Blog

Healthy weight loss diet

Are you planning for weight loss in a healthy way? And are also concerned about maintaining it later? Then this is the right place for you. There are a few things that you need to know before you begin with your weight loss plan.
Healthy food
You can choose a vegetarian diet if you prefer, as it is considered healthy. However, there are lots of healthy foods you can opt from either type of diet. Some foods that will help you maintain good health and prevent the risk of major diseases, while losing weight are:
High fiber: A diet high in fiber is recommended to prevent the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and it also helps in reducing weight.
Food sources:

  • Oat & barley products – They are low in calories and rich in fiber.
  • Vegetables, legumes, cluster beans and fenugreek seeds.
  • Fruits like apples, guava, pear, and pomegranate.

Unsaturated fatty acids: These fatty acids have shown properties helpful in reducing blood sugar levels, lipid levels and also seem to lower the risk of heart disease.
Food sources:

  • Fish and fish oil – Salmon, tuna, mackerel and cod liver oil.
  • Virgin olive oil, soy, flaxseeds, etc.
  • Nuts like walnuts, almonds, etc. They are also useful in improving brain development and function.

Antioxidants: Certain antioxidants can help in removing the toxins in your body and help in preventing major diseases like heart disease.
Food sources:

  • Onions, garlic, green leafy vegetables and grams.
  • Apples, berries and citrus fruits
  • Nuts, wheat germ, sprouts, etc.

In general, a balanced intake would comprise of,

  • Grains: 3-5 servings a day
  • Vegetables: 4-5 servings a day
  • Fruits: 2-4 servings a day
  • Fat-free dairy products: 1 or 2 servings a day
  • Lean meat and fish: 1 or 2 servings a day
  • Nuts, seeds, and dry beans: 4-5 servings per week

Food to avoid
While adding the healthy foods in your daily diet, it is also important that your refrain yourself from certain foods.

  • Avoid simple carbohydrates like cakes, cookies, white bread, etc. and replace them with whole grain products containing complex carbohydrates.
  • Avoid fried food and additional use of oil, butter or cheese. Use low fat milk and milk products. Opt for lean cuts of meat.
  • While shopping, read labels to find the nutritive value of the products and decide accordingly.

Sample meal plan
Morning:

  • 1 cup green tea

Breakfast:

  • 1 bowl of oats with milk
  • 2-3 raisins added
  • 1 pear

In between:

  • 1-2 walnuts

Lunch:

  • 1 steamed fish
  • ½ bowl brown rice cooked with veggies
  • 1 bowl green gram sprouts with tomato, cucumber and lettuce salad.

In between:

  • 1 cup plain yoghurt

Dinner:

  • 1/2 bowl lentil soup
  • ½ bowl whole grain pasta with veggies
  • 1 bowl mix fruit salad – ¼ orange, ¼ apple and 3-4 berries

Healthy Lifestyle
In order to lose weight in a healthy way and be able to maintain it later, it is advisable to follow a healthy lifestyle and not just a temporary weight loss program. You can start with brisk walking for half an hour daily and slowly increase the time to one hour as you are comfortable. If you have been exercising, you can join aerobics, sports or go for cycling. Ideally, exercising for 45 to 60 minutes daily can help you lose weight while following a healthy weight loss diet.

High protein diet for weight loss

A high protein diet, as the name suggests, is typically high in protein and most of the times low in carbohydrates. This diet has been used by body builders and sportsperson in addition to their work-outs, to gain muscle strength. But they are not the only ones. This diet has drawn special attention as an effective weight loss diet also.
However, special care needs to be taken while following such diets.

  • High protein diet recommends a diet rich in proteins and very low in carbohydrates. But carbohydrates are the main source of energy and when their intake is reduced; your body starts to burn fat. This can lead to ketosis and possibly other health problems too.
  • Another concern is unrestricted intake of proteins; where in foods like meat and cheese are suggested. They are very high in fats and can cause a rise in blood cholesterol.

Proteins are vital, but carbohydrates and fats are equally important. It is therefore necessary, that you make food choices that are rich in proteins, moderate in carbohydrates and has minimal fats.

Food choices  
For a best high protein diet, it is ideal that you include protein rich foods in your regular weight loss diet. Make sure that the high protein foods that you choose are rich in nutrients, lean and low in fats. Additionally, it is better if you can choose both low fat vegetarian and non vegetarian foods as they both have their own advantages. Some of the examples of protein sources are:
Vegetarian: Low fat milk, tofu, cottage cheese, beans, lentils, peanut butter, soy and soy products, grains and vegetables.
Non-vegetarian: Eggs, fish, chicken, turkey and meat.

Food to avoid
Along with the goodness of the above foods, it is also important that your avoid taking certain foods.

  • Opt for complex carbohydrates and limit your intake to whole grains and fresh fruits. Avoid highly processed foods and simple carbohydrates like cakes, cookies, white bread, etc.
  • Cut down on all fat rich products and use low fat dairy products instead. Avoid fried food and additional use of oil or butter.

