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Losing weight is one of the biggest concerns of the modern world. Obesity is a major problem in our country with more than 30 million individuals being diagnosed with it. While it can affect any age group, the risk of obesity increases with an advancing age, particularly in women due to changing hormones.

Diet, as we all know, is a significant contributor to an individual’s health and makes for an essential part of every weight loss plan. For effective weight loss, it is ideal to maintain a deficit of around 500 to 750 calories while having a balanced diet.

While this holds the key to losing weight, there sure are some foods that are healthier and must be included in your plan for achieving weight loss, while others may be detrimental to your goals. Obviously, you can’t expect to eat doughnuts each day and lose weight. That does not mean you cannot have an occasional treat, though.

But, generally, you need to ensure that you eat healthy and nutritious foods to have enough energy throughout the day for all activities. When it comes to weight loss, you need to ensure that you eat the right foods that help to sustain the effects for a long-term, rather than merely eating foods to your fancy as long as they fall in the daily calorie limits.

This article will provide you with a list of foods to eat and also explain you what not to eat if you are looking forward to losing weight.

  1. What not to eat to lose weight
  2. Dairy products to lose weight
  3. Healthy oils to lose weight
  4. Salad dressing to lose weight
  5. Green tea for weight loss
  6. Drink water to lose weight
  7. Nuts to lose weight
  8. Fresh fruits and vegetables to lose weight
  9. Fibres for weight loss
  10. Healthy fats to lose weight
  11. Whole grains to lose weight
  12. Proteins for weight loss
  13. Avoid these foods for a slim you

By now you must have a picture of all the healthy foods that you are supposed to eat for weight loss? But, are there any foods to avoid? Certainly yes. While aiming for weight loss, it is best to avoid high-fat foods, processed foods, fast-food items and sugary foods. Let’s have a quick look at a list of foods to avoid for the best weight loss results.

  1. Fried foods
  2. High-fat dairy
  3. Fast foods
  4. Processed foods
  5. Readymade sauces, salad dressings and pickles
  6. Chips
  7. Sweets
  8. Beverages

Fried foods

Unsurprisingly, deep-fried foods are foes to your weight loss process.

Stay away from highly devoured Indian snacks like pakoras, samosas, fries and tikkis. Instead opt for healthier substitutes for each like besan cheela, baked wholewheat samosa and baked herbed potatoes or boiled mashed potatoes.

If you are a big fan of fried food and cannot skip at all, it is advisable to try air frying or baking. Your food will taste equally good and will be twice as healthy.

High-fat dairy

Although dairy is good, opting for high-fat sources like full cream milk, cheddar cheese and mozzarella isn't. Instead, use low-fat cheese like feta, which is a great addition to salads.

Fast foods

Loaded with pleasing flavours and no nutrition, fast food items like burgers, pizza, noodles and fries must be the last thing to eat while aiming for weight loss. But, what can you do about it?

Probably try out your own homemade recipes and opt for whole wheat versions of pasta, noodles and a pizza base and go baking at home.

Instead of loading your food with cheese and oils, try some herbs for added flavours like oregano and garlic. These will provide a unique flavour and authenticity to your food and will also hasten the weight loss process.

Processed foods

There are a lot of packaged foods, which are tagged healthy like ready-to-eat pohaupma, paranthas, nachos and even diet mixtures and soups. But, are these products really healthy?

Most likely not. They have added sodium and trans fats in more than anticipated amounts.

So, while you may believe you are eating healthy, the results with these foods may prove quite counterintuitive.

Readymade sauces, salad dressings and pickles

Are you a fan of ketchup by the side with every food you eat? Well, you must try to cut this habit if you are expecting weight loss.

Readymade sauces and ketchup are highly loaded with added sugars and sodium as preservatives, which makes them weight loss enemies.

Instead, try making sauces at home. Marinara sauce and even salsa is easy to prepare with chopped tomatoes and some puree and is completely healthy when homecooked. They can be used as dips and dressings.

Avoid high-fat sauces like bechamel and cream cheese. Similarly, commercial salad dressings often contain high-fat oils and creams, which is not ideal for weight loss. Pickles, on the other hand, are loaded with sodium and salts, which will make you bloat. So, keep distance from them as well.

Chips

Chips, quite predictably, top the list of foods to not eat for weight loss. Not only because it has potatoes (potatoes can be healthy too when eaten boiled) but also because it is deep fried and is full of salts and sodium. And come on, no one can eat just one. You are most likely to binge on this one. So, it is suggested to not stock your kitchens and pantry with them.

You can instead eat popcorns. When prepared without excess salt and butter, popcorns make for a healthy snack.

Sweets

Quite sure you already knew this one. Keep your hands off your favourite sweet delights like cookies, pastries, doughnuts, pies, jalebi, gulab jamun and even biscuits. These are loaded with sugar, which provides empty calories, in excessive amounts and gives no nutrition.

Beverages

Carbonated beverages like soda, cola and packaged juices are full of sugars and calories. While diet versions may offer significantly fewer calories, their carbon content proves detrimental. This was expected, right?

But did you know that even homemade fresh juice like orange juice can be unhealthy? It lacks fibres and is utilised immediately by the body causing a blood sugar spike.

To achieve a healthy weight loss, it is best that you stay away from any such beverages and increase the consumption of water, green tea and iced teas without sweeteners.

