Mention of Indian food immediately creates a visual of a spicy, tangy, hot and buttery preparation that oozes calories with every bite. Contrasting to this idea, there are a lot of Indian preparations that are amazingly nutritious as well as drool-worthy. Dieting often leads the foodies to a depressed mental state because of all the compromises and cravings they have to undergo. Dissenting with all such notions, you can lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle by making very few changes in your diet by incorporating some high-on-fibre and low-on-calorie food items. Some of these dishes are-
- Include south Indian items for breakfast- South Indian food items like upma, idli, dosa, utappam and rasam are extremely nutritious breakfast options. South Indian cuisine utilizes mostly unprocessed and natural ingredients and hence has high nutritional value. They also incorporate a lot of lentils and rice in their preparation, which serves as a great source of protein. The cuisine infuses tantalizing flavours of coconut, tamarind and curry leaves. The cooking techniques include steaming, pan-grilling and sautéing for most of the dishes; all of which are quite healthy cooking techniques. Hence, South Indian food items are an excellent blend of proteins, carbohydrates, and fibre. Most of them have zero cholesterol and are quite fulfilling options for a healthy breakfast.
- Increase protein intake by consuming lentils- Pulses serve as a package of all the nutrients required for a balanced and healthy diet. Posing as a great source of vitamins (A, C, B, E), minerals like potassium, calcium, and protein, amino acids, and dietary fibre; pulses are a must have in your slimming regime. Apart from all these nutrients, they help in controlling blood sugar, high blood cholesterol and provide aid in digestion. Make sure to cook them in less oil and opt for wholesome pulses like moong for quick results.
- Check your dairy product intake- There has been a never-ending debate about this category of food when it comes to losing weight. This is a tricky category of food and hence must be incorporated into your meals wisely. Try to include buttermilk, curd, and paneer in your diet for a wholesome experience. Avoid cream and high-on-calorie dairy products and use skimmed milk if required. Use paneer in gravies and curries cooked in less oil. It is advisable to prepare paneer from low-fat milk at home as commercially prepared paneer uses full cream milk. Being the greatest source of calcium, these products are an integral part of your diet. The curd is a great replacement for cream in many dishes and promotes weight loss at an increased pace. Buttermilk is a great cooler for the sultry summers and gives a feeling of fullness, hence curbing your appetite.
- Curb your sugar cravings by fruit smoothies- Instead of usual fruit salads; opt for blended fruits in the form of smoothies. You can infuse your breakfast smoothies with Greek yoghurt, chia seeds, honey and banana for a perfect flavour and consistency. Some popular fruit smoothies use mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, melons, and peaches. They have natural sugar and hence curb your sugar cravings without much calorie intake. Unlike processed sugar, natural sugars are accompanied by fibre and healthy fats that are also necessary for proper bodily functions. Smoothies are easy and quick to make and a super healthy breakfast option.
- Munch on healthy snacks like Makhane, khakhra, and dhokla- Makhanas, or popularly known as fox nuts, serve as a perfect snack to satiate your between-the-meals-hunger-pangs. Low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol; this desi snack is infused with many health benefits. It has a low glycemic index, anti-ageing enzyme, astringent properties, aphrodisiac properties and is gluten-free. Other munchies include Dhokla, which provides instant nutrient and is a low-cal snack; and Khakhra, the baked crispy rotis infused with various flavours like pudina, garlic, masala, and plain.
- Replace white rice with brown rice- Both white and brown rice are richly infused with nutrients that are required for a balanced diet and hence can be enjoyed equally. But for a slimming regime, brown rice is preferred because of its high fibre and low-calorie intake. The high content of fibre will aid you in losing weight by slowing the process of emptying your stomach and in turn provide you a feeling of fullness for a longer duration. Brown rice also provides nutrients like manganese, thiamine, niacin, phosphorous and magnesium.
- Experiment with sprouts- Beans and legumes are a great source of fibre, which fills up your belly without providing many calories. Their caloric density makes them easy to digest and further aids in weight loss. They are packed with essential minerals and vitamins that fight against many serious diseases like cancer. Sprouting of beans further increase their protein content and in turn provide more nutrition. Sprouting also decreases the cooking time. You can make sprouts taste better by including small proportions of them in dishes like bhelpuri, salads or munch them like snacks.
These are some of the nutritious and healthy ways to lose weight without starving yourself. Depriving your body of any kind of natural sugar and healthy fats will do more damage than good. So make sure to balance your meals and gradually decrease your portion size. A little workout, done regularly can quicken your weight loss and also tone your body simultaneously.