Best Indian Foods For Weight Loss
We Indians have a phrase called “Atithi Devo Bhava” i.e. every guest in our home is equal to God. This quality of hospitality and generosity of spirit is a defining trait of every Indian which can be witnessed whenever a guest visits our home and is showered with tea, namkeens and sweets. We believe that food is the gift of god and offer it to deities and animals during festivals. But while our ancestors were farmers and traders who worked hard at their jobs ploughing fields and traveling, today’s sedentary lifestyle has completely changed the way our bodies work. The average urban Indian spends nine hours a day, five days a week simply sitting on a chair without any physical activity. This has given rise to an alarming trend of physical ailments and obesity.
Although there is a growing awareness about rising cholesterol levels leading to bad health and diseases, a large number of Indians still follow unhealthy ways of eating. Obesity is dangerous for cardiac health, patients with diabetes and immune system problems. It is also a symptom of bad eating habits. Hence it is imperative for young and old alike to choose a healthy diet plan and learn how to lose weight.
Why Indian food is healthy:
Indian cuisine is well-known for its vegetarian and lacto-vegetarian diet. We consume large amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fibres, fats and micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals through our daily meals of roti, sabzi, rice and dairy products. Plant-based foods are generally known for their low carb diet and dairy is useful in maintaining the gut bacteria that helps our immune system function. The spices that are found in plenty in Indian recipes like turmeric are proven to be rich in nutrients along with being anti-cancer and anti-bacterial. Thus a balanced Indian diet is well-equipped to act as a weight loss diet.
How weight gain and weight loss happens:
In order to sustain on Indian food for weight loss, we need to understand how the body gains and loses weight. When our body consumes more calories than it burns, it starts depositing the extra calories in our body as fats. If there is an imbalance in the body’s ability to break down fats, this leads to obesity, high cholesterol and blood sugar.
Foods and their benefits:
- Bottle Gourd/ Lauki:
Lauki is one of the superfoods that can form a part of a low carb diet that contain a high amount of nutrients. A bowl of cooked Lauki sabzi has only about 73 calories while being rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, niacin, folate and potassium. It has a healthy amount of fibre that keeps your stomach happy and also helps you lose weight.
- Carom seeds/Ajwain:
Ajwain seeds are usually had after meals to improve digestion and reduce flatulence. They also help in the breaking down and assimilation of food into our body. This helps in the weight loss process. Every morning, boil one tablespoon of Ajwain seeds in one litre of water and sip on it throughout the day. This will help in weight loss through minimum fat storage.
Buttermilk is great for the skin and the digestive tract. It is low in calories and can be had by people who are lactose intolerant. With its probiotic goodness, buttermilk helps increase the general immunity of the body and fight against diseases and maladies. It is a good source of energy and can be had between meals, improving the overall health of the body and burning fat.
What to eat:
Start the day with some lukewarm water. Proceed to breakfast with fibre-rich complex carbohydrates like oats or ragi porridge and fruits and nuts. Have a wholesome lunch with chapatis, sabzi, dal and rice. Manage portions such that they stick to your nutrition graph without overeating. Drink at least one glass of milk or buttermilk throughout the day.
To get the complete benefit of a healthy food diet, stick to whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lentils. Choose the seasonal variety of fresh fruits and salads for maximum nutrition.
What not to eat:
Avoid bakery and packaged foods as they contain lots of carbohydrates and processed sugar. Indulge in fried snacks only once in a while and limit the consumption of sugary beverages like tea and coffee. Drink fruit or lemon juice instead of aerated drinks. Avoid skipping meals as this can lead to more damage than good.