Love eating Indian food? I love it too. Undoubtedly, it is delicious and rich. But do you know most Indian food can lead to weight gain if not eaten in moderation?
Using too much oil, butter, and sugar, improper cooking techniques, and eating too much are the leading causes of weight gain in Indians. Recent studies have shown that obesity leads to many diseases and is the primary cause of heart attack (1). Obesity is also linked to poor mental health (2).
So, it makes sense to stick to Indian food that is tasty, but less fattening. And mind you, crash dieting is not the way to lose weight. You can still enjoy the rich Indian food by tweaking the recipes a bit.
This article will give you an insight into altering your food habits with minimum intervention. But before that, let’s check out the three diets plans that work best for weight loss.
A Few Popular Diet Plans To Lose Weight
a. South Beach Diet
The South Beach diet is the most favored diet followed globally for effective weight loss. This diet is not only prescribed by doctors but also a tried and tested method. Thus, it is safe to follow this diet.
The South Beach diet offers the following benefits:
- It eliminates cravings and ensures weight loss in just 14 days.
- You can eat a variety of delicious low-calorie food to reach your target.
- You can maintain this weight loss throughout your life.
What is unique about this diet is you don’t have to give up all carbs and fats to lose weight. This diet plan emphasizes on high fiber foods to curb cravings and keep the extra pounds at bay all your life. This program is flexible and can be followed as long as you want. Mobile apps have made the South Beach diet plan more accessible and desirable. This diet is good for heart patients who want to lose weight.
The South Beach diet comprises three phases. In the first phase, you refrain from carbohydrate-rich foods like rice and pasta. In the second phase, you can include carbohydrate-rich foods and then move onto the third step to attain your goal.
During the first step, you have to eat a protein-rich diet. You can use fats like extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, and avocado. Vegetables with a low glycemic index like broccoli, tomato, spinach, and brinjal can be a part of your diet. Foods that are off-limits during the first phase are fruits and fruit juices, alcohol, starchy foods, and dairy products.
In the second step, you need to include high fiber fruits like apples, whole grain bread and rice, whole wheat pasta, and sweet potatoes. You can feel your weight come down by 1-2 pounds.
The third phase is meant to maintain the weight you have lost in the last two stages. By now, you know the right choice of foods. If you tend to overindulge, you have to start the diet plan all over again.
The South Beach Diet is practical and not complicated. All the foods mentioned are readily available. You don’t have to do calorie counting too!
b. Atkins Diet
Do you think you can lose weight by cutting carbs from your diet? The answer is yes. The theory behind the Atkins Diet Plan is when you cut down on your carbs intake, the body uses the fat stored in your body as fuel. As a result, you will lose weight and your body will produce ketones to produce energy. However, the Atkins plan is not for those who have kidney problems.
The first part of the plan is called Induction Phase. During this phase, you are only allowed to eat 20 grams of carbohydrates from vegetables. You should have red meat, poultry, eggs, butter, and vegetable oils in moderation.
Foods that are banned during the induction phase include pasta, bread, grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes like beans, dairy products other than butter, cream, and cheese. Also, stay away from caffeine and alcohol.
The second phase of the Atkins diet plan is termed the Ongoing Weight Loss Stage. This stage is less rigid than the first one, as you can include low starch vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, berries and other fruits, and whole grains. You can also consume low-carb alcohol once in a while. Include carbs according to your body’s need.
The revised version of the Atkins diet as presented on the website and the book New Atkins for a New You lays particular emphasis on selecting the right food and healthy fats.
The Atkins diet plan is not very flexible because you need to bring drastic changes in the menu.
- You have to keep a check on your calorie intake.
- Omitting dairy products is a bad idea since you are missing out on fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Your breath has an unusual odor due to ketones produced in the body. Some people also have headaches and feel irritable.
- The Atkins plan is more restrictive than the South Beach diet. You may have to stay away from your favorite foods to reach your target.
Despite all the limitations, one can say that the Atkins diet is a revolutionary plan for weight loss. Vegetarians can follow this plan too. Only, they have to substitute animal proteins with those from plants. Half an hour of exercise is a must if you want to lose weight.
c. Paleo Diet
The theory behind Paleo diet is “eat like a caveman to shed pounds.” The high-protein and high-fiber diet allows you to lose weight without cutting on calories. Paleo or Stone Age Diet also helps to keep diabetes, coronary disease, and cancer at bay. You must have lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. You can also include legumes, nuts, seeds, and peanuts.
