Several weight watchers and weight loss aspirants choose to adopt an Indian vegetarian diet for weight loss. The advantages of the Indian diet are numerous - it is great in taste and rich in fiber; there is variety in cooking and preparation; the vegetables retain their nutritive value; and the cooking is light in calories. Here are some of the lightest Indian preparations that should be the staple for losing weight.
Simple Meal: Dal, Vegetable Dish and Chapatti
One of the most distinct features of Indian cooking is its use of curried lentil and legume preparations known collectively as dal. Dal is rich in natural proteins, light in calories and filling. It is also a great source of some vital micronutrients. A simple traditional meal consists of two main dishes - a dal and a vegetable recipe - served with a dry flat bread prepared from whole wheat flour, known as chapatti. This simple meal provides you with protein, fiber and healthy carbohydrates, and if you prepare it the right way, it is also light in calories. Avoid the use of butter and clarified butter (ghee), and try to use cooking techniques that involve minimal oil (covered in another article).
Raita as Accompaniment
Yoghurt is one of the major ingredients in Indian food and one of the country's most popular side dishes. Its cool flavor complements local spices and preparations styles really well. If it is prepared from reduced-fat milk, it is a great protein source, light in calories and very healthy. In other words, yoghurt is excellent for weight watchers. Raita is an Indian yoghurt preparation, consisting of several different vegetables and a range of mild local spices. Cucumber raita, onion and tomato raita, and potato raita are all popular in Indian households. Raita can be served as an accompaniment with any Indian meal, and it goes particularly well with the simple meal idea suggested above.
Khichdi is an Indian rice porridge that is common to several Indian cuisines. It is essentially a one dish meal, consisting of rice, dal and yoghurt blended together. It brings together all the benefits of these three food items, forming nothing less than a nutrition powerhouse (especially if you use unrefined rice). It is low in calories, rich in proteins, keeps you full and satisfied, and with its carbohydrate content, provides you with sustained energy release. An excellent diet meal that can be put in any weight loss program.
Most people don't associate salads with Indian cooking, but that is a real mistake. Indians make a range of salads, and most of them are light and rich in fiber, proteins and complex carbohydrates. Sprouts salads are the best known of all Indian salads, and form a great breakfast item. Sprouted legumes form the main ingredient, and they are whipped together with chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumber, peanuts and potato. The special flavor comes from a combination of salt, lemon juice and local spices. This is a very versatile recipe, and you can vary the ingredients according to taste.
Bear in mind that these are only a few examples from several light Indian meals for weight watchers. There are a range of other dishes, especially from the Bengali and South Indian cuisines, that are perfectly suited for people who are out to lose weight. Do browse some of the other articles on the site for more information!
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