In today’s sedentary lifestyle, weight management is the biggest task to do. Weight management is often the priority in the fitness plan. Weight loss is not easy and requires discipline, effort, and patience. It can be achieved by a healthy lifestyle, including the best food for weight loss diet as well as regular physical activity and active body language. One requires a balanced diet with the right proportions of all food groups.
A balanced diet contains different types of food in such quantities and proportions so that the need for calories, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins is adequately met and a small provision is made for extra nutrients to withstand short duration of leanness.
We need to see which food is best for weight loss. Let’s see what these groups are about.
Foods have been classified into different groups depending upon the nutritive value, for the convenience of planning diets. Food groups like ‘Basic Four’, suggested by ICMR can be used for planning diets.
1. CEREALS, MILLETS and PULSES For Weight Loss
Cereals and Millets: This category includes mainly Rice, maize, bajra, jowar, rice flakes, puffed rice, barley, broken wheat, buckwheat. They are the main source of energy but they are also rich in protein, invisible fat, thiamine, folic acid, riboflavin, iron, and fiber.
Pulses and Legumes: The best protein food for weight loss for those who wants to avoid animal food can include Bengal Gram, Black Gram, cowpea, Peas (dry) rajma, soybeans. They are of high biological value for protein but are also a good source of energy, invisible fat, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, iron, and fiber.
2. MILK and ANIMAL PRODUCTS For Losing Weight
MILK PRODUCTS: If you choose low-fat milk and milk products then this category could be the best Indian food for weight loss and can help you in providing good nutrition in terms of protein, healthy fat, and calcium. You can include low-fat Milk, curd, buttermilk, cheese, paneer.
ANIMAL PRODUCTS: People who like to include more animal foods can include Chicken, liver, fish, and egg. The best protein food for weight loss but also are rich in good quality fat and iron
3. VEGETABLES and FRUITS For Weight Loss
Vegetables are said to be the best food for weight loss as they are very low in calories and are very high in nutrition. Green Leafy vegetables are said to be the best food for weight loss in India. One can include more Spinach, Amaranth spinach, Mustard, Fenugreek, Chenopodium album, gogu, drumstick leaves, coriander leaves, and mint leaves. They are the richest source of iron, calcium, Folic acid, riboflavin, carotenoids, and fiber. You can also include more vegetables like Carrots, onion, brinjal, ladies finger, beans, capsicum, cauliflower, drumstick. These are richer in Cartenoids and fiber.
The best option for a healthy snack can be fruit. When you want to much on some snack in between your main meal, you grab a fruit and this will give you more nourishment than any other snack. You can include all seasonal fruits such as watermelon, guava, papaya, orange, sweet lime, pineapple, apple, pomegranate, etc. These all are rich in antioxidants, Cartenoids, vitamin C, riboflavin, folic acid, iron, and fiber.
4. NUTS AND SEEDS For Losing Weight
When we are talking about the best diet food for weight loss, the list is incomplete without nuts and seeds. We need good quality fat so that our body can eliminate unhealthy fats from the body. So one can have plenty of these nuts and seeds on daily basis to meet up the requirement. These foods can include nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachio, fox nuts (makhana), and seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, flax, melon, chia, and sesame.
By incorporating the principle of balance, variety, and moderation, an individual can still eat their favorite foods while following the food guide pyramid.
Balance: It means choosing food from different food groups.
Variety: This means including different foods within each food group. For eg. Consuming a variety of fruits.
Moderation: This means keeping serving sizes reasonable. This involves self-control.
•The food guide pyramid provides recommendations for the number of daily servings that should be consumed from each of the food groups.
IMPORTANCE OF THESE FOOD GROUPS IN WEIGHT LOSS
These food groups are important to focus on, in appropriate amount, for losing weight because of the following reasons-
Cereals, Millets, and Pulses
An engine needs fuel (energy) to run or to perform its functions, same way our body’s machineries (organ systems like digestive, respiratory etc.) too need fuel to run and perform their various functions. This fuel is supplied by carbohydrates, which are main fuel (energy) suppliers. Cereals are the rich source of carbohydrates.
During the weight loss procedure, our body’s metabolism works too fast in response to dietary or lifestyle modifications made during that time, hence appropriate amounts of carbohydrates are needed, not much, not less.
Too many carbohydrates, if not utilized can lead to storage in the form of fat in our body. If taken in much less amount (as recommended or as per body’s needs), your body will feel lethargic and fatigue even in performing daily activities of life, which is not a good sign of a physically healthy body. But if appropriate/approximately amount is reduced, then the body will use the stored fat and protein as energy, which would lead to weight loss. One should keep a healthy balanced diet and should not completely eliminate any macronutrients from the diet.
Milletslike jowar, bajra, and ragi are very high in fiber and protein content. So, it takes time for the body to digest these foods, hence they keeps you feel full for longer duration, avoiding over eating. They have high satiety level.
Pulses are nutritious. Pulse crops (such as lentils, peas and beans) are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids. Along with proteins pulses are good source of minerals like iron and potassium, they’re excellent source of fiber and therefore, they help control your blood sugar and appetite.
Milk and Animal Products
Milk is one food for which there seems to be no adequate substitute. Milk is known as a complete meal, therefore an important component of a vegetarian’s diet. Milk is nutrient-dense, that can be used for both, to gain weight or lose weight, if taken incorrect way. For weight loss, low-fat milk and its products can be used in a variety of ways to fulfill the nutrient requirement in reference to a balanced diet.
Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables supply many nutrients besides providing variety to the diet. They make the food attractive by its color, texture, and flavor. Most vegetables have moisture content which helps to keep our body hydrated. Vegetables do possess nutrients that help to keep our digestive system healthy and helps with blood sugar regulation.
Fruits are fleshy or pulpy in character often juicy usually sweet with fragrant, aromatic flavors. Fruits are very poor source of proteins and fats (avocado is exception). Fruits contribute to omega-3 fatty acid content. They are good source of fiber, contain high amount of moisture. Fruits are not very good source of calories (exception; banana).
Oils, Fats and Nuts
Fat is present in many foods. Fats play a variety of roles in both food preparation and nutrition. Not all fats damage your health and lead to obesity, healthy fats are essential for our body to maintain our cell membranes transport and encourage the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and protect your organs as a result your skin, heart, brain and other organs stay healthy. Unsaturated fats are good fats that involves olive oils, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, avocados, sea foods, soy products, sunflower oil etc. They lower your blood cholesterol and prevents cardio vascular diseases. Whereas saturated fats are the bad fats and can’t be considered in diet as they starts building up plaque in your artery walls that could lead to severe, fatal cardiovascular diseases.
Sugar and Jaggery
Sugar and jaggery are used in beverages and other foods to increase palatability. Sugars are found in foods as natural constituents such as fruits, honey and dairy products. They are also generated during processing.
For weight loss natural forms of sugars are advisable like fruits, honey and dairy products. Refined sugars and their products are harmful for health and hence lead to fat deposition that further leads to weight gain.
It is not always necessary to starve yourself if you wish to lose weight or cutting on too many foods so that you can limit your food intake and hence lose weight. We can include foods from all these groups and category, and can balance the body nutrition and hence can create a reason to eliminate extra toxins and fat from the body. When you lose weight by including a balance diet, you can sustain it for longer time. Because you are not starving or cutting down too many foods, you will be able to manage your progress and it can last forever.