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March 24, 2013 3:56 AM
Hi all...I'm new to MFP .I 'm from Chennai,India currently live in US ...I want to lose a good amount of weight and looking for some indian diet plan...I workout 5 days a week but when it comes to food I mess it up...please help...

March 24, 2013 4:34 AM
Solution: start cooking your own recipes! Compose them and see how it goes. Go to where you have plenty of recipes with Nutricional Info..
March 24, 2013 4:37 AM
You can twist those recipes and make them lighter to fit your cal budget.. Indian food is super great!
Ahh.. Buy yourself a food scale to truly control your portions. And unfortunately, because I cook indian food quite often, just half a cup of rice...
Alternative: exercise! Then you eat what you like!
Edited by rvicini On March 24, 2013 4:38 AM
March 24, 2013 4:38 AM
the only way you will lose if your diet is highly indian food is to make sure you are making it yourself and trying your best to cut down on the calorie count of what you put into it. Indian food can be very healthy and taste amazing. My wife is Indian.
March 24, 2013 8:06 AM
I love indian food. Instead of rice, I pile the main dish on top of veggies. I also tend to avoid dishes with lots of potatoes. I think if you cook yourself and measure your food, track your cals, you'll learn soon how to eat your favorite dishes so that you can lose weight.
March 24, 2013 8:21 AM
My husband is from Southern India. Feel free to friend me and we can share tips.

You can make papadums in the microwave - spritz some spray oil on both sides and then microwave on a plate for 22 seconds - sometimes a few seconds longer. Much less work and less oil!

If you go to recipe sites and search for low cal Indian food - a LOT comes up. I found a nice Spinach Dal that I make in large quantities because it tastes better and better as the flavors combine.

March 24, 2013 9:30 AM
Thank you all ...I cook at home most of the husband loves home food a lot...I think i should change the way I make it...thanks once again..
March 24, 2013 9:38 AM
Cut sugar! I visited India recently and I absolutely loved my time there! While I was there, I noticed sweets were very popular. I drank a lot of sweetened masala chai while visiting with my friend's family. Sweet cakes were often served too.

Try to keep your sugar intake to natural sources like fruit where you will get more fiber and nutrients any way.
March 24, 2013 10:07 AM
I tried some recipes from "200 Healthy Curries" by Sunil Vijayakar that were featured in a magazine and then bought the book and would recommend it. It's one of the Hamlyn all colour cookbook series - I don't know if it's available in the USA but it might be worth looking on Amazon. If not I expect that there will be a similar alternative available. It's not just about Indian food but he gives lots of helpful suggestions on how to make traditional curry recipes more healthy (basically less fat and more vegies).

Probably most importantly: try to use less oil and avoid deep fried dishes. If you can use groundnut oil instead of ghee in your cooking it is much lower in saturated fat so healthier. Also use fat-free yoghurt and reduced fat coconut milk. Other tips include reducing sugar or using agave syrup which is much sweeter so you need less. Be careful about how many Indian sweets you eat as they are extremely calorific. Making sweet dishes based on fruit and fat-free yoghurt or using reduced fat coconut milk for kulfi or rice puddings should help.

If you can make some changes to how you cook your favourite dishes and also cut down on the amount of rice/bread you should see a difference.
March 24, 2013 10:15 AM
Hi I am from South India and have not changed any of the Indian food I eat except I have changed the way I make it and the amount I eat. When I joined MFP and started logging food I realized that I am eating way more calories than I thought. One big change I did was try to add more protein in my diet ( am still not there yet). I also shifted to brown rice, increased amount of vegetables in my diet reduced oil( measure oil) reduced sodium ( measure salt). Hope this helps.
March 24, 2013 10:34 AM
boil instead of fry.
skip the creamier sauces.
add less oil & sugar.
and, of course, portion sizes!
March 24, 2013 10:41 AM
I sent you a message with some but here is a list for general indian public as well.

