Are you looking for the best Indian diet plan to lose weight? The rules are simple. All you need to do is start eating right. But in India, this can feel like an insurmountable challenge, given our food culture and dietary habits. For instance, a typical Indian meal is high in carbohydrates and sugar – we eat a lot of potatoes, rice and sweets. We also love our snacks and can’t imagine a day without our fix of namkeens and bhujias. We pressurize our friends and family into eating too much, as a sign of hospitality and affection, and consider refusing an extra helping a rebuff. To top it all, we’ve never embraced physical exercise as essential. It’s no wonder that India is battling a growing obesity problem.
But the answer doesn’t lie in shunning Indian food in favour of foreign ingredients or fad diets. You’ll find that the best Indian diet plan consists of foods you’ve already got in your kitchen and that you can lose weight by making a few changes to your diet.
Understand the Science Behind Weight Loss
Weight loss and gain, revolve around caloric consumption and expenditure. You lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you expend. Conversely, you gain weight when you consume more calories than you expend. To drop those excess kilos, all you need to do is eat within your calorie budget and burn the required number of calories. A combination of the two works best suggest experts. Get your daily requirement of calorie consumption and burn based on your lifestyle and dietary preferences, by signing up on HealthifyMe.
However, simply determining how many calories your body needs isn’t enough. After all, four samosas (600 calories), two slices of pizza (500 calories) and two gulab jamuns (385 calories) may be within your daily requirement of 1500 calories, but these unhealthy food choices will eventually lead to other health problems like high cholesterol and blood sugar. To lose weight the healthy way, you also need to ensure your diet is balanced i.e. it covers all food groups and provides all the nutrients you need necessary for good health.
The Best Indian Diet Plan for Weight Loss
No single food provides all the calories and nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. That’s why a balanced diet comprising of macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein and fat along with micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, is recommended.
The best Indian diet for weight loss is a combination of the five major food groups – fruits and vegetables, cereals and pulses, meat and dairy products and fats and oils. Knowing how to divvy up the food groups, allocate portion sizes, and the best/ideal time to eat is also important.
Carbs are the body’s main source of energy and should make up half of your daily calorie requirement. However, it’s important to choose the right type of carbs. Simple carbs, such as bread, biscuit, white rice and wheat flour, contain too much sugar and are bad for you. Instead, opt for complex carbs that are high in fibre and packed with nutrients as compared to simple carbs. Fibre-rich complex carbs are slow to digest, leave you feeling full for longer, and are therefore the best option for weight control. Brown rice, millets such as ragi and oats are all good complex carb choices.
Most Indians fail to meet their daily protein requirement. Which is troublesome, as proteins are essential to help the body build and repair tissue, muscles, cartilage and skin, as well as pump blood. A high protein diet can also help you lose weight, as it helps build muscle – which burns more calories than fat.
About 30% of your diet should consist of protein in the form of whole dals, paneer, chana, milk, leafy greens, eggs, white meat or sprouts. Having one helping of protein with every meal is essential.
A food group that has acquired a bad reputation, fats are essential for the body as they synthesize hormones, store vitamins and provide energy. Experts suggest one-fifth or 20% of your diet comprise of healthy fats – polyunsaturated, monosaturated and Omega-3 fatty acids. Using a combination of oils for different meals – including olive oil, rice bran oil, mustard oil, soya bean, sesame, sunflower and groundnut oil – along with restricted quantities of butter and ghee is the most optimal way to consume fats. Avoid trans fats – that are found in fried snacks, completely.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin A, E, B12, D, calcium and iron are essential for the body as they support metabolism, nerve and muscle function, bone maintenance, and cell production. Primarily derived from plants, meat and fish, minerals can be found in nuts, oilseeds, fruits and green leafy vegetables.
Experts recommend consuming 100 grams of greens and 100 grams of fruits everyday.
Along with a balanced meal plan, these habits will help you stay healthy
- Opt for 5-6 meals a day: Instead of three large meals, try having three modest meals and a few snack breaks through the day in controlled portions. Spacing your meals across regular intervals prevents acidity and bloating, and also keeps hunger pangs at bay. Quit your junk food habit by making healthier snack choices.
- Have an early dinner: Indians eat dinner later than the other societies across the world. Metabolism slows down at night, so a late dinner can lead to weight gain. Experts recommend you eat your last meal of the day by 8 pm.
- Drink a lot of water: How does drinking more water help you lose weight? For starters, it’s zero calories. Also, drinking a glass of water can help curb hunger pangs. Have six to eight glasses of water daily to lose weight.
- Eat a lot of fibre: A person needs at least 15 gm of fibre every day, as it aids digestion and heart health. Oats, lentils, flaxseeds, apples and broccoli are some great sources of fibre.
You don’t have to ditch your regular food habits or make massive changes to your diet, you just need the best Indian diet plan to get fit!
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