Healthy south Indian diet plan for weight loss

Weight Loss
Coach Shivani
January 12,2023

If you are someone who loves south Indian food, you might wonder whether you can ever lose weight while still eating that way. Or do you need to change your diet drastically and start eating salads and protein shakes? This is a very understandable question as when it comes to diets for weight loss, you will hear a lot about special foods, shakes and superfoods. It might seem that eating a normal south Indian diet is just not an option. But that is really not the case. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about losing weight with a simple south Indian weight loss diet plan.

We have also included a diet chart with breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner options using South Indian cuisine only.

Is a South Indian diet good for health?

Yes.

There can be no doubt about that. A south Indian diet uses grains, lentils, legumes, vegetables, good fats and Indian herbs and spices. All are health promoting. The most common dishes made using these ingredients are idli, dosa, rice, rasam, sambar, curry, kootu, ghee, avial, pongal and pickles. All are tasty and health promoting, which explains why they are famous globally.

In addition, there are probiotic foods like idli and curd which are great for gut health.

A south Indian diet provides high quality nutrition and is healthy.

Does a South Indian diet cause weight gain?

To answer this, let’s take a look at a typical day of eating a South Indian diet.

Breakfast

On a south Indian diet, the typical breakfast choices would idli, dosa or pongal.‍

Lunch

A south Indian lunch is usually made up of a large portion of rice, some dal/rasam/sambar and some kootu or vegetable curry.

Snacks

‍Most snack options are usually packaged foods like biscuits. In a traditional south Indian diet, it might be foods like idli, dosa, addai etc.

Dinner

A traditional south Indian dinner is similar to lunch in terms of a sizable amount of rice and a variety of other dishes.

Drinks

‍Tea or filter coffee is a common drink for many south Indians, usually with sugar.

Looking at the overall diet noted above, we can draw the following conclusions:

  • The diet is very high in carbohydrates – rice and all rice-based dishes like idli, dosa etc are rich in carbs
  • Has lower vegetables and fruit than is ideal. While vegetables may be part of the menu, the total amount of veggies on your plate may be small when compared to the rice and dal-based dishes
  • Is low in protein. The main source of protein in a south Indian diet is dals and curd. While these foods have some protein, it is not very high and will not provide the protein you need on a daily basis
  • Is high in sugar. Sugar in tea, coffee, biscuits and other foods adds up to a lot of sugar in a day.

Overall, this is not a balanced diet and contributes to weight gain as well as deficiencies in important nutrients that the body needs like protein and vitamin B12.  All of these contribute to health issues like diabetes, hypertension etc.

Also Read: Indian Diet Plan for Healthy Life

How can you fix this?

This does not mean that you cannot follow a south Indian diet or that you need to eat salads or protein shakes.

 

All you need to do is to make some small tweaks to the south Indian diet to make it more balanced.

 

You can do this by implementing a better balance of carbs, protein and vegetables in the main meals and making healthier choices for snacks.

South Indian diet plan for weight loss

Here’s a healthy South Indian diet plan for weight loss. We have listed healthy choices across all the meals of the day. You can pick from these based on what works best for you and your personal tastes and preferences.

Please note the following points:

  • Some foods are noted in cups. A cup = 240ml. This is a standard unit of measure and you can buy it from Amazon, see these options.
  • ‍Some foods (like paneer) are noted in fist-sized quantities. A fist = your fist. Keep the food next to your fist to estimate the quantity.
  • ‍We include some whey protein shakes in the diet plan below. Whey protein is an extract from milk and proven to be safe and healthy. While we do not recommend supplements, whey is the one exception given its proven benefits. But you can feel free to swap it with another protein option like greek yogurt (hung curd) in the shakes.
  • You can modify this diet plan to swap one vegetable for another or to have one grain for another (millets instead of rice for example).

While we have provided a diet plan below, please use this as a guide only. There is no single ideal diet chart as a one-size-fits-all answer approach will not work when it comes to a weight loss diet plan. One’s nutritional requirements will vary based on a number of factors, including gender, height, weight, meal preferences, any medical conditions, allergies etc. These are the factors we typically consider in the Daily9 program.