Foods To Avoid
- All processed foods
- Refined oils like canola
- Refined sugar
Limitations Of The Paleo Diet
It is tough for vegetarians to follow this diet as the emphasis is on lean meats. Also, dairy products are absent from the Paleo diet, so you miss out on essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. No amount of vegetables can be a good substitute for lean meats. So, vegans will fall short of proteins. This diet plan is not budget-friendly either.
If you can sideline the limitations, you will find there are many positive sides to the Paleo diet. It is a low sodium diet plan and you don’t need to do calorie counting. Extra exercise is not necessary while on this diet, but it is advisable to do at least simple stretches.
You can adjust your diet according to the availability of food items. Tropical climate also influences the food preferences to a great extent. Here is an Indian Diet Chart for weight loss. If strictly followed, this will work for sure.
Indian Diet Chart For Weight Loss
Eating a balanced diet is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it help maintain an ideal weight, but it also provides your body with significant resistance against many health problems. The Indian diet chart for weight loss should include six meals a day. Here is a sample Indian diet chart for any given day.
Sample Diet Chart For Weight Loss
Wondering why you didn’t lose weight despite following this diet strictly? Well, the next section will answer the questions you may have in your mind.
10 Rules Of Indian Diet Chart For Weight Loss
Being disciplined is critical while following any dietary program. If you are serious about losing weight to improve health, follow these 10 simple rules to keep your hunger pangs at bay.
1. Increase The Consumption Of Fruits And Vegetables
You should eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day. Fruits are extremely beneficial when consumed on an empty stomach. Therefore, starting your day with fruits is a healthy option. Do not have fruits immediately after any meal.
2. Limit The Intake Of Stimulants
Restrict the intake of stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugar. Caffeine is harmful when taken on an empty stomach. Hence, avoid bed tea or coffee. It is advisable to have tea or coffee with meals.
3. Do Not Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, it is recommended to have something for breakfast that generates energy slowly, such as a bowl of porridge or a cup of low-fat yogurt (dahi).
4. Drink Plenty Of Water
Water is a zero calorie drink with low sodium. It also helps flush out the toxic build-up inside the body and excess water weight and jump-starts metabolism. If you find plain water boring, you can squeeze a lemon and honey or even drink tender coconut water which will also help restore the electrolyte balance in the body.
5. Have Smaller Gaps Between The Meals
Avoid long gaps between your meals because the food you eat gets converted into fat instead of being used for energy. It is not recommended to have a gap of more than three hours in between your meals.
6. Do Not Starve
Allowing your body to starve is not a healthy option as it has its adverse effects. Eat well to fulfill your nutritional needs.
7. Have Your Last Meal Early
You should have the last meal at least two hours before going to bed.
8. Restrict Your Calorie Intake
Keeping a watch on your caloric intake is extremely crucial in any diet plan. Calorie-dense foods like fried food, sweets, and pastries should be avoided.
9. Remove Fat From Your Food
All visible fat should be removed from food before cooking. Processed meat like sausages and burgers should be avoided as they contain high calories.
10. Eat Healthy Snacks
Replace the processed or fried foods with healthy snacks such as fresh or dried fruits, low-fat yogurts, whole grain cereals and rice cakes.
Sounds like an economic, doable option? Great! Let me run you through what to do and what not to do while on a diet.
Dos & Don’ts
- Eliminate sugar and starches from your diet. This is because starchy foods trigger insulin secretion, which leads to fat storage in the body.
- Cutting down on starch helps control insulin secretion and assists the kidneys in flushing out extra sodium and water that cause bloating. It also cuts down extra water weight.
- Instead of starchy vegetables, you can have eggs rich in Omega-3, fish, and seafood like salmon, trout, shrimps, and lobsters. You can also have beef, chicken, bacon, pork, and lamb. You should have 20-50 grams of protein daily. Regular intake of protein improves metabolism and keeps you satiated for a long time.
- Never feel guilty loading your plate with healthy low-carb vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, Swiss chard, and celery. You can have them as salads, stews, grilled or slightly steamed with low-calorie dips.
- You can easily have 20-50 grams of low-carb veggies. They are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for a healthy body. You can add butter, lard, tallow and coconut oil to your diet as per your taste in moderation.
- To ensure quick weight loss, include exercises too. No more crash diets and starving to lose weight!
- Remember to follow a safe and healthy method to lose weight. ‘Stay active and stay natural’ should be your new mantra to lose weight.
So, all set to try this fabulous Indian weight loss diet plan?
Don’t forget to share your experiences with us in the comments section below. Stay fit, stay healthy!
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