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Low Calorie Choices

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Startlet245, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. Startlet245

    Startlet245 New Member

    I love, love, love Indian food, but I know eating whatever I want for weeks on end will make me gain weight. I have no idea which dishes are cooked with ghee and which are lower in calories, so am hoping for some advice.

    I know 'low calorie' finds may be a tall order, so will be happy with clues about the dishes with a lower fat content, or those which have been cooked using a healthier method.
  2. CityLites

    CityLites New Member

    In general, stick to rice vs stuffed paranthas or rotis. The stuffings can add up in calories really fast, and rice generally has a low glycemic index as compared to wheat (Bonus if you want to stay gluten free). While you may be tempted to eat fish to stay healthy, I recommend you stick to chicken unless you are in a coastal area; as it is difficult to get fresh fish inland.

    Yellow daals are very healthy; containing tons of protein and flavor with few calories, but avoid 'daal makhni' which is going to add buttery calories. Daal tadka is pretty healthy; the base is spices and boiled lentils, with the only fat coming from an oil-tempered mix of spices and aromatics. Since a very small amount of tadka can flavor a large quantity of daal, this is a solid diet-conscious choice.
  3. Bayleaf

    Bayleaf New Member

    Reading this is making me hungry! Daal was the first dish I ever ate with lentils, and I found it really filling and satisfying, so it's a great choice for eating well without a high calorrie count.
  4. CityLites

    CityLites New Member

    Hah, I just realized that your name and picture are the same. Anyway, I love daal. I was stuck in Assam for a while and the diet is very low in protein, so Daal was my saving grace.
  5. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    To be honest I wasn't even aware that there was any Indian foods that you could eat and watch the calories!

    Me and my family are also lovers of Indian cuisine but if we're having to watch our weight then we simply just try and avoid it altogether.
  6. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    India has a lot of farm fresh yogurts, which are really great. They are low calorie and excellent for health. That and some goat milk, a few coffees, and some fruit, and you don't even need a meal.
  7. CityLites

    CityLites New Member

    Ahhh, if only it were so easy. When you're Indian most of your meals are Indian cuisine, so it isn't so easy to avoid. However, the strategy of avoiding it altogether is still effective for weight loss :p
  8. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Lentils are very common, and they are excellent as the base for any diet. I would think eating simple lentil dishes would be perfect for cutting calories.
  9. art_and_yoga

    art_and_yoga New Member

    If I were you, I would find an app for that. Most modern, quality weight loss apps include Indian cooking. Just find one that helps you learn how many calories, grams of fat, carbs and sugar are in each food.

    Don't deny yourself too much. After all, you are on vacation. Just keep portion size in mind. If you want something, take a few bites.

    One thing that helps me in dieting while traveling is sticking to the same places. If you go to popular restaurants or chains, often the menu can be seen online. When traveling on a diet, the key is to do as much meal planning as possible.

    It also helps to always have on hand a high fiber snack, such as a small piece of naan or some fruit.

    It will also help if your trip is filled with activities. Even if you do end up sometimes eating something high calorie, you can offset it by hiking, swimming etc.

    On a side note, having an interest in Indian culture actually has helped my weight loss! I got into yoga.
  10. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    Indian food is great and I didn't realise it was caloric. maybe that is because I live in Serbia and we eat way too many calories per meal. When I look at the Indian dish I see a lot of spices but not so much calories although if you are not active less is always better. This is a good question and answers are quite satisfying as well. I agree that ghee is high in calories abut that is healthy fat and it has around 800 calories in 100 grams. In Serbia people use lard mostly or sunflower oil that has more than 900 calories and oils that we have here are very bad.
  11. GammaRay

    GammaRay Member

    Fruits and vegetables my friend! Organic and natural usually has lower calorie content because there are no GMOs fattening them up. Eat half a chicken instead of whole chicken if you're into the dieting craze and choose oil-based dressings for salads instead of mayonnaise-based. Choose soya milk over cow milk and brown sugar over white sugar and you'll feel a lot better about your health.
  12. Casiox

    Casiox New Member

    Well, I personally would not mind too much about calories and that sort of thing if I ever go to India, I definitely would eat as many new things as I want and take it as an experience, worrying about these kind of things are literally senseless sometimes, try to to go and have a good time eating evertyhing you had never eaten before, good luck!
  13. For low calorie Indian foods, the easiest way to cut calories is to cut the rice. Ask for curries/kormas with lean meat like chicken and bulked out with veggies. Instead of eating them over rice, just eat the main dish with the meat/veg and sauce. You could also order a side vegetable and pour it over that instead, in some restaurants.

    Also, look for tikka and tandoori style cooked foods which are grilled or oven baked rather than fried/sauteed, as they tend to use less oil. Try to avoid dishes that include coconut, cream, or ghee as these are automatically going to be higher in fat. You can also skip the naan, or limit yourself to one bread. (Here's another option for skipping the rice--dip your naan in the meal or even top your naan with it and roll it up like a tortilla. You may get some odd looks, but, hey, you'll save calories on the rice. :)

    Further, most Indian restaurants I have been in are happy to accommodate some western tastes. If you want to go ahead and ask the waiter, could he suggest a lighter option, or could he ask the chef to leave off the oil/cream/etc, you may be surprised by how accommodating they will be.

    I also second the yogurt/fruit idea above. Find out what the locals are eating for breakfast or healthy, light meals. In Ukraine, we would regularly have 'drinking yogurt' and fruit for breakfast. It ended up being one of my favorite meals and I used to search for that liquid yogurt when I got back to the US.

    If all else fails, simply limit the amount you eat. Why not order one meal and share it between two? :)

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