cutting down the calories will make dishes healthier.
Indian food tends to be known for being high in calories but there are some options that are good for weight loss.
Managing your weight is based on the number of calories you consume so to lose weight, eat fewer calories.
Embarking on a weight loss journey doesn’t mean giving up on the rich and vibrant flavours of Indian cuisine.
In fact, Indian food offers a treasure trove of ingredients that can support your weight loss goals while tantalising your taste buds.
From fragrant spices to wholesome grains and protein-packed dishes, Indian cuisine provides a diverse range of options to help you shed those extra pounds.
Whether you are a fan of daal, spices or hearty vegetable dishes, here are 10 dishes that are great for weight loss and can aid in your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
Daal dishes are a staple within Indian cuisine and there are different types of lentils used to make the dishes like split red lentils and common green whole lentils.
The dishes are usually eaten with rice, roti and naan and are typically quite healthy. They are full of protein, fibre, vitamin B6 and folate.
The most common way of making daal is to create a type of soup made from onions, tomatoes and various spices.
Even though daal is healthy, cutting down the calories will make dishes healthier.
The most obvious way is to cook them in tomato-based sauces as opposed to creamy ones, which are made with butter and cream and that results in a high-fat content.
A tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of cream is 15 grams of fat. The daily fat intake is between 44 and 77 grams. That is potentially 35% in just one dish.
On the other hand, a tomato-based sauce cuts out the additional fat and reduces the number of calories in the dish.
Having a tomato sauce also makes for more heat and chillies are known to help with weight loss.
Chana Masala is an ideal Indian dish for weight loss. Also known as chole, the dish’s main ingredient is chickpeas.
It is cooked in a tomato sauce with onions and various spices like garlic, ginger, chillies and sometimes dried mango powder.
Chana Masala is already very nutritious as it contains iron, fibre and vitamin B.
When trying to lose weight, simply avoid using any oil when making this dish.
One tablespoon of olive oil contains 119 calories.
It may only get rid of a few calories but every little helps when monitoring calorie count.
As a popular street food item, Chana Masala is usually served with puri. Within the home, it is advised to eat it with roti as opposed to puri, which contains more calories.
When consumed in moderation, Palak Paneer can be great for weight loss.
Paneer is a rich source of protein, which is essential for weight loss as it helps in building and repairing tissues, increases satiety and boosts metabolism.
Including adequate protein in your diet can help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the chances of overeating.
Spinach is low in calories and rich in essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium. Consuming nutrient-dense foods can be beneficial for weight loss as they provide vital nutrients without excessive calories.
Spinach is a good source of dietary fibre, which aids in digestion, promotes satiety, and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Including fibre-rich foods in your meals can support weight loss by reducing hunger and controlling cravings.
Eating this dish with wholegrain roti or brown rice can provide a balanced meal with a combination of protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates.
Even though vegetarian dishes are popular in India, meat dishes also make up a lot of the cuisine.
Chicken is one of the most popular meats and it is used for a lot of richly-flavoured curries.
A weight loss option to go with is Tandoori Chicken. The dish originated in Punjab but was popularised in Peshawar, Pakistan.
The chicken is marinated in yoghurt and a blend of spices before being placed on skewers and cooked in a tandoor.
The tandoor adds to the flavour of the meat and marinade. It also renders most of the fat while any excess fat comes out due to the high temperature.
However, a tandoor is unlikely to be found in households so it is best to cook chicken in an oven. Most of the fat renders and it lowers calories, contributing to weight loss.
Raita is low in calories because it is made with plain yoghurt.
Yoghurt is also a good source of protein, which plays a crucial role in weight loss. Protein helps increase satiety, boost metabolism and preserve muscle mass.
Including protein-rich foods like yoghurt in your diet can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce cravings, thereby supporting weight loss efforts.
The inclusion of vegetables in Raita such as cucumber makes this side dish a good source of dietary fibre.
