Healthy diet for weight loss: what are the core considerations?
A healthy diet for weight loss would
- Cut down on calories but would supply the vitamins, minerals and proteins in adequate quantities
- Help in controlling the health risk factors associated with obesity, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes etc. are these:
Calorie restriction is the key!
You can go for calorie restriction of up to 1000 calories per day if you are highly motivated but for most people a restriction of 500 calories/day is much more sustainable. In fact, as per research, exercise does not add to the weight loss in people opting for severe calorie restriction but does help in those who go for moderate restriction!
Fad diets are not superior to healthy diet!
No diet plan ( low fat, low carb, high protein etc.) has been proven to be superior to others for sustained weight loss, provided that you eat the same amount of calories regardless of diet plan. Therefore, you should chose the diet plan which is aligned to your eating preferences so that you can sustain it.
Breakfast is not compulsory, neither each eating every three hours!
No meal frequency, 4-5 meals a day or more/less, is better than others as per meta research! Skipping meals, including breakfast, is discouraged because it can lead to hunger pangs and you may end up eating bad food or more calories in the next meal. But if you are not really a breakfast person, you need not necessarily change your eating schedule to include a breakfast ‘to kick start metabolism’ as it frequently advertised.
Your diet should be healthy
It should keep in check intake of bad fats, added sugars and salt in check and provide enough of vitamins and minerals. Also it should stay in the healthy range of carb, fat and protein/day. In case of Indians, this usually means restricting the roti/chawal, added sugars and visible fat (chaunk, ghee, full cream milk) as a first step. This steps can ensure that your total calorie intake falls by 300-500 calories per day, which can give nearly 1/2 kg weight loss/week in a healthy manner, without extreme dieting. Get your diet chart for weight loss to be exact
Diet tips for weight loss
- As the first step, make your food healthy, do not focus on calorie restriction yet and start exercising
- Try to make sure that you eat homemade meals, whole fruits, salads (but cut down heavily on salad dressings),
- Drink double toned or skimmed milk and make curd or paneer out of toned/DT milk at home
- Carry your own food to office and skip the canteen food or order-ins
- Stop having namkeens, biscuits or other readymade snack, have a fruit instead
- Cut down on fats and oils (check the FHI family oil use calculator)
- When eating out, start with a less calorie dense food. Order a salad with some protein first to fill you up
- Do not forget to go for healthy drinks instead of sweet beverages and mind your alcohol intake
- Check out : ‘when eating out‘, ‘Everyday eating for foodies’, ‘Smart food shopping‘ and ‘Smart substitutions while enjoying your food’ to know more
Get the diet chart, which we have designed taking into consideration all these health factors and customized for Indian dietary preference
Diet is only a part of all you need to do about losing weight, find out ‘How to reduce weight‘ for the rest!