1) Reduce on Carbs - specially white rice that we indians are so used to eating.
2) Fill your plate equally with carbs, protein and veggies.
3) No eating if you are not hungry - just because the food is good tongue
4) Get a kitchen scale and you will know how much is 100 grams - stop guessing - we are all wrong on that.
5) Switch to healthier foods and add fruits to your diet - really helps !
6) BIG ONE - Drink a lot of water and exercise is a must.
March 24, 2013 10:49 AM
March 24, 2013 10:52 AM
I love curry and when I eat out I often take part of my portion back for breakfast. When I make it at home I am careful about how much oil and rice I use. I sometimes substitute cauliflower for rice. I love curry and eat it once a week or more. In spite of this 24 pounds down so it is possible. Do friend me if you like and good luck!
Edited by FattieBabs On March 24, 2013 10:53 AM
March 24, 2013 11:06 AM
I'm Gujarati (state in India; just mentioning cause the food is a little different than the OPs)

This is what I've done when it comes to eating Indian food at home:
1. Use zero to a-lot less oil than usual
2. Use no sugar
3. Cut down on rice. Wheat rice tastes awful wiith indian food in my opinion; so I've just started been eating less of it instead of switching to wheat.
4. Stay away from fried foods.
5. If you're making chai/tea, don't add sugar. You get used to sugar-less tea/coffee over time. Use a little honey if you want sweetener.

Indian food is rich in vegetables, beans. It can be super healthy -- but most home cooked indian food typically adds more oil and sugar than needed; And restaurant indian food is typically not healthy at all --for the oil/sugar reasons; and because people's favorite chicken tikka masala is a cream-based sauce; although grilled chicken at an indian restaurant is mostly fine (and tastes great).
Edited by rapat On March 24, 2013 11:09 AM
March 24, 2013 11:11 AM
I'm a big Indian cook too cause I an vegetarian and love Indian food. :P Here's some more tips, beyond also cooking for yourself:

1 - Cut down the Ghee. It tastes so good but it is often WAY too much. (replace with olive oil or coconut oil sometimes and simmer low)
2 - Cut down the salt. I know... you're thinking how will you live without salt? Take it out. Enough spices already. lol
3 - No more Gulab jaman and so forth. If you're going to have dessert, go for Ras Milai or Gajar ka halva (with less ghee and sugar).
4 - Bake anything fried. Have baked samosay, baked naan... instead of patooray and onion bhajis. No seriously. Don't eat anything fried. It's not good for you.
5 - Replace your white flour with whole wheat flour. Yes I know it's not the same when it's not white but it's 10000x better.
6 - Go for whole grain basmati rice instead of the regular white stuff.
7 - Get used to 1 or 2% milk and yoghurts instead of whole fat. And add more water when you're making raita.
8 - Eat a TON of veggies - that should be your main focus in your meal, and don't overcook them.

Ps: If you have a tendancy towards kapha (oily, heavy, slow muddy-type) then remember to balance with Triphala to clean your system, and up your intake of sattvic foods like berries and so forth and do exercise and breath deeply for making movement.

There's more but that's enough for now. Good luck and feel free to add me.
March 24, 2013 1:40 PM
Thank you all for your awesome suggestions ...they are very informative.
March 24, 2013 3:58 PM
Nice suggestions. I'm also an Indian and have been struggling to lose those extra pounds.

Any suggestions on how to increase the intake of protein for vegetarians/vegans?
March 24, 2013 4:56 PM
First of all...Indian diet is full of high GI carbohydrates... which means... it will be impossible to lose if u continue eating the white rice and the potato..

For all u indians serious about losing weight... here is what works

Meal 1 .. Proatmeal ( egg whites + oats ...make an omlet of the mixture...add wuteva spice and veggies u want)

Meal 2 3 4 .. a fist size portion of Brown rice/ sweet potato / whole wheat pasta/ oatmeal ..with a fist size portion of protein .. any meat/ soy nutrella/ rajma / egg whites or any protein powder

meal 5 a fist size portion of protein

your fist size will be in proportion to your anatomy..the portion size will be perfect... u wont have to kill ur self over the exact weight ..(if u have a food scale then fine...warna no need..the fist size wil be perfect)

u can have as many veggies ( according to your blood group) as u want with any meal...preferably spinach, kulfa , turai, brocolli, lettuce, olives etc.. and cooked tomatoes , ginger, garlic should be part of at least two meals.. staw away from onions , arvi , peas... u can have only toor ki daal..

add as much spice as u want.. increase the amount of red chilli peppers(cayenne pepper) with every meal... add as much khatta (imli, tamarind) as u like...

cook all your meals using that sundrop olive oil spray( u shud avoid frying as much as possible)...add 1 teaspoon of alsi ke beej..(flax seed) with your meals..

avoid all dairy products and fruits for like a month(even bananas)...they have sugars( i know they are healthy)..they will slow ur fat loss.. incorporate them after a month or two of strict dieting and exercise...

