse diabetes?
Thank you,
Karan Tank

Type 2 diabetes can occur due to a number of reasons like obesity, lifestyle habits, hormonal imbalance, genetic factors, etc.

Depending on your current weight, BMI and calorie intake, you will need to identify your nutritional requirements and follow a low carbohydrate, high fibre diet with essential antioxidants.

Protein is an essential nutrient as it is the building block of our body.

An adequate protein intake combined with an exercise regimen that focuses on strengthening and cardio exercises will help in building lean mass and lower your body fat percentage.

Include salads, vegetables and fruits in your diet.

Avoid high carb and fat foods like chocolates, pastries, sweets, desserts, fast foods, aerated water, etc.

Drink plenty of water and maintain regular eating habits. This will help in lowering your glycaemic index and help reverse diabetes.


Dear Komal,
Like most Indian women, I am pear-shaped. I have a big belly and backside and thick thighs.
I am 27 years old and eat normal food.
How can I lose weight and get a better body shape?
Name withheld on request.

The shape of your body indicates low lean mass and a high body fat percentage.

To bring about this change, you need to consistently maintain a low carbohydrate, high protein, high fibre diet with some exercises to build lean mass.

Lifestyle changes with healthy eating pattern will bring out effective results.

Have plenty of fruits, vegetables, salads and protein-rich foods. Avoid high fat and high carb foods.

Adequate water intake and good sleep will give long term benefits.


Hi Komal,
I recently had my first child. She is nine months old now.
I have gained weight during pregnancy and after.
How do I lose this weight without losing my stamina?
I still breastfeed my baby.

As you are lactating, you need enough nutrients to sustain breast milk production for the growth of your baby.

Have a high protein diet with foods like low fat dairy products, egg, lean meat, beans, nuts, etc.

Include lactogogues like jeera, milk, etc.

Avoid high fat and high carb foods.

Include plenty of fruits, vegetables and salads to increase fibre intake and provide satiety value.

Drink plenty of water.

Adopt an exercise schedule with strengthening and cardio to enable loss of body fat and increase in muscle mass.


Dear Komal,
You hear different amounts of how much water one should drink.
I want to know how much water one should drink in a day.
Does this amount include other liquids, including tea, coffee, juice and cold drinks?
How do you know when you are not drinking enough water?
Is there such a problem as drinking too much water?
Thank you,

There are no official guidelines on how much water to drink in a day.

Many factors (both internal and external) ultimately affect how much water you need; it varies from person to person. 

For example, if you drink a lot of coffee and other caffeinated beverages, you might lose more water through extra urination.

You will likely also need to drink more water if your diet is high in salty, spicy or sugary foods.

Your body has a sophisticated system for controlling when and how much you drink by thirst.

Drink often enough throughout the day so that your urine is pale and clear.

During high heat, exercise and other mentioned indications, make sure to drink enough to compensate for the loss of fluids or for the extra fluids you need.

Drinking too much water is rarely a problem for healthy, well-nourished adults.

Komal Jethmalani is a dietician with over 25 years of experience in food, nutrition and dietetics, with an MSc in food science and nutrition.

A certified diabetes educator and lifestyle coach, specialising in diabetic, cardiovascular, weight loss and various therapeutic diets, she consults under the brand The Diet Mantra.

And she will try and help you achieve your dietary and fitness goals through healthy lifestyle changes.

Do share your complete health details including age, weight, height and health issues if any.

Write to [email protected] (Subject: Ask Komal), along with your name. You are most welcome to share your photograph as well.

This column is an advisory. Please do consult your doctor as well.

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