Sample meal plan
Morning:

  • 1 glass of low fat milk

Breakfast:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 slice brown bread with peanut butter spread

In between:

  • 1 glass soymilk

Lunch:

  • 1 slice of chicken breast
  • 1 bowl large mix vegetable salad (cucumber, tomato, mushroom, cabbage)
  • 1 apple

In between:

  • 1 bowl green gram sprouts salad

Dinner:

  • 1/2 bowl lentil soup
  • 1 smoked salmon
  • 1 bowl lettuce, broccoli and peas salad.

Protein diet weight loss tips
You are likely to choose a high protein diet particularly to boost your muscle mass while losing weight. In that case, it is also important that you follow an exercise program as a part of your daily regimen.

  • At least 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise can keep you healthy.
  • Choose some guided weight training exercises to boost up those muscles.
  • You can pack soymilk or plain yoghurt while going to the gym to have it after your workout.
  • Add fiber to your diet to ensure regular bowel movements.
  • Increase your water intake to 10 to 12 glasses a day so that the increased protein in your diet does not affect your digestive system.

Liquid diet for weight loss

Liquid diet is considered an effective way to detoxify your body and lose weight. And they can be easily prepared in different varieties to make you feel fresh. This sounds great. Isn’t it? A liquid diet can have many health benefits also. It is generally used as the beginning of any weight loss program. With this you can get rid of all unwanted toxins accumulated in your body. It cleanses and rejuvenates your body and mind. Once your body metabolism is sets right, losing or managing weight becomes a routine, which helps you in following other weight loss programs and maintaining your weight in future.

Liquid diet for you
Most of the liquid diets, lack in excess calories, thus reducing the energy in the body. The calorie intake is sufficiently reduced. As a source of energy required by your body, the excess accumulated fat is utilized, which results in weight loss. Liquid diet is generally followed for a short period like a few days and following it for a long term is not advisable, as it can affect your nutritional status. However, there are programs which suggest it for a longer period; in that case special attention should be given to your health and nutrition. Also, the program should be followed by slow introduction of solid meals and then a weight maintenance plan so as to avoid regaining weight.
While you are on liquid diet you can have

  • Fruit juices and pureed vegetables, juices and soups.
  • Cooked cereals soups, cream of wheat, oatmeal.
  • Protein shakes, eggnog, meat soups.
  • Custards, plain yoghurt, milk, milk shakes and tea.

There are many commercial preparations available for you to choose from; for example high protein shakes, milk shakes, soy preparations etc.
Food to avoid
Certain foods that you need to avoid while following a liquid diet are:

  • Meat and other meat products
  • Highly processed food like bread, cookies etc
  • Food rich in fat like cheese, butter etc.

Types
There are a few options, which you can follow your liquid diet plan.

  • Liquids only

This type of liquid diet suggests only liquids for all meals in the entire day. You can choose the number of days, but health status needs to be kept in mind.

  • One meal only

This type permits you to take one solid meal and replacing other one or two meals with liquid diets in a day.

  • Selective days only

If you want to be safe and still follow the liquid diet, you can choose particular days in a week, when you can have a liquid diet. This can give you the required nutrition during other days, while you can have a liquid diet day for cleansing your system.

Sample meal plan for full liquid diet
Morning:

  • 1 glass milk

Breakfast:

  • 1 bowl cream of wheat
  •  eggnog
  • 1 cup tea

In between:

  • 1 glass orange juice

Lunch:

  • ½ bowl spinach soup
  • ½ bowl thin oatmeal
  • ½ cup fruit dessert

In between:

  • 1 glass soymilk

Dinner:

  • ½  bowl tomato soup
  • 1 bowl vegetable puree
  • ½ cup custard

Before bedtime:

  • 1 apple milkshake

In case you would like to follow the one meal only type, you can replace just one of the above meals with a healthy weight loss solid meal. For example,
One meal:

  • 1 steamed fish
  • ½ bowl brown rice cooked with veggies
  • 1 bowl green gram sprouts salad
  • ½  apple

Vegetarian weight loss diet

Vegetarian diet is considered a healthy way of life. It is also thought to be helpful in reducing and maintaining your weight. In addition to this, it does have some health benefits as the amount of calories and fats taken are comparatively lesser. However, care should be taken regarding certain nutrients, which are rarely found in vegetarian food. Such foods should be tactfully included in your diet or supplemented if required.
Benefits
Some of the health benefits that a vegetarian diet offers are

  • Lowering cholesterol – A vegetarian diet tends to contain lesser amounts of fats. Thus, consuming such a diet will help you in reducing your cholesterol levels and preventing heart diseases.
  • Antioxidants – There is a wide variety of antioxidants present in a vegan diet. Most of them come from fruits and vegetables and some specific foods like onion, garlic, apples, oranges, nuts, sprouts etc.
  • High fiber – Most of the products that are rich in dietary fiber are vegetarian. Hence a vegetarian diet can give you plenty of fiber on a daily basis. This is important for lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and of course, reducing your weight.
  • Nutrients – As vegan diet comprises primarily of grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and milk products, they provide a wide range of nutrients. Special attention should be given to certain nutrients that are rarely found in some foods.