When opting for dairy products, stick to low-fat sources like low-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt. Yoghurt is additionally loaded with probiotics that help in improving your gut health and digestion. Other than this, dairy foods are rich in proteins and must not be avoided while aiming for weight loss.

If you happen to be a vegan or you are just not a fan of dairy, you can include non-dairy sources like almond milk, soy milk or avocado milk in your daily routine.

While trying to lose weight, it is recommended to stick to healthy eating oils from unsaturated sources like olive oil, vegetable oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil. When opting for saturated sources, you must stick to coconut oil for cooking but do not consume an excess.

This is the trickiest part of losing weight. Most of the commercial salad dressings are loaded with sodium, trans fats and other unhealthy components, which sure not help you lose weight. Imagine eating a salad each day and still not seeing any results.

To avoid this, it is recommended to try homemade dressings like lemon, mixed herbs, coriander, parsley and basil. Mixing these in olive oil warrants its use as a salad dressing.

Who is not aware of the benefits of green tea? It is loaded with catechins, antioxidants and other substances, which hasten your weight loss process. Replace your sugar tea with a cup of green tea and watch the wonders.

For best results, avoid adding artificial sweeteners. You may add lemon and honey for flavourings, both having an additional role in weight loss.

Water is undeniably the healthiest beverage on the planet having perpetually zero calories. Drinking enough water is very important if you are looking for weight loss. It helps to maintain energy levels and when consumed before meals, it makes you eat lesser making you pack on fewer calories.

Ensure that you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses each day.

Nuts like groundnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts are excellent sources of fibres and are great weight loss snacks. When you feel hungry, it is advisable to snack on a handful of almonds or walnuts instead of munching on a pack of chips.

While nuts also make for calorie-dense foods, they are certainly healthy and are bound to make you feel full for a longer duration. Moreover, snacking is an ideal approach to weight loss. It helps you feel satiated throughout the day, allowing you to eat lesser during meals. However, it is important that you not go overboard and eat not more than a handful.

This one needs no introduction. Salads and fresh foods have always formed a part of every healthy diet plan.

Include a variety of sources like apples, oranges, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, olives, etc to have a blend of nutrients and flavours. Berries are another weight loss friendly food, which helps you shed weight by improving your metabolism.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables provides you with fibres, which helps you feel full. Moreover, they are rich sources of vitamins and minerals, which form an essential component of a healthy diet.

Vitamin C rich foods like orange, lemon, kiwi, cantaloupes and sweet lime, particularly, assist the process of weight loss since they help to cut down excess body fats.

Fibres are very essential to every weight loss expectant. They are digested slowly and contribute to a better satiety, pulling you back from fuddling on food.

Fibres are present in whole grains and foods, and you can also get your dose by eating fruits with their skin intact. This ensures that you get enough fibres in addition to the other nutrients present in fruits. Another rich source of fibres is flax seeds, which are additionally a weight loss food. Consider blending them in your smoothies and shakes for some added nutrition and weight loss benefits.

Other than aiding in weight loss, fibres help in improving the process of digestion, which is another mechanism in which they keep you healthy.

Don't forget to increase your water intake while you are on a high-fibre diet. This is important so that you do not bloat.

Well, this may sound quite counterintuitive, right? How can you eat fats and still lose weight?

But, the truth is that if you stick to healthy and natural sources of fats, like, avocado, olives and nuts, you will certainly get the right nutrition from fats and still be lean. Avocados are, in fact, the healthiest foods one can name.

Fats are a component of a balanced diet after all. You can’t neglect them completely.

When it comes to weight loss, carbohydrates are usually frowned upon while proteins continue to be a favourite. But, all carbohydrates are not unhealthy. In fact, eating the right carbohydrates actually helps you sustain weight loss. It helps you feel more full for longer durations, allowing you to binge lesser during the day.

Healthy carbohydrates, like, brown rice, whole wheat products, daliya, oats and quinoa are conducive to weight loss process.

Since these are more calorie dense as compared to proteins, they help to improve your satiety making you feel less hungry. Healthy carbohydrates like oats make for a brilliant start of the day.

Researchers have found that those who eat a healthy breakfast are less likely to overeat during the day. So, get your health bowls ready.

Proteins are the favourite dietary components among all health fanatics. But, that sure is for a reason. Eating proteins helps you feel full and describes an amazing way to lose weight.

Eggs, lean meat, pulses, soy and fish are excellent sources of protein, which must be included in your diet plan. Salmon makes for an excellent protein source and is one of the best weight loss foods.  Soy products are an equally good source if you happen to be a vegetarian.

Proteins not just help you in losing weight but also help to build the desired muscle mass, which gives your body a more toned look. Moreover, eating proteins provides you with the energy required for the day.

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References

  1. Jitendra Gouda and Ranjan Kumar Prusty. Overweight and Obesity among Women by Economic Stratum in Urban India. 2014 Mar; 32(1): 79–88. PMID: 24847596
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Some Myths about Nutrition & Physical Activity
  3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Green Tea
  4. Health Harvard Publishing. Harvard Medical School [Internet]. Making one change — getting more fiber — can help with weight loss. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  5. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; Weight loss - a healthy approach
  6. Office on women's health [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Healthy Weight