BEST WEIGHT LOSS FOODS!
What a boon it would be to eat the 'best weight loss foods', sit back, relax and wait for the magic to happen! But , the more you seek the magic called 'weight loss', the more it seems to evade you. "I eat healthy! I eat the best weight loss foods! Still I have not lost an ounce of weight!" This and similar other complaints are very common among the weight loss aspirers. And one among the disappointed lot was my close family member! The various diet plans she tried never helped her to shed even a few ounces of her extra weight. Finally, with the guidance of a Wellness and Fitness coach the metamorphosis happened! She is now trim, slim, healthy and happy. The diet and fitness plan not only helped her but also helped in reversing diabetes in a senior family member. The rest of the family following the same food pattern are maintaining a healthy and steady weight.
We all know that all the food we consume is converted into calories which are in turn burnt while dealing with our day to day activities. The surplus calories which are not used up is stored in the body as fat leading to weight gain. A balance between the calories consumed and the calories expended is most important to maintain a slim and fit body. A balanced consumption of macro nutrients (Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats), and the micro nutrients (Vitamins and Minerals) is very essential in any diet plan. A complete and wholesome diet which is nutritious and low in calories is necessary for healthy weight loss.
I am neither a dietitian nor a nutritionist. But experience has taught me that a diet which is high in protein and fat, and low in carbohydrates along with a variety of vegetables and fruits to furnish the essential micro nutrients is the best weight loss food.
In short, the best weight loss food can be obtained by cutting down excess carbohydrates and increasing the intake of protein and good fat. This type of food takes longer time to digest. The intake of even a small portion helps one feel full for a long time after the meal and thus prevents over eating.
CUTTING DOWN THE EXCESS CARBOHYDRATES
In these days of technology where there is a dearth of physical activity too much consumption of the foods rich in carbohydrates leads to excess weight gain, as the unused calories accumulate in the body as fat.
To begin with I cleared my pantry of all processed foods. I stopped preparing fried food and bid farewell to candies, cookies, cakes, bread and refined sugar which supply surplus calories instantly. Once the pantry was sanitized I was amazed at the outcome. What remained after the clean-up were only wholesome and nutritious ingredients which could be used in the preparation of healthy food. The next step was to cut down on the intake of plain white rice - a delicious staple of most Indians and the richest source of carbohydrates. I cooked rice only for lunch and totally avoided it for dinner. Valuable nutrients are preserved in hand pounded rice. Hence including a small portion of that rice ensures various health benefits. Rice is also essential to maintain bowel health.
Being a South Indian vegetarian food blogger, I have come to the conclusion that there is no food on earth which is as wholesome and as nutritious as the South Indian Thali. The Thali (Plate Meals) mainly focuses on dals (cooked lentils), vegetables, curries, raitas (Curd based raw vegetable), Kosumalli (raw vegetable and soaked lentil salad), ghee, curds and chutneys, of course accompanied by a small portion of rice.
Bisibelebath can be considered as a one pot super food because only one third of the dish consists of rice. Two thirds of the dish are packed with lentils and mixed vegetables. The spoon of fresh ghee added to it lends it a great satiety value. The flavoursome spices help in boosting the metabolism which in turn helps to lose weight.
Ragi rotti and Ragi Muddae (Ragi Balls) are delicious substitutes for rice which give a full feeling for a long time. Navane (Fox tail millet), Baragu (Proso Millet) and Jola (Sorghum) are some of the other millet varieties which can be used as occasional substitutes for rice.
Idlies and Dosas become super food when served with a mixed vegetable and lentil Sambar, coconut chutney and a cup of yogurt.
Upma cooked with vegetables (A semolina Preparation) and Phulkas (Flat bread using wheat flour) with vegetables and dal are healthy substitutes for rice.
Whatever food is consumed the portion size and the number of servings needs to be monitored.
INCREASING THE PROTEIN INTAKE
Lentil preparations like Adai and Avial (Thick Dosas prepared using three types of lentils, served with a medley of vegetables in yogurt sauce) is a rich source of protein and good carbohydrates. The vegetables served along provide the essential micro nutrients. This nutritious preparation is filling, and it may be grouped under the low glycemic food list. Adai takes longer to digest and it keeps away hunger pangs for a very long time.
