28 Apr 10 Indian Weight Loss Vegetarian Foods – Backed by Science
This post is also available in: Hindi
Just like we need a complete diet to lose weight, in the same manner, we also need some food items which make the diet effective and help you in losing weight. We all know that no particular food item can only help us lose fat completely. It all depends 70% on what we eat and drink throughout the day which will determine whether we will gain fat or lose it(View Science behind weight loss here). That is why each and every food item which is going to be added in your diet will matter.
And so, we have prepared a list of 10 such food items which will help you in losing weight. And you can add these in your morning, noon and night meals along with snacks to make a complete diet.
More than 50% of people in India eat wheat chapattis as their main meal, which they eat for all three main meals of the day. That means that we are mainly affected by wheat chapattis itself. Wheat chapattis increase blood sugar levels rapidly and then lower it down rapidly as well (High Glycemic Index). It also contains high level of gluten which highly affects our digestion in the wrong manner. All these factors increase fat in our body and does not allow us to lose weight.
But then one question pops up in our heads, why are we eating it since centuries then? There is a huge difference between the wheat that was grown 40 years ago and the hybrid wheat that is grown today through pesticides. Secondly, there is also a difference between the lifestyle of people today as compared to the lifestyle 40 years ago. It affects a lot due to our sedentary lifestyle, and the particular effect it has on us is our obesity. Wheat chapattis are a good source of fiber but we can consume that fiber through vegetables as well.
One better substituent of wheat is barley.
How do barley chapatti help – Barley has a lot of essential vitamins and minerals, less gluten which are beneficial for our body. Along with antioxidants, it also has a good amount of fiber which not only keeps our body healthy but also keeps us full and thus we end up consuming fewer calories. It also makes our digestion better.
How much barley should you consume – 100 grams of barley contain 354 calories. A normal sized wheat chapatti (35 grams) contains 110 calories and a normal sized barley chapatti (35 grams) contains 125 calories. Barley water is also beneficial for reducing weight.
Almonds are also known as ‘small sized energy packed’ food items. Along with essential nutrients such as vitamin B, manganese, copper and magnesium, it also contains a huge amount of fiber, protein and healthy fat, which not only gives our body energy but also suppresses our hunger. We feel full for a longer period of time and thus we end up consuming fewer amounts of calories. It particularly helps in reducing belly fat.
How to consume almonds – Water soaked almonds are more beneficial because the peel of almonds have such elements which do not allow other nutrients to be absorbed. Soaking the almonds for 8- 10 hours and removing the peel helps our body to absorb all the essential nutrients.
When to eat – Almonds make a good snack which you can eat between main meals. A healthy person should eat 23 almonds per day but you need to consume it according to your calorie diet. Eating almonds in excess can make you bit fat.
Calories – 100 grams of almonds contain 576 calories. To assume, one normal sized almond makes up to approximately one gram. So around 10 almonds(57.6 Calorie) a day is fine during weight loss.
Health benefits – Eating almonds every day helps in reducing heart related problems, prevents breast cancer, makes your skin shinier, gives you quick energy and thus it is recommended to eat almonds before work out.
Apples contain approximately 85% of water which makes it a light snack. Along with water, it also has a huge amount of fiber. Water and fiber both helps us feel full through which we consume fewer calories (see research here). This helps a lot in losing weight. This is a thing to remember that apples make us feel full 11 times longer than apple juice and that is why it is advised to eat apples and not drink apple juice.
Apples do not increase blood sugar level as well (Low Glycemic Index) which not only helps in losing weight but also in maintaining it.
Along with fiber, apples also contain high levels of Vitamin C and potassium. It is also a great antioxidant. And apples are not only beneficial in losing weight but also in maintaining a healthy body.
That is why it is said, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
When to eat – Small apples should be eaten as snacks and you can eat them before the main meals as well through which you would eat less. But maintain the caloric intake in your diet when doing so.
Calories – One normal sized 200 grams of apple contains around 100 calories.
Health benefits – It keeps our heart healthy, protects us from cancer and prevents our body from catching diseases.
4. Spinach (Green vegetables)
We all know that one of the main reasons of getting fat is our habit of snacking on sweets, fast food and also craving for the same. But this also has a solution. According to a well known European university’s research, green vegetables such as spinach contain elements known as thylakoids which send signals to our brain of feeling full and to stop eating. It also cuts our craving for sweets, fast food and other high carbohydrate and high calorie food items, or we can say that it kills the craving completely.
Thylakoids suppresses 95% of craving for high carb food and increases the process of weight loss by 43%.
Spinach is one complete food item for reducing weight. Along with fewer calories, it contains almost all essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, etc. It also contains dietary fiber which digests slowly and not completely, due to which we do not feel hungry for a long time.
How to eat – You can eat spinach after boiling it, in vegetables, in the form of a salad or simply by making its juice.
When to eat – Drinking spinach juice before main meals can help you suppress your hunger till longer periods.
Calories – 100 grams of spinach contains only 23 calories. Along with this, it is also a great source of protein.
Health benefits – It develops the immune system, helps in achieving glowing skin, keeps your bones stronger, protects brain and nervous system and the list can go on and on.
Pulses are a great and cheap source for weight loss, especially for vegetarians. Along with many vitamins, minerals and less fat, pulses have a high amount of fiber which makes you feel full and improves your digestion.
According to one Study, pulses help us feel 31% fuller due to which we end up consuming fewer calories.
Pulses are a great source of protein which helps in regulating our blood sugar level and we do not crave for high calorie food items. We all know that protein helps in building muscles which burns fat. It helps us in losing weight and gives a toned shape to our body.
Pulses not only help us in weight loss but it also keeps the weight from building up again. That is why pulses are an important food item for every vegetarians in their diet.
