We all know that healthy eating is something that you should religiously follow – whether it is for weight loss or leading a healthy life in general. You know that fried or junk foods need to be out of your diet. But what are the good and healthy foods that you should go for? Putting together meal plans for weight loss takes a lot of time and energy. So, we got an expert to put together a seven-day meal plan for weight loss for you.
HealthShots checked with holistic nutritionist Azhar Ali Sayed on how a seven-day diet plan should look like. You can always eat something different each day, but he recommends that you stick to one to maximum two options for the entire week. By doing this, you will reduce food wastage and save time by shopping and preparing some meals for the entire week.
A weight loss plan that may work for you
What to eat after waking up
Drink one glass of lukewarm water with 5 grams of fenugreek seeds (benefits of drinking methi seed water) soaked overnight. He says that fenugreek seeds are loaded with beneficial compounds. Consuming methi water first thing in the morning, is good for regulating blood sugar levels, for your liver, kidneys and metabolism.
Breakfast options for weight loss
Make a multigrain egg or paneer sandwich. You can add two eggs or 100 grams of low fat paneer to make the sandwich. Have it with one cup of tea or coffee, preferably without sugar.
Your second breakfast option could be two small-sized oats paneer chilla, made with 40 grams of oats and 50 grams of low fat paneer with 1 tablespoon mint coriander chutney or curd is another option. Eat it with one cup of tea or coffee, says the author of “Eat your Cake, Lose your Weight.”
Breakfast is the first and the most important meal of the day because it helps refuel our bodies after an overnight fast with the nutrition it needs to work effectively all day. So, eating a nutrient-dense breakfast is best way to get your day going (breakfast myths). A multigrain sandwich or oats paneer chilla are nutritious and delectable options for breakfast. They are packed with protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats that will help you get through the morning and keep you full until your next meal, preventing you from binge-eating in between meals.
What to eat mid-morning
Drink one glass of coconut water and eat a bowl of seasonal fruit. Coconut water is low in calories and is packed with essential minerals as well as electrolytes which make it an excellent drink for hydration and to get that instant boost of energy. Also, a bowl of fresh fruits will help you get in some dietary fibre which is beneficial for your gut.
Lunch options for weight loss
Palak paneer, made with 100 grams of low fat paneer and 150 grams of spinach, and multigrain roti, made with 30 grams of flour and less oil should be filling. As an alternative, you can have chicken or paneer tikka wrap is the second option. Use 70 grams of chicken or low fat paneer with tortilla, made with 30 grams of multigrain flour and 50 grams vegetables of your choice.
These lunch options are packed with a lot of nutrients like protein, calcium, dietary fibre, and other essential micronutrients. Protein and dietary fibre will keep you full for a longer time, which will prevent hunger pangs in between meals and prevent overeating in the following meals which makes it a great option on a weight loss diet.
Evening snacks to lose extra pounds
Eat six almonds or three walnut halves, suggests the expert. Nuts can be a great evening snack as they are easy to carry and packed with heart healthy omega-3 fats making it a perfect on the go-snacking option.
Another evening snack option is two tablespoon of hummus and 100 grams of carrot and cucumber sticks. You can also go for two small homemade khakras or 30 grams of roasted makhana or 30 grams of roasted chana or hummus and vegetable sticks.
Vegetable sticks are a delicious, healthy and a filling snack option for your mid-day hunger pangs. They are also convenient options because you can pre-make in batches, store and use them whenever required. Other options like roasted makhana, homemade khakras or roasted chana can come in handy when you don’t have enough time to prepare anything.
Grilled chicken or paneer or fish salad. You can use 100 grams of chicken or paneer or fish with 100 grams of vegetables of your choice. Have it with one big bowl of tomato soup. Don’t add cream, corn-starch, sugar or croutons.
There’s also Asian stir fry tofu with vegetables. Use 100 grams of tofu for this and have it with 100 grams of vegetables of your choice. Do not add cornflour, brown sugar, sugar, or honey. You can also eat one big bowl of vegetable clear soup.
These dinner options have good quality protein like chicken, paneer, fish and tofu along with plenty of colourful vegetables. Also, a bowl of soup will keep you satiated so that you don’t crave for unhealthy foods at night.
Best bedtime meal if you want to lose weight
One cup of chamomile tea and a piece of dark chocolate are good options. The expert says that chamomile tea contains certain beneficial compounds that have a relaxing and calming effect. It also helps in improving sleep quality, whereas dark chocolate will help you keep your sugar cravings at bay.
Foods to avoid during weight-loss journey
Foods to avoid during weight-loss journey include sugary sweetened beverages, cakes, cookies, pastries and ice-creams as well as refined grains. Most of these food items are not filling and are high-calorie items. Grains like wheat, rice, and oats, naturally provide a variety of nutrients. But a lot of these nutrients are lost during processing, so refined grains are less nutrient-dense. Consumption of refined grains is associated with an increased risk of being overweight or obese, says Sayed.
Try these meal options for weight loss for a week, and see the difference. But also don’t forget to exercise! A word of caution here is that it is best to follow a diet after due consultation with an expert who can give you weight-loss plans that are tailor-made for you.