The thought of South Indian or any other Indian diet invokes a sight of greasy food. But there is more to that.
Southern India cuisine does fascinate you with its mind-diverting aromas.
However, compared to the calorie-induced North Indian diet, food from down south might actually assist you in your weight loss journey.
How about kick-starting your metabolism with Upma. The wholesome porridge made with semolina and vegetables keeps you fuller for longer. This means you automatically binge less.
If you are not an upma person, how about starting the day with some idlis and chutney? Did you know that the WHO also has chosen idli as one of the healthiest breakfasts? That is because idlis are fermented, steamed, and have only 39 calories. You can digest it easily, just like the appams and Rava dosa.
Team up your Rawa dosa and appams with vegetable curry, coconut chutney, or nutritious sambar. Sambar goes well with ragi idlis if you look forward to flattening your tummy. This is because ragi is a great fiber source that prevents obesity and weight gain.
And sambar made with lentils and vegetables are perfect with idlis or appams.
Losing weight with a south Indian diet plan is easy. And trust me you do not have to let go off the traditional recipes or the authentic taste. Spices used in south Indian food items play a vital role in your rapid weight loss.
For example, white and black pepper used to make rasam ease digestion. This spice, when combined with turmeric, becomes more potent against cancer.
Pepper contains phytonutrients. These phytonutrients help in breaking down the fat cells. Eating fresh pepper initiates sweat, and boosts the bodies natural fat burning mechanism. A compound named capsaicin found in hot peppers activates your brown fat. The pungent nature of peppers enhances fat oxidation and energy expenditure.
Therefore don't fall prey to any paleo or keto diet, these fad diet's don't take into consideration a holistic approach when it comes to fat- loss.
Overall lifestyle changes > Temporary changes in diet.
Remember that no matter what fad diet you follow, it will always be temporary. That is because diets come with a target date and serve short-term goals. Watch this video to understand the importance of lifestyle changes over fad- diet's:
When you are on a diet, you start seeing food as a temptation. And, because you have a goal to reach, you avoid it. But, the minute you end your plan, you eat all that you stopped eating.
Thus I always emphasise why making an overall lifestyle change. It is the need of the hour.
Lifestyle changes are permanent. You look at the bigger picture of growing happy, healthy, and not escaping like some prisoner.
When you have a balanced lifestyle, here's what you adopt:
- Moderation and not a restriction, at any cost.
- Having well-balanced diet that nourish your body.
- Consistent and regular physical activity.
- Adequate rest.
How does plant-based diet help with fat loss?
When you have food rich in fiber, your body is saved from metabolic dysfunction that leads to obesity. You also have the freedom to eat as much as you want on a whole- food plant- based diet and not see the scale go up! Yes! No calorie counting as long as you eat plant-based.
A vegan diet also contributes to reduced inflammation levels in the body.
Fibers in almonds and cashews reduce LDL-cholesterol and heart disease risks because of arginine. Fiber actually helps your body get rid of cholesterol and prevents the formation of cholesterol.
Fiber- containing foods help prevent heart diseases. In fact, you can expect to have a disease reversal with your diet focused around rice and sambhar!
The L-arginine is present in nuts, boost fat burning within the body. Well, don’t be surprised because it does help in reducing obesity.
Therefore have your plates refilled with mounds of bise bele bath, saaru, and Kondaikadalai.
Eating The South Indian way.
Food from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Telengana, and Tamil Nadu has its own individual tradition.
Karnataka: Karnataka is dominated by ragi (finger millet) and steamed rice. You can have ragi/nachnidosas, Korri roti, Kesari bath, bisibele bath, vangi bath, and ragi idlis as a part of your Karnataka diet.
That is because ragi is full of vitamins, irons, proteins, and calcium. It helps to lose weight and adds extra fiber to your diet.
You can also stick to the Udupi cuisine of Karnataka for weight loss. It uses beans, grains, vegetables, and fresh fruits. The entirely vegan range of food uses coconut, brown rice, and jaggery.
Kerala: Rice, Coconut milk, and coconuts dominate Kerala cuisine. The typical meal combo here is called the sadya. Coconuts are rich in healthy fats like omega-3, MCTs, and fiber. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Therefore opt for Kadala curry (black chickpeas, onions, and coconut oil), appams, ChuvannaCheeraThoran (coconut and red amaranth), rice pathiris and gothambuputtu (flour and grated coconut). For a fat-loss plan though, I would avoid coconut oil's and coconut cream/ milk.