Including fibre-rich foods like vegetables in your raita can aid in weight loss by keeping you satisfied and reducing overall calorie intake.
Raita can serve as a flavourful alternative to high-calorie dressings or sauces commonly used in salads or other dishes.
By adding raita to your meals, you can enhance the taste and texture without significantly increasing calorie content. This can make your meals more enjoyable while still supporting your weight loss goals.
When it comes to Indian food, curry is one of the first things that come to mind and there are a lot of them.
Chicken, meat, fish or vegetables are combined with a variety of spices and cooked in a rich sauce.
Even though they are delicious, most of them are high in fattening.
For those wanting to lose weight, opt for Fish Curry.
Choosing the type of fish can also contribute to weight loss. Fish like cod, flounder and sole are some options to consider.
Grilling the fish also helps.
Serve with brown rice instead of regular white rice.
Vegetable sabzis tend to be healthier than meat equivalents as they will not contain saturated fats.
The key difference is in the preparation and the cooking of them.
Using rapeseed oil or olive oil instead of ghee, alternative vegetables and different spices are all factors in reducing calories.
Limiting to healthier oils will help with the overall fat content of your dishes and contribute to weight loss.
Alternative vegetables like sweet potatoes, kale, pumpkins, butternut squash, mixed greens, broccoli and celery are all low in calories and superb additions to your Indian diet.
Spices are excellent for higher metabolism, especially, chilli-orientated ones including paprika and chilli powder.
Roti, chappatis or naan made with white flour or refined flour (maida) can add calories to your Indian diet.
Especially, if the flatbread is then brushed with lots of ghee or butter after cooking it. This increases its calorific value immensely.
On the other hand, Tandoori Roti, which is made with stoneground wholemeal flour, is a healthier alternative.
This is because Tandoori Roti is cooked in a tandoor or grill instead of a tawa or frying pan. Also, they are made thicker than normal rotis.
This makes them more filling, hence you will eat less Tandoori Roti compared to the normal variety.
For it to be healthier, it is important that the Tandoori Roti is not brushed with any butter or ghee for it to be healthier.
Vegetable Pulao is made with various vegetables such as carrots, peas, beans and peppers. These vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants while being low in calories.
Including nutrient-dense foods in your diet is important for overall health and weight management.
This Indian dish is usually made with rice or other whole grains like quinoa or brown rice. Whole grains contain more fibre, vitamins, and minerals in comparison to refined grains.
The fibre in whole grains contributes to a feeling of fullness and helps control blood sugar levels, supporting weight management.
It makes for a balanced meal as it combines carbohydrates from grains, protein from vegetables and potentially legumes, and a variety of nutrients.
This balanced combination can help provide sustained energy, keep you satisfied, and prevent overeating.
Healthier cooking methods also contribute to weight loss.
This includes cooking with less oil, adding herbs and spices for flavour and reducing the amount of added fats.
One of the most popular South Indian dishes is Idli Sambar, which is a steamed rice and lentil cake served with a lentil and vegetable stew.
Idli is made from a combination of rice and lentils, providing a good amount of plant-based protein. Protein is essential for weight loss as it helps in building and repairing tissues, increases satiety, and boosts metabolism.
Idli is made through a fermentation process and this enhances its nutritional benefits.
Fermented foods are known to promote a healthy gut by increasing the population of beneficial gut bacteria.
A healthy gut microbiome has been associated with improved digestion, better nutrient absorption, and potential weight management.
Idli Sambar combines carbohydrates from idli, protein from lentils and various nutrients from the vegetables used in sambar.
This combination provides a mix of macronutrients and essential vitamins and minerals, helping to meet your nutritional needs while keeping the calorie intake in check.
These 10 Indian foods are packed with flavour but are also low in calories, which is beneficial for weight loss.
By incorporating these dishes into your diet, you can nourish your body, satisfy your cravings and achieve your weight loss goals while staying true to your cultural heritage.