Legumes are rich sources of Protein, Carbohydrates and other micro nutrients. Rajma masala (Kidney bean curry) or a cup of Sundal (Prepared by cooking and seasoning the soaked legumes like Chick pea) increases satiety, giving a full feeling for a longer time, thus preventing the consumption of more calories. An increase in the consumption of lentil and vegetable preparations like Sambar and koottus provides one with proteins and fibre. Whole milk, yogurt and Paneer (cottage cheese) are good sources of protein for vegetarians. Tofu can be added to the list.
ANTI OXIDANTS AND APPETIZERS
A couple of cucumber slices and a tall glass of butter milk blended with coriander leaves and ginger is a refreshing low calorie mid-morning fuel. Coriander helps in good digestion and keeps the gut clean which helps in avoiding bloating.
A glass of Molagu Rasam (Pepper Rasam) helps to increase metabolism and the spices which go in the making of the rasam helps to burn more calories which is very essential for weight loss.
Vegetable soups are great as starters. Rich in micro nutrients with a bonus of fibre content soups unlike other fluid foods have a great satiety value. This prevents one from over indulging during meal time. A cup of vegetable salad consumed as a mid-morning snack or as a starter before a meal has the same effect.
Boiled and salted peanuts, roasted almonds and other nuts are satisfying munches for the evenings. That is the time when hunger pangs are at their peak when one tends to gobble up anything and everything visible in the kitchen. Nuts and seeds in between sips of a cup of tea puts a stop for such gluttony. Instead a small serving of fresh fruits will also suffice the craving.
Eating an early light dinner is considered as best in all meal plans. A bowl of soup and a platter of vegetable salad which is easily digestible is ideal for dinner. It keeps the system light and induces undisturbed sleep.
ADDITION OF FAT
Fat is essential for the absorption of certain vitamins like Vitamin A, D and E. Even a small portion of fat consumed gives a full feeling for a long time. About 10 to 15 almonds have a great satiety value due to the fat content. Ghee and coconut oil are recommended as the only healthy fats that could be included in a healthy diet. I have banned all types of refined oil from my kitchen since I do not prepare fried food. Sesame oil is the only oil I use for seasoning and sautéing. It has an appetizing aroma and is considered beneficial for a healthy heart.
THE THREE INDISPENSABLE PARTS OF THE BEST WEIGHT LOSS FOOD
If one has to win the battle of the 'bulge' the chosen foods need to be accompanied by three more important factors: Exercise, Sleep and Stress Management.
Foods will work as weight loss foods only when they are supplemented with exercise. A bisque walk, yoga, strength training, swimming, zumba or any other activity can be chosen depending on the age and medical condition of the person. In addition to the exercises prescribed for a fitness plan moving the body as much as possible is beneficial for losing weight. Avoiding lifts and taking the stairs, bending to pick up things, walking up to the kitchen to fetch a glass of water instead of always having a water bottle by your side or just stretching the limbs now and then may seem trivial activities, but they are sure to help in burning more calories.
A good night's sleep is as important as diet and exercise to the body. Energy conservation, detoxification, repairs and growth take place during sleep. Sleeping late makes one hungry and gives way to satisfying the late-night food cravings which again results in a bloated feeling.
Many of us try to change circumstances as per our wish. When that does not happen, we are stressed out. Stress leads to over eating and the whole lot of surplus calories accumulate as fat in the body resulting in obesity.
Ms. S. is a Digital G.M. of a global I.T company. After a hard day's work, she drives all the way back home to the other end of the city through bad roads, traffic congestion, sound pollution, and lack of traffic regulations which are capable of biting away any normal person's head. On questioning about her predicament, she smiles and says 'What cannot be cured has to be endured. Is it not?' But she had converted the stressful endurance into positive endurance by using the disgusting travel time as a beautiful 'Me Time'! She says that she enjoys her favourite music as she inched her way forward through all the chaos!
Use techniques like deep breathing, listening to soft music or meditating to keep stress at bay. Adapting to a philosophical attitude towards life and circumstances in general helps to maintain your overall health and wellbeing.
Now arm yourself with the Best Weight Loss Foods along with the three 'indispensables' and get set to fight the Battle of The 'Bulge'!
This is an overall account of my personal experience regarding weight loss foods. As the saying goes one person's food may be another person's poison. People with health problems like allergies, digestive problems etc need to consult their physician before starting any diet plan. The diet requirement may differ from person to person depending on his age and other health conditions. It is best to plan a customized diet according to individual needs.