Weight issues have always been a matter of concern for many, more so for Indians. With our rich traditional culture and festivities galore, it becomes difficult to resist all those homemade sweets and snacks laden with oil and sugar.
However, Indian food is what our bodies understand. With our grandmothers and mothers bent at feeding us parathas, ghee and rice from the very beginning of our days, our bodies become accustomed to these tastes. Moving to other kind of foods or trying our westernized diets have seldom helped. There are rarely any Indian foods to reduce weight, but all cannot be blamed on our rich heritage of culture and traditions. Our increasing sedentary lifestyle has brought about a massive change in our mindset and hence to our bodies. With remote controlled and electronic gadgets controlling almost every aspect of our life, people seldom get up and move around. Air conditioned offices and cushioned homes are making us lazy than ever. While there is no best Indian diet to lose weight, it the amount of food we eat at a specific time in specific portions that has a positive effect on our weight and overall personality.
A healthy Indian diet for weight loss should include all the food groups in a balanced form so that no one food group overpowers others and creates and imbalance and thus lethargy. When designing an Indian diet plan to lose weight, the calorie requirements of an individual’s needs to be kept in mind. Factors such as age, weight, metabolism, gender, health conditions and activity levels play a major role in Indian diet plan to reduce weight. One may also need to calculate his/her BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and the BMT (Body Mass Index) before chalking out Indian diet to reduce weight.
Indian Diet Chart for Weight Loss
Diet chart for weight loss for Indians must include foods that are local to our region, we have grown up eating them and suits our palette. Foods such as lentils, cereals and whole grains, local fruits and vegetables, regional spices, nuts and seeds as well as ghee should feature in our Indian diet plan to lose weight fast.
A Sample Indian Diet for Weight Loss should look like this:
- Early Morning:
1 glass of warm water with honey and lemon
A vegetable stuffed paratha with a teaspoon of ghee
A bowl of yogurt
A serving of fruit
A mixed vegetable curry
A bowl lentil or dal preparation/a bowl of chicken or fish curry
A cup of rice/two chapatis
Tea/Coffee with half teaspoon of sugar
Half cup of Poha cooked with vegetables/ mixed sprout salad
2 chapatis/a bowl of rice
A bowl of green leafy vegetable curry/non-vegetarian curry
A small bowl of salad
Individuals who are vegetarians can simply follow Indian vegetarian diet plan for weight loss by including more of lentils, dals and vegetable preparations instead of egg, chicken or fish.
Here is a List of Low Calorie Indian Food for Weight Loss:
- Dal and Lentils: Dals such as moong dal, red lentils, bengal gram dal etc. are staple food of Indians. Be it rice of chapatti, we simply love our dals. And, why shouldn’t we? Packed with Vitamin A, B, C and E, dals and lentils are a rich source minerals too. These lentils and dals are full of fibre, thus leaving one feel full and satisfied, without craving for sugary foods. These are best immune and metabolic boosters known to Indians. In fact, dals and lentils are a major source of protein in Indian vegetarian diet plan.
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Thanks to their green colour, these leafy vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, iron, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, coriander, amaranth and the like are low in lorries and high in fibre content and antioxidant level, thus giving you that slim waist and healthy glow in your face. They help in boosting the immune system, clearing off the digestive tract and thus curing constipation. So instead of looking for foreign vegetables like kale, go for our very own spinach.
- Fruits: Regionally grown foods like mangoes, bananas, apples, jackfruit, custard apple etc. are one of the best snacks one can have to lose weight. Instead of finding the perfect avocado or kiwi for your smoothies, try having a chikoo shake or apple kheer to lose weight the Indian way. Try limiting fruits to one-two servings a way and eat only seasonal fruits. Apples are touted as one of the best fruits for weight loss if you are craving for something sugary and want a snack at the same time. It finds its uses in several preparations such as deserts, salad and even savoury dishes.
- Beans: Beans such as kidney beans, black beans etc. are one of the best Indian food for weight loss. Research shows that beans give a satiety value to food and are the best way to lose weight. They stay in the digestive system for longer, contain soluble and non-soluble fibre as well as can lower cholesterol.
- Spices: Indian spices are renowned worldwide for their immense benefits, Spices such as turmeric and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agents that are known to sooth the digestive system, lower blood pressure and intensify weight loss. Before the famous golden milk came into existence, our mothers have been insisting on feeding up turmeric milk for relief from cough, cold and other ailments.
- Cereals and Whole Grains: The importance of cereals and whole grains in Indian diet to lose weight is enormous. Whole wheat, jawar, bajra and the like have their own place in different seasons through our diets. They have humongous nutritional values, thanks to their rich source of iron, zinc and several other minerals. Therefore, forget quinoa and indulge in these local grains and cereals to lose weight without spending hordes of money over expensive foods.
- Nuts and Seeds: Fats have always had a bad reputation of increasing our cholesterol and leading to weight issues. However, the myth has been debunked and now fats are the most sought after foods to lose weight. Nuts such as walnuts and almonds and seeds such as melon seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds are the next weight loss superfoods. Even fats such as ghee that had earned a bad reputation few years ago is enjoying its much-celebrated position now, thanks to its fat burning capacity.
Include these Indian superfoods and follow a balanced Indian diet plan to get the slimmer waist you have always desired.
Also published on Medium.