Which pulses – Pulses such as green gram (moong), chickpeas (chhole), black gram(Kale chane) and kidney beans (rajma) help in losing weight.
Calories – 100 grams of moong contains 347 calories, chhole contains 364 calories and rajma contains 333 calories.
When to eat – Since they contain a lot of calories, you should include them in your main meals through which you can feel full for a long time and avoid snacking.
Health benefits – It helps in maintaining heart health, blood sugar level, lowering the chances of cancer and promotes overall growth due to the presence of essential nutrients.
Oats, also known as jai in Hindi, is a healthy and nutritious food item. Along with keeping us healthy, it also helps in losing weight. It contains a high level of fiber and resistant starch which digests slowly and thus we do not feel hungry for a long time. We end up consuming fewer calories due to this. That is why you should add it in your diet as a morning meal. But we can also use it for lunch and dinner as well.
According to a study by National Institute of Health, oats help in losing weight and especially help in cutting down belly fat.
If you are unable to consume barley chapattis then you can use quick oatmeal instead. To make oatmeal a complete breakfast, I use soaked chia seeds which is good source of protein so that increase the oatmeal benefits too. you can also add either almonds, peanuts, or pomegranate seeds and consume it, which will help you in losing weight further.
Calories – Half a cup or 45 grams of oatmeal contains 35 calories.
Chili helps in controlling weight gain and also helps in losing it. The reason behind it is an essential element known as capsaicin which is found in chili. It boosts the fat burning process.
According to a research conducted by Indian origin doctor Baskaran, our body has certain white fat cells which stores energy and certain brown fat cells which burn those white fat cells and secrete energy. Capsaicin found in chili helps in converting those white fat cells to brown fat cells through which you can burn more fat. That is why we see that Indian cuisine has more spiciness which helps in controlling fat in a manner.
You should use green chilies or red chilies in your food and you should definitely make it an important constituent of your daily diet, through which it enhances the fat burning process and improves metabolism.
Calories – 100 grams of red chilies contain only 40 calories and capsicum contains only 20 calories.
8. Green tea
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in our country after water. But we Indians drink sweet tea, which increases weight. A better option for the same is green tea. It has become one of the most important tools worldwide since a few years in Weight Loss.
Green tea is completely healthy in all manners. Along with catechins name antioxidants, green tea also consists of caffeine and EGCG which are helpful in increasing our metabolism rate and fat burning process.
The element EGCG, especially is quite important because it induces the Norepinephrine Hormone which sends signals to our nervous system about using the stored fat as energy. If you are exercising to lose weight then you should drink green tea before work out because it would be more beneficial.
How much to drink – You should drink atleast 2.5 cups of green tea in a day. One cup of green tea should contain 250 ml (8 ounce), which is a bit more but this much amount is required to have some positive effect.
Calories – If this drink is made up of pure green tea leaves and water, then this is almost a zero calorie drink.
Correct method of preparation – Boil some water, and let it cool down for 10 minutes and pour it over on green tea leaves. Brew it for one minute thereafter and drink it.
9. Cucumber and tomato
Tomatoes and cucumber both contain fewer calories and they contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber. We all know that the main reason that we gain weight is due to eating high calorie snacks, emotional eating, eating like crazy whenever we feel hungry and eating more than what is necessary. This does not happen every day but it happens quite a lot. Here, tomatoes and cucumber help you a lot.
Along with nutritious and possessing fewer calories, these also contain a good amount of fiber, through which you feel full, satisfied and fresh.
Being cheap and available during all 12 months, tomatoes and cucumber can be cut and put in the fridge through which
- You can eat and snack on them whenever you feel hungry
- Eat half a plate of tomatoes and cucumber salad before the main meal through which you do not hog on the food and consume fewer calories.
To make them effective fat burning food items, you can add black pepper powder, lemon juice and some green chilies. Along with improving taste, these also help in reducing weight.
Keep eating them from time to time and these will not let you and your experience of weight loss down.
Calories – 1 normal sized 100 grams of tomato contains only 18 calories and 1 normal sized 200 grams of cucumber contains 32 calories.
10. Coconut oil
I have kept coconut oil on this list on purpose because we Indians use oil in more than 30% of our recipes. You need to manage it otherwise it would be very difficult to lose weight.
If eaten in moderation, coconut oil can actually help you in losing weight. If eaten more, it can also increase fat content in your body. We Indians eat sabji (vegetables) during each meal throughout the day, that is, 3 times; whether it is with chapatti or with rice. And it contains a lot of oil as well. We cannot quit eating oil all of a sudden. So using it in moderation is the only solution.
Using around 15 grams of coconut oil in a day helps us in losing weight. It contains medium chain fatty acids which means that is converts into energy at a rapid pace in our body, accumulates less in the form of fat and increases metabolism rate and fat burning process by 5%. Along with this, the MCT fats make you feel fuller and you end up consuming fewer calories. According to many theories, coconut oil specially reduces fat around belly.
Alternative – If you are unable to use coconut oil then the alternative option for the same is extra virgin olive oil.
Calories – Oil is completely fat which means that every 1 gram of oil contains 9 calories fat, oh yes, this is extremely high.
How much to eat – To lose weight, eat oil as less as possible. 15- 20 ml (135- 180 calories) of coconut oil helps in reducing weight but consuming it in excess can only make you gain weight.
Also these above foods will not only make you slim but also make you healthy and shiny. As all the above foods come under healthy foods.
we should eat them every day for healthy mind, body and life.
NOTE - Friends, I am not dietitian or Doctor, I write information here on the basis of my own 25 kilo weight loss experience and sometimes from online research. Please take doctor advice before applying any tip, as each and every human body is different.