Tamil Nadu: Lentils, legumes and rice dominate a typical Tamil Nadu meal (sappadu). You can have sprouts dosa for breakfast. And brown rice pulav or ragi balls and ladyfinger poriyal for lunch. You can also have avial, or a medium bowl of Keerai thandu sambar (made with palak stems and tur dal).
You can have green gram sundal and samai khichadi (millet khichadi) for a wholesome dinner.
The Andhra regions (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana): Andhra Pradesh is the leading rice and red chili producer. Hence in the Telugu cuisine, spices are used liberally, which means that food is super hot. You can have idlis and Anapakayasambar (made with bottle guard and dals) for breakfast.
For lunch you can have a medium bowl of brown rice, and kollu sambhar (made with sprouted horse gram and dal). Dinner can include Rava upma and ullipaya (a spicy chutney made with tomato, onion, and tamarind).
Top ten lifestyle modification tips for fat loss.
Modify your lifestyle for a slimmer you.
- Quit dairy
Dairy products like ghee or butter, and milk have high galactose content. This galactose is a is a cause for auto-immune diseases. It even causes bloating. The ghee is nothing but saturated fat. It has a high AGE (Advanced Glycation end products) that contributes to weight gain in women with PCOS. watch this for more:
Therefore get your dose of calcium from chia seeds or other kinds of beans. For lunch, you can opt for chia seed curd rice topped with crispy peanuts.
- Include green leafy veggies in your food
Dill, spinach, amaranth, brahmi, and other veggies low in calories but packed with nutrients. Therefore aim to begin your day with greens as they are rich in flavonoids. Tambuli and keerai poriyal are a few great way's to include greens in your diet. Aim to get 50- 70 grams of green leafy veggies in your diet atleast.
- Ditch animal protein and go the plant way.
Protein from meat and dairy leads to insulin resistance and weight gain. Therefore, to burn calories and get fit from fat, aim to have three cups of beans/lentils per day.
- Sugar? No thanks!
Your blood sugar level rises due to excess sugar. The leptin and insulin resistance levels also increase. It is then that the body starts storing energy in the fat droplets or fat cells that paves the way for fatty liver disease. Have your dose of sugar from fruits because processed sugar is a big no-no. To help you get away from sugar cravings, aim to consume three cups of fruits per day.
- Move more!
Aim to cover 7000 steps throughout the day. This keeps your metabolism up and burn more calories.
- Drink water before meals.
Drink water before your meals because it makes your tummy full and works as a natural appetite suppressant. Besides this, it keeps you hydrated. Lack of hydration is often confused for hunger and mindless eating.
- Choose foods high in fiber.
Aim to eat as much as 50- 70 grams of fiber per day. Higher fiber consumption is associated with a slimmer waistline.
- No or less oil for cooking.
Learn oil-free cooking. Even coconut and olive oil is high in fats and unnecessary calories that you do not need.
- Snack on fruits when hungry.
Fruits are a great appetite suppressant because they are high in volume. They are also rich in prebiotics, feeding the good bacteria in your gut.
- Hara Hachi Bu.
Eat until 80% of your stomach is full. It is best to eat without technology if you want to achieve this.
SAMPLE MEAL PLAN:
Which south Indian food is good for weight loss?
A typical south Indian menu that best serves weight loss includes the tasty and filling steamed millet idlis with sambhar, plain ragi dosas with saagu, and the low-calorie appams.
You can also have uttapams from the same idli batter, but increase the fiber content by adding chopped veggies like tomato, capsicum, onions. It will not only enhance the flavor and the fiber content but also led to weight loss. You can have the nutrient-dense upma, the pepper rasam, and the fire-rich thorans and poriyal's.
Is rice good for weight loss?
Yes, rice is excellent for weight loss because it can easily be digested, is low-fat, and has many vitamins. However, opt for the unpolished brown rice over the polished white rice low in fiber and less satiating. Rice is a great source of resistance starch too, feeding the good bacteria in your gut.
How to make a personalised south Indian diet plan for weight loss?
Working with a nutritionist and making lifestyle changes is the easiest and long- term solution to weight loss.
Another approach is to calculate your BMR to know your calorie requirement. Then, based on your taste buds and the calories you have to consume, curate a diet chart. Note here though, calorie counting doesn't always work and is not a very scientific approach.
Who says you have to eat oats to lose fat? Our Ghar ka bana south Indian Khana can be 10 times more effective for rapid weight loss. Opt for a plate of steamed idlis, neer dosas, or appams to keep flab at bay. Go the traditional route of having thoran, poriyals, puddu. And opt for the highly nutritious rasam to witness remarkable results.