Think Indian food, and we are almost conditioned to think all things greasy, spicy and indulgent. We tend to forget for a while that all our everyday foods like dal, chapatti, raita are not only Indian but are also, in fact, some of the healthiest foods you can have. If you have been on a weight loss diet, you may have been told to keep your calories in check. But, before you embark on a low calorie diet, you need to understand that calories are not ‘bad’ per say. Every food that you take generates energy. This energy is measured in units of calories. According to experts, in typical low calorie diet you would get about 800 to 1500 calories per day. Your calorie requirement may differ depending upon your height, profession and daily energy expenditure too. Therefore, it is important to understand your body and then its calorie requirement, before you start eliminating things blindly from your diet.
You must ensure that the little calories you take in your low-calorie are loaded with nutrients. Make sure you take enough of lean protein, fibre and good fats and make it a balanced affair. Determine how many calories you are eating every day and gradually reduce hundred to two hundred calories from it. Starving yourself is a bad weight loss strategy. Keep yourself hydrated, people often intermix signals of thirst with hunger that adds up to the calorie load. It is okay to treat yourself with some high calorie treats once in a while. It has been proved that occasional binges help people stick to their weight-loss diet better.
If you are fond of Indian food or your diet is majorly Indian, you have arrived at the right place for low-calorie Indian food options. Here are some low-calorie Indian recipes that you can treat yourself with.
1. Sabudana Khichdi
Sabudana khichdi is one of the most widely consumed dish during Navratri. Made with tender tapioca pearls, tossed in a medley of mild spices and peanuts, this dish makes use of ghee as it is a vrat recipe. You can replace it with any low-fat vegetable oil. However, a bit of ghee is recommended by many expert nutritionists. It is a source of good fat that helps fill you up and prevent untimely cravings.
2. Ragi Dosa
Ragi is a delicious gluten-free alternative to its fattening grainy counterparts. Dosa is usually made with rice or lentil batter, this recipe makes use of Ragi that is rich in fibre. Fibre helps promote the feeling of satiety, since it takes time to digest. If you feel full, you would naturally binge less. You can enjoy this healthy South-Indian treat with piping hot sambhar or yummy coconut chutney.
(Also Read: 6 Health Benefits Of Ragi: A Wonder Grain)
3. Green Pea Upma
Upma is famous South Indian breakfast item that is not only nutrient-dense but also weight loss-friendly. This version of upma also makes use of protein-rich green pea. Protein helps regulate hunger hormone ghrelin and check cravings.
4. Low-Calorie Microwave Dhokla
Dhokla is a Gujarati marvel that has become quite a global rage. Dhoklas are steamed, and hence, they make up for a perfect low-calorie snack that you can add to your weight-loss diet. This light and filling treat needs no elaborate cooking too; they can be easily made in a microwave with a handful of ingredients like besan, suji, green chilli, curd and curry leaves.
5. Tandoori Gobhi
Tandoori and roasted goods are an excellent way to save calories, since there is no deep-frying involved. They also save you the saturated fats that you often find in deep-fried goods. This delicious tandoori gobhi recipe serves as an excellent vegetarian starter in a quintessential North Indian spread. You can enjoy these as a healthy evening snack also. Cauliflower is a good source of weight loss-friendly fibres too. Make sure you do not put extra butter on top.
(Also Read: 11 Best Cauliflower Recipes | Easy Gobi Recipes)
6. Kheere ka Raita
Indian summers and a bowlful of cooling raita share an inseparable bond. This yogurt-based dish is good for gut and digestion. A healthy digestion is an important component of a weight-loss regimen. Hundred grams of yogurt has only 60 calories. This special raita also packs the goodness of cucumber. Cucumber is a yummy summer veggie that can do wonders for your weight-loss diet. About 95 percent of cucumber is just water. The veggie is full of nutrients and fibre.
7. Oats Idli
The puffy, light and ever-so delectable idli is one of the most famous Indian snacks of all times. Made of fermented batter, idli is excellent for gut health. Fermentation also increases the bio-availability of nutrients. Since idli is not fried, you do not have to think about the calorie overload either. This particular recipe is a powerhouse of protein and fibre that you can consider to make part of your diet.
So, what are you waiting for? Don your aprons and start cooking already. Let us know which recipes you enjoyed the most in the comments section below.