Following a weight loss diet is all about making informed and strategic choices. It is about being disciplined and choosing to eat the right foods in the correct manner. Those wanting to shed extra kilos are usually advised to consume foods and drinks that are low in calories and high in fibre and protein. But how exactly can you incorporate these into a proper diet? It is a good idea to start small and make gradual changes. To begin with, we have provided eight healthy substitutes for common foods and drinks that you should consider.
Also Read: Weight Loss Myths Busted! 6 Foods You Didn't Know Are Good For You
Here Are 8 Easy Food And Drink Swaps That Can Help You Lose Weight:
1. Opt for Millet Flour Instead of Regular Flour
Plain or refined flour (maida) lacks fibre and is high in calories, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Instead, choose millet flour such as ragi flour, bajra flour, jowar flour, and others. These alternatives are not only rich in fibre but also packed with essential minerals that promote overall health and aid in weight loss. Use millets to make rotis, parathas, cheelas, upmas, dosas, snacks, and more.
Also Read: 10 Tasty And Healthy Millet Snack Recipes You Need To Try ASAP
2. Savour Brown Rice Instead of White Rice
White rice undergoes extensive processing, resulting in reduced fibre content and nutrient loss. Opt for brown rice, a whole grain packed with fibre and vitamins. It keeps you feeling full for longer and aids in digestion. Brown rice also has a low glycemic index, helping to regulate blood sugar levels-an important factor for weight loss.
3. Have Oats in Place of Packaged Cereals
Many packaged cereals claim to be nutritious but are often high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives. Start your day with steel-cut oats or other healthy forms of oats (not instant oats). Oats are rich in fibre and protein, providing sustained energy and aiding in weight loss. Explore these five easy breakfast oat recipes for more inspiration.
4. Substitute Refined Sugar with Dates and Jaggery
Refined sugar poses various health risks, including weight gain. While it may be challenging to eliminate it completely, you can start by using natural substitutes like jaggery, dates, or organic honey. Remember to consume jaggery in moderation as it is still a form of sugar. Dates, on the other hand, are an excellent alternative. They are rich in protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Enjoy them plain or use them to create healthy desserts.
5. Choose Makhana over Fried Chips
When snacking, it's essential to make the right choices. Fried snacks, despite being tempting, are not suitable for weight loss. Makhana, also known as fox nuts, can be a great substitute. They offer a satisfying crunch and can be easily flavoured with your preferred spices at home. Makhana is low in calories and high in protein, making it an excellent addition to your weight loss diet. Try this recipe for a delicious and healthy Makhana chaat.
6. Pair Foods with Chutneys Rather than Readymade Sauces
Readymade sauces, including those used as dips and salad dressings, are convenient but often lack nutritional value. They tend to contain unhealthy amounts of sugar, salt, and trans/saturated fats. Replace these sauces with homemade chutneys to enhance the flavour of your meals. Chutneys are typically packed with vitamins and antioxidants, thanks to the use of various spices and vegetables. Check out these five quick recipes for weight-loss-friendly chutneys.
7. Choose Homemade Drinks over Carbonated Ones
Carbonated drinks like sodas and colas are loaded with sugar and chemical ingredients, which can contribute to obesity and various health problems. While an occasional fizzy drink can be consumed, opt for homemade coolers made with plain soda and reduced or no sugar. Additionally, choose other drinks free of refined sugar for a refreshing and healthy alternative. Find some recipes here.
8. Drink Herbal Tea Instead of Regular Tea
Regular tea is not inherently unhealthy, but it can hinder weight loss goals if it contains excessive sugar and/or full-fat milk. Even with substitutes for these ingredients, it's important to monitor your overall tea consumption. Consider incorporating herbal teas into your diet for their soothing effects on the body and additional health benefits. Herbal teas contain natural compounds that can support your weight loss journey.
Also Read: Weight Loss Diet: 5 Herbal Teas That May Help Reduce Belly Fat
Remember to keep these points in mind while grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking. Every small step counts toward achieving your weight loss goals.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.