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When you think about weight loss, one of the first things you think is that you will have to eat a lot of salads. That is certainly not the case. You can build a weight loss diet without many salads using an Indian weight loss diet.
But it should be said that salads are a great way to add more vegetables and reduce calorie intake to help with your weight loss.
Salads need not be bland and boring. In this article, we will show you how to create simple but delicious Indian salads for weight loss, as well as ideas to make many more flavorful salads, using vegetables easily available in India.
An essential part of any weight loss diet is a balance of the main food groups – carbohydrates, protein and vegetables.
Vegetables play a crucial role because they help you feel full with their water and fiber content.
In addition, eating a good amount of vegetables gives your body important vitamins and minerals that are needed to promote good health and kickstart fat-burning.
And vegetables do all of this while containing very little in terms of calories.
Let’s look at the ways in which you can include vegetable salads for weight loss.
The best way to create salads for weight loss is to follow this simple 5-step formula. You will find that you will never get bored and be able to create unlimited combinations too. Here it is.
This could be any type of lettuce or baby spinach, which are the easiest available leafy greens in India. All you need to do is wash them well and they are ready to be used in your salad. If you prefer, you can steam the spinach or the greens lightly.
Here are some examples of raw foods you can add:
For cooked vegetables, you can pick from options like:
You can experiment with a variety of local and seasonal vegetables, according to your taste and preference. You can pick between steaming, grilling or roasting the vegetables. For example, you will see below that we have mentioned salad options with both steamed and roasted beetroot, which have very different flavours.
This is an important step. A high-protein food is a must in any salad because it will make it filling. Without this, you will not find the salad satisfying and end up getting hungry soon.
Here are some options for a high-protein food:
If you eat eggs, you can add boiled eggs too. For non-vegetarians, options such as grilled chicken or shrimp can add body to the salad.
Texture of a salad makes a big difference to taste. So adding a crunch factor will make the salad taste much better. This can be nuts or some seeds. For example:
A good dressing is everything when it comes to making a tasty salad. But this does not mean adding a lot of fat like mayonnaise or cream. You can use a combination of simple ingredients to make a quick and tasty salad dressing.
A good dressing can simply be a healthy oil + herbs + spices. In addition, a dash of flavour from lemon, vinegar, citrus zest or even soy sauce can make a big difference!
A healthy oil like extra virgin olive oil is a perfect choice for salad dressings.
You can add herbs & spices to it like minced ginger and/or garlic, cumin, mint, parsley, pepper, chilli flakes/ paprika etc.
If you want to make life a little easier, you can also use store bought varieties. Nowadays, many simple dressings are available which do not have too many added ingredients like creams, additives and preservatives. We have a listed a few options below with the Amazon links:
Chutneys like pudina & dhaniya chutney can also be used as a dressing for an Indian twist.
If you would like to use olive oil as a base, you can buy readymade herb mixes to try out your own dressings. Here are some examples with Amazon links:
This may come as a surprise, but fruits can be a great addition to salads. Here are some examples you can try:
Let’s look at some recipe ideas based on the above formula for a tasty and healthy weight loss salad.
This is a tasty option among Indian salads for weight loss.
Spiced chickpea salad
Mixed greens with black olives, cherry tomatoes, goat’s cheese, bell pepper and red onion.
Cherry tomato & goats cheese salad
A very simple salad to put together but very flavourful!
Spicy cucumber salad
This one goes very well with Indian dishes and is a great way to get your vegetables by serving alongside a channa or rajma sabzi and a small portion of rice or roti. If having it on its own, you can toss in some lightly toasted or grilled paneer for protein.
Buddha bowl of mixed vegetables and tofu
Pick your choice of vegetables (either raw or cooked) and it quickly comes together. You can use leftovers to come up with interesting combinations too.
Healthy Beet Salad with chickpeas, pistachios nuts, feta cheese
This make-ahead salad can be stored and served cold too. Set aside the coriander and pistachios and add just before serving.
Roast beetroot, sweet potato, carrots and serve on a base of lettuce. Top with some paneer or boiled chickpeas.
This easy roast vegetable salad just takes a few minutes to prep and you can then toss it in the oven to roast.
Italian salad: lettuce, cucumber, tomato, pepper, onion, feta cheese and olives.
Green beans & almond salad
Quinoa, mushrooms, lettuce, red cabbage, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes
Another Buddha bowl-style salad to give you an idea of how to put them together.
Watermelon, mint, feta and cucumber.
A refreshing summer salad, it keeps you hydrated too. The salty-sweet combination can be unusual but also delicious.
Egg & cucumber salad
Salads are healthy but one sure way to turn them into calorie bombs is by using a lot of high-fat dressings. Use small amounts of dressing only.
Up to 1 tablespoon of dressing per person is a guideline you can use.
If you are using store bought dressings, read the ingredients carefully for added salt, sugar and mayonnaise. These should be avoided. What you want is olive or other oil, vinegar, herbs and spices.
The same applies to toppings like nuts & seeds. Sprinkle some on top for crunch. Not a handful.
If you cannot get good quality greens, you can use other vegetables instead. Local Indian vegetables like cucumber, capsicum and tomato can be used heavily in salads. They are local, fresh and tasty which make any salad a tasty dish to look forward to.
Use the 5 steps we have outlined above and experiment with different combinations. This will ensure you don’t get bored of eating salads and can include the ingredients you really like.
Salads are a great way to get enough vegetables in your diet. Use the 5-step formula to create a variety of simple and tasty salads. This will keep your diet interesting and help you in a big way with your weight loss.
If you are reading this, we know that weight loss is a high priority for you. We also know that there are many programs out there offering you quick weight loss. Sadly, in almost all those cases, the weight that you lose comes right back. This is disappointing and frustrating. We want to help you break this cycle.
At Daily9 our focus is helping you achieve weight loss in a way that lasts. Without doing anything extreme and by sticking to the Indian way of eating. You will see that in the salad options above, we have provided a mix of Indian and multi-cuisine options, including possibilities of eating out occasionally. This is a more practical approach because many of us do eat out or order in. In our program we recognize this fact, and so aim to help you make better choices while also enjoying it. This makes Daily9 easy to follow in the long run and helps you with both weight loss and weight maintenance.
We’ve worked with thousands of Indian men and women and understand the unique challenges they face when trying to lose weight or find a weight loss diet plan. You can see some of our success stories here. The Daily9 system is proven to work with weight loss and also many health conditions that Indian men and women face like digestive issues, diabetes, PCOS, thyroid, fatty liver and joint problems from excess weight.
Most importantly, the Daily9 weight loss diet plan is practical and suits an Indian family environment.
If you’re looking for a scientific and practical approach to weight loss, take a look at theDaily9 coaching program. It’s the only program that helps with weight loss and weight maintenance.
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