Breakfast

  • 3 idlis, ½ cup vegetable chutney, 1 orange, 1 cup tea/coffee (ideally without sugar)
  • 1 appam, ½ cup veg stew, 1 scoop whey protein in water, 1 cup tea/coffee
  • 1 dosa, ½ cup sambar, ¼ cup onion chutney, 1 banana
  • 1½ cup loaded upma (with ½ cup vegetables, 1 cup rava)
  • 1 egg appam, 1 cup veg stew, 1 sapodilla (chikoo), 1 cup tea/coffee
  • 1 normal/egg dosa, ½ cup ridge gourd chutney, 1 banana, 1 cup tea/coffee

south indian weight loss diet plan

Lunch

  • 1 cup rice, ½ cup stew (¼ cup dal & ¼ cup snake gourd), 1 cup green beans stir fry
  • 1⁄2 cup Rasam Rice, 1 cup cabbage poriyal, 1⁄2 cup pumpkin kootu (with 1⁄4 cup dal, 1⁄4 cup pumpkin)
  • 1⁄2 cup rice, 1⁄2 cup beans/carrot sambar (1⁄4 cup veg+1⁄4 cup dal), 1 cup bhindi curry, 100 gms greek yogurt
  • 1⁄2 cup normal/egg rice with 1 egg, 3⁄4 cup dal (1⁄2 cup lentils), 1⁄2 cup cauliflower curry, 1⁄2 cup yogurt

south indian weight loss diet plan

Evening snacks

  • 1 cup green tea, ½ cup spiced chickpea sundal, 1 apple
  • 1 banana, 100 gms greek yogurt, 1 tea/coffee
  • Broccoli and paneer tikki (with 1⁄2 cup broccoli + 1⁄2 fist paneer+1⁄4 cup oats), 1 green tea
  • 1 glass coconut water, 1⁄4 cup cucumber, tomato, bell peppers
  • 1⁄2 scoop whey fruit smoothie with 1⁄2 cup milk, 1 banana
  • 1 fist sauteed spiced paneer, 1 pear, 1 tea/coffee

south indian weight loss diet plan

Also Read: Low Carb Diets-Mistakes to Avoid 

Dinner

  • 1 cup curd rice (½ cup rice+½ cup curd), 1 cup okra stir fry
  • 1 1⁄2 cups chunky, vegetable soup with 1 fist paneer, 1 slice toast
  • 1 cup veg stew, 3⁄4 cup rice, 1 fist spiced soy bean
  • Palak tofu (3⁄4 cup palak,1⁄2 fist tofu), ½ cup rice, mixed veg raita with 1⁄2 cup veg
  • Veg+soya bean curry (1⁄2 cup each), 1 radish paratha, 1 cup mix veg raita (with 1⁄2 cup veg)

south indian weight loss diet plan

Here is an example of a day’s diet plan using the options noted above.

Breakfast:1 dosa, ½ cup sambar, ¼ cup onion chutney, 1 banana

Lunch: 1⁄2 cup Rasam Rice, 1 cup cabbage poriyal, 1⁄2 cup pumpkin kootu (with 1⁄4 cup dal, 1⁄4 cup pumpkin)

Snack: 1 cup green tea, ½ cup spiced chickpea sundal, 1 apple

Dinner: 1 cup curd rice (½ cup rice+½ cup curd), 1 cup okra stir fry

By picking such combinations from the list provided above, you can easily get a 7-14 day diet chart.

Conclusion

Weight loss does not mean eating mainly salads or new foods you do not like. A simple and traditional south Indian diet can certainly be used to lose weight and then maintain it. The most important thing is to balance the diet as shown in this article. This will allow you to eat the dishes you like while also losing weight.

Following a diet that we are familiar with, that fits with our culture and that is practical is essential for weight loss success and being able to maintain that weight loss in the long run.

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