High protein Indian food chart for weight loss

Coach Arvind
April 18,2023

5-point Summary

  • Why you need more protein: Protein is not just for building muscle or for body builders. Protein is essential in your daily diet for weight loss, weight maintenance and good overall health. A high protein Indian food chart can be a great way to achieve a healthy diet.
  • Not eating enough protein causes problems: Not getting enough protein affects your immunity, hormones, digestion, bones and is also a reason for sugar cravings. So it is worth making an effort to eat more protein-rich foods on a daily basis.
  • How much protein: It is recommended that you aim to get a minimum of 0.8-1 gram of protein per kg of body weight. This means that if you weigh 70 kgs, you should aim to get 55-70 grams of protein each day. This might seem difficult, but see this simple diet plan in this article where we show you how you can can enough protein from an Indian diet.
  • High-protein foods: While high protein-food choices are limited for vegetarians, but there are still quite a few options. To see these choices, jump to this list of high-protein vegetarian foods later in this article. For a complete list of high-protein foods (veg & non-veg), see this list of Indian foods later in this article.
  • Protein is important for weight loss: High-protein foods are filling and you will not feel hungry for a long time after eating a protein-rich meal. This means cravings reduce and so will your desire to snack. As a result, your overall food intake reduces and weight loss happens in an easy way.



When you think of protein, I suspect that the first thing you think of is bodybuilders and muscles, right? But this is so far from the truth. Protein definitely helps with muscle but did you know that getting enough protein is crucial for weight loss! A high protein Indian food chart can be a great way to achieve a healthy diet.

This is not something most people are aware of. In the Daily9 weight loss program, we ensure that the daily diet has sufficient protein intake. This helps make weight loss feel easier and also last longer.

In this article, we will help you understand the importance of protein, especially for weight loss and list the top Indian foods that you can include in a weight loss diet. We have also explained how you can calculate your protein requirement and listed many Indian dishes that you can make to get enough protein.

Lastly, we have busted some myths on why foods like dal, channa and rajma and not the best choices for protein.

Read on to discover the reality behind high-protein Indian foods.

Why getting enough protein is important

Protein is an important macronutrient (or food group) that most of us do not get enough of. The other macronutrients (food groups) are carbohydrates and fat – we usually know where to get those from.

Protein is an important building block in the body, and its most well-known role is to build and repair muscle tissues. But it does so much more.

Protein is involved in most of the processes that occur within the body, and is important for many reasons including for the health of your bones, skin and hormones.

Proteins are made up of many amino acids, and each of these does many important jobs.

To fuel our daily activity, maintain good health, build muscle and lose excess fat, you need adequate amounts of protein. As a bonus, protein-rich foods keep you fuller for longer, so enough protein in the diet means fewer urges to snack on unhealthy foods.

10 Protein rich foods (vegetarian)for Weight loss

It can be relatively harder to get enough protein as a vegetarian, but not impossible. Here are the high-protein vegetarian options you can pick from for your high protein Indian food chart:

  1. Paneer.
  2. Tofu/ tempeh.
  3. Soya bean.
  4. Greek yogurt or hung curd (unflavoured preferable).
  5. Whey protein or vegan protein powder like pea / hemp protein.
  6. If you have them – Eggs, with the yolk.

In addition to the high-protein options noted above, the following vegetarian foods have some protein and can help add a little more protein to your diet.

  1. Lentils/ legumes like dal, channa & rajma (see more on these below).
  2. Milk and curd/yogurt.
  3. Vegetables. Yes, vegetables do contain protein and eating a vegetable-rich diet is a great way to also get more protein.
  4. Nuts and seeds. They have some protein but are much higher in fat, so use in small amounts only.
  5. Peanuts. Similar to nuts and seeds, peanuts have some protein but 5 times the fat, so must be used in small quantities only.

Lentils, beans and other legumes contain protein but also a relatively high amount of carbohydrates. In fact, the amount of carbohydrates they contain is much more (typically 3 to 5 times more) than the protein content. Take a look at the examples below:

This should be kept in mind so that you do not rely on them as your main source of protein. They can however certainly help to give you a little more protein in addition to the other high-protein options we have noted above.

Protein rich foods (non-vegetarian) for weight loss

The main non-vegetarian options of protein rich foods are:

  1. Lean meat.
  2. Seafood including fish and prawns.

Summary of protein rich foods

Here is a summary of the high-protein foods you can pick from as well as how to measure a portion of these foods. Add these foods based on your taste & preferences, to develop your very own high protein Indian food chart.

Note – In the below paragraphs, when we refer to ‘1 fist’ we mean that you should measure the food against your fist and that size of serving is a portion of protein.

Aim to get at least 1 portion of protein with your lunch and dinner each day for good health and weight loss.