for exercise ..just walk everyday for like half an hour..(at a speed u should be able to talk to someone with slight discomfort) can play any sport u want as well .go up and down the stairs in your building. do anything that will raise your heart rate... if you can do twice per day..than do 20 minutes per session...( increase 5 minutes if your weight doesnt change)

avoid drinking anything except for green tea, black coffee, water.

no diet coke, no sugarfree sweetners(they get stored as fat directly), no skim milk, no low fat cheese(even if it is high in omega 3 fats) , and definately no biscuits or anything labelled low fat or low sugar... low does not mean negligible... and u cant really trust anyone in india..
no juice...

have 500 mg of vitamin C, D , E and fish oil (from any pharmacy).. everyday

drink atleast 3 litres water a day...

u can add stevia as a sweetner.. u get that at many stores... u jus have to search for it.. it tastes the same as regular sugar..

weigh ur self every week.. if ur weight doesnt change..just reduce a tbsp of carbs from all your meals...

u should not be losing more than 1% (lbs) of weight per week.. if you are .. than slightly increase your carbs..

and dont use the calorie calculator on this site..its not accurate... i mean the method

follow this diet for a month or two.. and then maintain your weight and sexy figure for the rest of your life while eating whatever u want..( balancing the calories ..obviously) it beats dieting all year.. just 2 months of suffering

if u feel hungry... have a carrot,, beetroot, turnip, cucumber, anything green and have ice cold water prior to meals

hope this helps..

and incase u cant leave the house for a walk or anything

follow this

all the best... message me about anything.. i have an encyclopedia of information...
April 7, 2013 4:59 AM
That last post is so sensible. I love the idea of the portion size being in proportion to a closed fist, which is in proportion to the size of your body!

I tend to weigh stuff and try to be fairly strict about it. Substituting cauliflower bhajee for rice, eating half the curry whilst out and taking the rest home for breakfast has worked for me. Also eating tomato based curries and making some of my own with lowfat but tasty yoghurt has been the way to go. I still love basmati rice so do put it into my diet on days when not having alcohol.

I love curries, and am not Indian! :)
April 7, 2013 5:11 AM
April 7, 2013 5:27 AM
The rice thing gets me everything... I just can not eat half a cup.... how do people do it? I've been eating rice since I could eat solids lol. I reckon though the biggest step in Indian cooking, which is similar to Bangladeshi cooking except less amount of red meats, is that LAY OFF THE OIL!!! goodness, I mean when I watch them cook here in my in laws house, I swear you can take that oil, charge a fee and turn it into a community pool. I reckon if you even just use a teaspoon and tablespoon of oil as oppose to the half a cup of oil that is typically used, it will deffo cut out ALOT Of calories! :D
April 7, 2013 5:35 AM
I am Indian...and the Indian diet is without question the unhealthiest diet in the entire world. Even staple " day to day " foods are significantly unhealthier than western ' junk food'....and thats just VEGETARIAN food.

If you want to make this work for you, I suggest as others have that you modify entirely the recipes. This is what I did.

I enquired why just being south asian alone is a risk factor for diabetes and chronic heart disease surprise my doctor said it was purely down to diet.
April 7, 2013 5:40 AM
Some really great tips and advice. Bumping to keep track.

My own thoughts which many of which have been mentioned:

1. Switch to whole wheat breads
2. Brown rice instead of white rice (I've got used to it)
3. Reduce the fried stuff and pastries like Samosa, Kachori etc
4. Eat more veggies, dals, pulses, beans (also good for increasing Protein intake)
5. Use cooking oils such as Canola oil, Olive Oil, Sunflower oil
6. Watch your carb intake - very easy to go overboard with Indian food
7. If you eat meat Chicken curries are good since they can be low carb/calorie and higher in protein
8. Indian desserts....try to stay well clear. Can be very high in sugar and saturated fats.
9. Switch from whole milk to semi-skimmed/skimmed
10. Just substitute the things you normally have with the same things but better alternatives (e.g. item #1 and #2)
August 19, 2013 2:11 AM

I am of Bangaldeshi origin, so I have the same problem as you.

My main problem is that I love my carbs - so rice with curry, pasta and bread! When I am eating rice and curry, I find it hard to cut down on my rice, I go way over my portion! Also, I have a really busy life with work and a 3 year old, so have little time to plan ahead. I think I need to put more time towards this if I want to succeed.


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