Choose right
Vegetarian foods contain all the nutrients and variety that you need to be healthy. The trickiest thing is choosing the right food.

  • Opt for whole grain products like oats, brown rice, and multigrain bread.
  • Choosing the right type of fruits and vegetables is also important. Select those fruits with less sugar and more of nutritive value like apples, berries, pomegranate, pears, oranges etc.
  • Include large amounts of legumes, beans and other pulses as they are rich source of proteins. They can be taken as sprouts salad, or cooked as soups, curries etc.
  • Another good source of proteins is milk, milk products and soy. Be sure to choose low fat products and it is best to avoid cheese and butter.

Sample Meal Plan
Morning: 1 glass of milk
Breakfast:

  • 1 whole wheat plain toast
  • Cooked beans, tomato, onion and peas spread
  • 1 apple

In between:

  • 2-3 almonds

Lunch:

  • ½ bowl lentil soup
  • 1 slice multi grain bread with mint dip
  • 1 bowl mix salad of cucumber, lettuce, cabbage and mushroom

In between:

  • 1 glass of soymilk

Dinner:

  • ½  bowl spinach soup
  • ½ cup brown rice cooked with vegetables
  • 1 bowl mix fruit salad.

Vegan diet tips

  • Vegetarian diet does not necessarily mean boring or bland. Appropriate use of herbs and spices makes the food tasty and nutritious.
  • Important nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc, selenium are found in specific foods like, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, raisins, mushrooms, legumes, leafy vegetables and whole grains. They should be included in your daily diet to meet your nutritional needs.
  • Drink plenty of water. About 8-10 glasses a day.

Weight loss plan with laxatives

Recently, there has been a lot of emphasis on the use of dietary fiber in regular diet. Dietary fiber has its own merits and has many health benefits. This has also given rise to the use of laxatives as supplements to aid quick weight loss. There are various types of laxative supplements that contain natural fiber like psylium husk, flaxseeds, etc.
These days, herbal laxative tea, also called the dieter’s tea or slimming tea has gained popularity as a weight loss product. There are different brands and various types available in the market. However, its usage, advantages and disadvantages should be carefully studied so as to avoid any possible harmful effects.

How does a laxative work?
Laxatives act on the bowel function and increase the motility. They act on the digestion process in the colon, where they prevent food and water absorption. They bind with toxins, fat and other harmful substances in your digestive tract. As a result most of the food contents, instead of being absorbed, are excreted as waste products. They thus add bulk to your waste. This explains why there are more bowel movements when you increase fiber content in your diet.

Using laxative supplements
While the use of laxative supplements can be effective, it is important to know about the risks involved in their use also.

  • Researchers have suggested that long term laxative supplement usage can cause deficiency of vital nutrients and can also cause harm to the gastrointestinal tract or other organs.
  • Laxatives use water from the digestive tract to makes stools soft; hence it is essential that you increase you water intake while using laxatives or else there is a risk of getting dehydrated.

It is therefore wise to add natural laxatives to your daily diet and safely enjoy the benefits.

Fiber rich food
You can increase the intake of fiber in your daily diet. A diet high in fiber is recommended in order to reduce the risk of major disease like heart disease, diabetes and some cancers also.  Some of the foods that are rich in dietary fiber are:

Food sources:

  • Oat & barley products
  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables, legumes, cluster beans and fenugreek seeds.
  • Fruits like apples, guava, pear, oranges and pomegranate.
  • Others like fenugreek seed, flaxseeds or linseeds.

Sample meal plan
Morning:

  • 1 glass of water with 1 tsp psylium husk

Breakfast:

  • 1 bowl of oats with milk
  • 1 apple

In between:

  • 1 glass of water with 1 tsp powdered flaxseeds

Lunch:

  • 1 baked fish
  • 1 slice multigrain bread
  • 1 bowl sprouts with vegetable salad
  • 2-3 petals of orange

In between:

  • 5-6 fenugreek seeds soaked overnight

Dinner:

  • 1 slice of lean chicken
  • ½  bowl lettuce, cucumber, cabbage and peas salad with added powdered flaxseeds
  • ½ mixed fruit salad of pomegranate, pear and strawberries

Night:

  • 1 glass of water with 1 tsp psylium husk

In order to lose weight and be able to maintain it later, it is best to follow a healthy diet plan and add exercise as a part of daily regimen. Dietary fiber is a healthy part of the diet and should be treated judiciously. It is better to take an expert’s advice to choose the best laxative supplement.