Weight loss always tops the list of people who wish to stay healthy and fit, especially when it comes to New Year Resolutions. Most of us start off with our weight loss journey without much thought. However, this is not the right attitude as weight loss requires you to follow a healthy diet along with regular exercise to burn calories. And one of the key aspects to shed that extra flab is through diet control. No, we are not telling you to follow any diet fad nor are we encouraging you to eat processed food and lose weight. We just want to shed light on the role of a diet in healthy weight loss and stay fit.
But before we provide you with a sample diet chart for weight loss, let’s clear one of the common query related to weight loss which is what is healthy weight loss and what exactly happens when you start a weight loss regimen. Here is what Archana Gupta, Chief Nutritionist, Chandra Laxmi Hospital, Delhi NCR has to say.
How much weight loss is healthy?
Lose 20 kgs in a month. Lose 10 kgs in a week. Lose 50 kgs in 6 months. We all might have come across weight loss programs that claim to help you lose weight quickly (within few weeks or a month). However, this is not a healthy way to lose weight. Ideally, weight loss of around 1-2 pounds (1 pound equals to approx. 453 gms) in a week or 3-4 kgs in a month is considered healthy.
Moreover, it is also possible to lose more than 5 kgs in a month with gymming and strict diet control. But it should be under expert guidance and not by simply following random sites and videos. This is because, there is a limited percentage of fat that you can lose, post this, there is depletion of water (water loss) from the body, which is not healthy for any person. Moreover, water loss might show initial results but can lead to gain weight at a later stage. Also, water depletion can affect the functioning of the organs and the overall body. Hence, it is always a good idea to consult a good dietician for a healthy weight loss diet plan.
Diet chart for weight loss
A diet chart for weight loss depends on a lot of factors such as:
– Age group of the person
– Type of activity/workout they are into like yoga, gymming, walking, running, swimming, etc
– The level of physical activity level such as sedentary, less active, moderately active, highly active, etc
– Diet intake which includes carbohydrate content, water content, protein content, etc
– The shape of the body, particularly for a woman such as pear-shaped body or an apple-shaped body
– Fat distribution across the body for a person
– Type of the body such as muscular body or lean shaped
– Height and weight of the person
– Health problems, if any, such as thyroid disease, diabetes, heart disease, etc
Hence, it goes without saying that a diet chart for weight loss will differ from person to person and there is no weight loss plan that can show results for everyone. This is the reason why it is advised to talk to your dietitian and get a customized diet plan for weight loss based on your diet pattern, weight, body type, and overall health.
However, here is a sample diet chart for weight loss for a person who weighs around 70 kgs and is 5.5 tall with a moderately active life to lose 3-4 kgs in a month.
Morning (on an empty stomach): Start your day with 1-2 glasses of warm water. You can add seeds such as coriander seeds, methi seeds, etc to water and let it remain overnight before drinking it in the morning for added benefits. Warm water with lemon is also advised.
Early Morning: After around one to two hours of waking up, you can have a cup of tea with one-two biscuits or a cup of tea with 4-5 roasted or soaked almonds and one walnut.
Breakfast: One serving which accounts to a bowl (30 g) of any Indian traditional homemade breakfast such as upma, poha, idli, boiled moong, dosa, dhokla, khandvi, thepla, chapati, etc. Cook it with very little oil and supplement it with a cup of curd, or raita or a glass of buttermilk or any protein-rich food such as egg white.
Mid-morning: You can eat around 100 g of any seasonal fruit to curb your hunger pangs. If you are a diabetic, then avoid or limit fruits such as bananas, mangoes, chickoos, grapes, and custard apples.
Lunch: It should comprise of 2 rotis (without oil/ghee) or 3 phulkas or 1 medium bowl of rice. It should also include a big plate of salad and 1 cup of vegetable curry, preferably high-fiber veggies such as leafy vegetables. It should also include one protein source such as a medium bowl of curd or 1 medium bowl of dal (and not both). If you are non-vegetarian, dal can be replaced with chicken (curry, grilled or roasted but not fried) or fish such as mackerel (curry but not fried). If you have to follow a fluid-restricted diet, then eating curd is better than drinking buttermilk or chaas.
Evening: Drink a cup of tea (lemon tea, ginger tea, green tea, etc) with a small bowl (50 g) of kurmura, bhel, chaat, corn, chana, peas, stewed vegetables, khakra.
Dinner: You can have a bowl of vegetable curry or a plate of salad or a bowl of dal or curd. A bowl of mixed vegetable soup can also fill you up and prevent hunger. But if you can’t think of dinner without roti/rice, then opt for one multigrain roti (bajra, jowar, wheat) or a medium-bowl of rice.
In addition to this diet chart for weight loss, there are few things to keep in mind.
Carbohydrates should be around 5-6 servings in a whole day, however, it can be divided into 3 parts of 5 parts depending on the person’s need. For example, if a person’s appetite is more and feels hungry after every 3 hours, then it is best to divide carbohydrates into 5 parts in a day.
Proteins should be around 2-3 servings of your diet. The minimum protein requirement should be 0.8 g/ kg body weight for the maintenance of the body. We can get proteins from pulses in a different form such as dal, sprouts or roasted or boiled form, paneer, peas, soybean products, dry nuts or chia seeds and eggs, white meat i.e.fish and chicken; if non-vegetarian along with milk products.
Vegetables should be 4-5 servings in a day which can be divided accordingly. For example, in addition to including vegetables in breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can even include it in mid-afternoon or evening snacks.
Fruits should be around 1-2 servings in a day. It is best to start your day with whole fruit and then have one as a mid-morning snack to keep you feel full and prevent hunger.
Water content should be maintained to 40 ml per kg body weight in order to maintain fluid balance in the body. To meet the requirement, you can even include fluids such as buttermilk, coconut water, and soups in the diet.
Milk and milk products should also be included in the diet which should comprises of around 400 – 500 ml and prepared from double-toned or cow’s milk.
Along with diet, ensure you exercise every day to stay healthy and fit. Remember that diet, exercise, water, sleep, and stress-free are the five key factors that can help you to lose weight and keep you at the pink of your health.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)