As part of a protein-rich diet for weight loss or for general health, you can plan to have a combination of at least two of the above sources of protein across 2 meals of the day. Here are some combinations that can be part of a high protein Indian food chart, depending on your meal preference:

  • 1 fist size portion of paneer with lunch + 200 ml of Greek yoghurt with dinner
  • 1 cup channa with lunch + 1 fist size portion of paneer with dinner
  • 1 scoop whey protein with breakfast + 1 fist-size portion tofu with lunch
  • If you consume eggs, 2-3 eggs at breakfast + 1 cup of roasted soy bean/ edamame bean with lunch
  • For vegans, 2 besan chillas with breakfast + 1 scoop vegan protein powder shake at snack time
  • If you are non-vegetarian, 2 boiled eggs with lunch + 1 fist size portion of lean chicken breast with dinner

Important notes:

  • If you have liver or kidney issues (like high uric acid levels), you should exercise caution when increasing protein intake. In such cases, please consult your doctor first.
  • Soy: With respect to consuming Soy and soy products, please check with your doctor if you have a thyroid problem (like Hypothyroidism).

Eating a variety of protein foods is important

Protein is made up of amino acids. So when we say our bodies need protein, what we actually mean is we need to ensure we are getting all the amino acids our body needs. There are 20 amino acids in all, of which 9 are considered essential i.e. our body cannot manufacture them. These are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. We don’t need the same amount of each of these – we need a lot more of leucine, for example.

In order to ensure we are getting as complete a profile of amino acids as possible, eat a variety of protein-rich foods.

As an example, 10 kinds of vegetables, legumes, lentils, eggs, meat, milk, curd, cheese, seeds, nuts – if you consume all of these over the course of a week, you are doing great. All of these foods have protein in varying amounts and your body will combine them as required.

Indian protein rich food for weight loss

Here is a list of Indian dishes that are high-protein and that you can add to your daily diet.

Vegetarian dishes

  • Paneer tikka
  • Palak paneer
  • Grilled Tofu (tikka style)
  • Paneer bhurji
  • Tofu Dosa
  • Tofu methi paratha
  • Capsicum and paneer jalfrezi
  • Soybean curry
  • Hung curd with fruit (as dessert)

Palak paneer

Egg-based dishes

  • Egg masala omelette
  • Egg bhurji
  • Egg curry
  • Egg dosa or Egg appam
  • Egg biryani
  • Egg frittatas
  • Shakshouka

Boiled egg curry

Non-vegetarian dishes

  • Chicken tikka
  • Lemon chicken
  • Meat burgers (try grilled/ baked versions instead of fried)
  • Lettuce wrap with chicken
  • Fish curry
  • Grilled fish
  • Crab masala
  • Prawn curry
  • Mutton raan

What should be your protein target & how to get it.

It is helpful to know how much protein you should aim for in a day.

It is recommended that you aim to get a minimum of 0.8-1 gram of protein per kg of body weight.

This means that if you weigh 70 kgs, you should aim to get 55-70 grams of protein each day. The ‘Dietary guidelines for India’ published by the National Institute of Nutrition also suggests a protein intake in this range.

This can seem like a big challenge, but let us show you how you can get close to this even with a pure vegetarian diet.

We have noted below a day’s diet plan along with the approximate protein content in grams against each meal. This protein-rich diet plan focuses on Indian vegetarian foods.

  • Breakfast: 200ml milk, banana (6 grams)
  • Lunch: Rice, 1 cup dal, 1 portion paneer tikka, 1 cup bhindi sabzi (30 grams)
  • Snack: Soybean sundal (10g)
  • Dinner: 2 rotis, 1 cup channa masala, 1 cup cauliflower sabzi, 1 cup curd. (20 grams)
  • Total protein: 66 grams.

As you can see it is certainly possible to get enough protein in your diet with some advance planning. The key is to recognize the importance of protein-rich foods and be sure to include at least one such food in each of your main meals. Use the protein-rich foods noted in this article to add more protein in your daily life.


Use the ideas in this article to add more protein rich food for weight loss into your daily diet. As we have shown, protein rich food for a veg or non-veg eater are plenty. The key is to include them as part of your daily meals on a consistent basis.

Daily9 weight loss program

If you’re reading this, we know that your health is a high priority for you.

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 food ideas and diet plan provided above, we have focused on Indian cuisine (along with a few examples of international protein-rich dishes) and simple yet delicious recipes. This is a practical approach that recognizes the reality of our busy daily lives. In our program we recognize this fact and 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. TheDaily9 systemis 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.

About the Author

Coach Arvind
Arvind is a qualified Personal Trainer, SFG-certified Kettlebell Instructor and a Nutrition Coach. Arvind knows that there is no one-size-fits all answer and is focused on helping people find the solutions that work for them. He frowns at fad diets as they do more harm than good.

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