“Mirror mirror on the wall, will I lose weight at all!?” If you’re on a weight loss quest but not seeing any significant results, it’s time you take a deeper look at your calorie intake. Don’t worry, it’s not a lot of effort! Slip in the right low calorie foods for weight loss into your meal planning and make sure you stick with them till the end of your health journey.Contents:
Calories are a unit to measure the amount of energy in any food or drink item. A calorie is also referred to as the amount of energy released by your body when it digests and absorbs food. The more the calorie content in a food, the more energy it provides to your body.
When you consume more calories than required, your body stores it in the form of fat. Over time, when you consume more calories than your body can burn, you gain fat and that leads to weight gain. Meanwhile, if you consume fewer calories and burn more of them, you lose weight.
Foods that have fewer calories when compared to similar foods, diets, etc., are known as ‘low-calorie foods’ or ‘low sources of calories’. According to the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), foods that have 40 calories or less for a given serving (usually <30 grams) are considered ‘low-calorie foods’. Meanwhile, ‘calorie free’ or ‘zero calorie’ foods are those that contain less than 5 calories per serving.
Though it is crucial for the body to consume sufficient calories to get you through the day, keeping a count and cutting down on calories can help you lose that extra weight. Along with physical activity, consuming a low-calorie diet can be highly beneficial.
Dals or lentils are packed with nutrients like protein, fibre, iron, vitamins and minerals. All dals are healthy to eat. You can eat them boiled or make dishes (Dal Fry, Panchmel Dal, Dal Curry Soup, etc.) with a tadka and consume them as a whole meal. One cup of dal every day will provide all essential nutrients required by your body during your weight loss journey.
Tandoori dishes are cooked in a tandoor which is a thick oven like vessel, made of clay. Foods roasted or grilled in a tandoor are healthy to go for as they do not require any extra oils or marinades that the vegetables, paneer or chicken already contain before being cooked. Grilled and charred vegetables or even chicken are great choices during your weight loss journey. If you’re a fan of paneer tikka, another popular tandoori dish, you can consume a serving per day which contains about 100 calories.
Kebabs are filled with protein-rich ingredients such as meat and certain spices. If you are a vegetarian, you can have hara bhara kebabs (patties made with plenty of leafy greens and vegetables) which are also a good source of fibre. Each piece of hara bhara kebab contains about 50 calories which are great for weight loss. Kebabs can be a great snacking option as they can keep you full for a longer time and prevent binge eating.
Dhokla is a steamed dish made of besan (gram flour). It is easy to prepare and can be cooked in a microwave as well. Dhokla retains its nutritional value after being cooked and requires almost no oil to cook.
Raita is a side dish made using curd (dahi) or yoghurt. It is a protein-rich addition to your diet and is a low-calorie option. When veggies such as cucumber or bottle gourd are added, it becomes more nutritious. Jeera raita can be great for your gut and digestive system. A bowl of any raita without fruits can be beneficial during a weight loss regime.
Poha (flat rice) is one of the easiest and quickest Indian breakfast recipes. One serving (a plate) of poha contains about 200-250 calories which are very less as compared to one bowl of vegetable fried rice which contains about 250-300 calories. Poha mainly contains carbohydrates (nearly 76%) and very less fat content.
Upma is another common breakfast dish prepared in Indian households. It can be made using semolina (sooji) which is a rich source of iron, along with vegetables of your choice. One serving or one bowl of sooji upma contains only about 250 calories.
Moong dal chilla contains very few calories and is a healthy and protein-rich snack for weight loss. You can also add vegetables to it to make it more delicious. One moong dal chilla can provide you with up to 130 calories.
Ragi is a type of millet that is rich in dietary fibres, which can also help control the bad cholesterol levels in your body. One ragi dosa contains about 130 calories and can help you lose fat and weight due to its rich fibre content.
Chickpeas are a rich source of fibre and protein, both of which aid in weight loss. Chickpeas promote weight loss as the fibre content in them makes you feel full for longer and prevents unnecessary snacking. One bowl of chickpea curry contains about 170 calories.
Oats can keep you full for longer due to its high fibre content and ability to soak up water. It even promotes better digestion and is great for weight loss. Oats idli can be a fantastic way to add a change of taste to your daily boring weight loss meals. The best time to have oats idli is ideally during breakfast.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable and a rich source of fibre. Most recipes with spinach do not require the use of any oil at all. Adding some low-fat milk can decrease the calorie content of the soup even more. One bowl serving of moong dal and spinach soup has about 130 calories.
Cauliflower may be one of the best low-calorie vegetables for weight loss. The combination of low-calorie cauliflower and fibre-rich oats makes cauliflower and oats tikki a great food for weight loss. Each cauliflower oats tikki contains only about 25 calories.
One large-sized egg contains only 75 calories but is stacked with all essential nutrients. Having an egg meal (omelette, egg curry) can consist of up to 3-4 eggs which means around 250 calories; a great deal for a weight loss meal. The best way to have eggs for weight loss is to have boiled whole eggs.
Baked potatoes are sources of low-fat and low-cholesterol carbohydrates. One medium-sized baked potato contains about 160 calories. Baked potatoes promote weight loss and aid in digestion due to their high fibre content..
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