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Many people consume very little food to lose weight, which they call dieting. Yes it definitely gives some result but you cannot extend it for a long time. If you eat very less food, then your body will not get the required nutrients which will lead to degradation in health and to recover it, we start eating normally again.
So to lose weight in a healthy manner, it is important to know which types of nutrients should be present in a healthy diet which our body requires to function properly?
What is nutrition?
Let us first see what nutrition is. Nutrition is the process through which our body absorbs nutrients from our food for its healthy development.
Although there are more than 50 important nutrients which our human body requires, there are 3 most important nutrients which are required for our body in major quantities and are an important part of our diet. These are called macro- nutrients, which are:
You must be thinking that if we focus on only these three nutrients, then how we will compensate for the micro nutrients. Whatever food we consume, contain micro-nutrients in different quantities along with these 3 macro-nutrients. This helps in compensating for all the nutrients required for our body.
Lets talk about top 3 Macro Nutrients our body needs.
Carbohydrates play the role of energy in our body which prepares glucose to give energy to our brain and muscles (see complete science here). But if carbohydrates are taken in more quantities, it can result in weight gain.
Carbohydrates can be found in many food items. But to lose weight, we should consume only those types of food items which have less amount of sugar and more fiber and starch, which are called high fiber and starchy carbohydrates. This build glucose in our body slowly and this leads to fat accumulation.
A high fiber carbohydrate diet helps you feel full and helps you to lose weight.
How much carbohydrate should be present in our diet?
For weight loss in a healthy manner, you should consume 1200-1600 calories in a day. The carbohydrate in that amount should be around 45%- 65%. The appropriate carbohydrate amount should be 50%. Remember this thing; one gram carbohydrate gives you energy of 4 calories .
1 Gram Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
Indian food which contain carbohydrate: Potato with its peel on, grains with their peel on(Whole Grains), fruits (like watermelon, apple, banana), oats, dry fruits (cashew nuts, almonds, figs, peanuts), citrus fruits (lemon, orange), green vegetables.
Protein helps in making and repairing of body cells and blood tissues; be it blood cells, skin cells, hormones or muscles. Even Hair and nail cells are mostly made up of protein.
Generally, high protein consumption is advised to lose weight but according to a research, it does help in weight loss but it also promotes diseases such as diabetes, heart problems as well as cancer.
How much protein should be present in our diet?
To lose weight in a healthy manner, you should consume 10 to 35% of protein in your diet. Take in record that one gram protein contains 4 calories and it is well advised to take 20% protein in your diet. This will help you lose weight with a healthy process.
1 Gram protein= 4 Calories
Vegetarian Indian Protein Rich Foods – Spinach, guava, peas, barley, legumes, grains with peel, soy milk, lentils and grams (such as rajma, split black gram, split green gram, rice, split Bengal gram, split red lentils, chickpeas(green) and sesame seeds).
Non- Vegetarian Protein Rich Foods – Turkey and chicken breasts, fish (halibut. Salmon, tuna), eggs.
Some people think that eating only non- vegetarian food helps in consuming protein but if the above mentioned vegetarian food is consumed in proper manner and quantity, then you can consume the required amount of protein.
Now the question arises that if we have to reduce the overall body fat then, what is the logic behind consuming more fat? Don’t get confused. Fat is really necessary for our body. All human beings have fat cells under their skin, be it an overweight person or a skinny one, old or young.
Let us see why fat is so important for our body.
Fat nutrient is a good energy source. We get 9 calories of energy from 1 gram of fat, much more than what we get from carbohydrates and protein. Fat helps us in using important vitamins in our body such as Vitamin A. It also keeps our body insulated, which regulates the temperature, whether it is winter or summer.
There are different types of fat, which are called good and bad fat in simple terms.
Good and healthy fat – Unsaturated fat – Along with giving energy, this fat helps to reduce heart diseases and tackle cancer. It also helps to control the body’s cholesterol.
Bad and unhealthy fat – This has two types of fats, which gives us energy but increases the level of cholesterol at the same time. It also increases the chances of heart diseases and cancer as well.
- Saturated fat – It remains in a solid state on normal temperature.
- Trans fat – This type of fat is present in processed food; packaged food to be precise. Along with trans fat, other ingredients are included in the packaging for preserving it. Fried food is also composed of trans fat.
How much quantity of fat should be consumed in a day?
We should consume 20% to 35% of calories through fat. For weight loss in a healthy manner, the ideal amount of fat to be consumed should be 30%. Many people advise to follow a low-fat diet but many researches claim that a low-fat diet can make you unwell.
1 Gram Fat = 9 Calories
One more thing, we should include both saturated fat (30% of total fat) and unsaturated fat (70% of total fat) in our diet, through which we get all types of nutrients; and stay away from trans fat.
Good unsaturated Indian fat foods – Oil (like soya bean, olive oil, peanuts, sunflower, fish), dry fruits (like cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachio, peanuts), coconut, egg yolk, flax seeds, dark chocolate.
Bad saturated / Trans fat foods – Coconut oil, excessively fried food, cottage cheese, ice cream, cakes and cookies, chips, sea food, meat.
To follow a diet doesn’t mean that you cannot consume your favorite food items. You can eat them at times, unless and until they do not increase your daily calorie count.
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