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Losing weight has always been a bit of a challenge. For some people, it might seem like an unattainable goal. Even with diet after diet, the weight just piles on and you’re left feeling hopeless. It’s even harder for those who practice vegetarian eating because the pool of food is even smaller and you don’t have as many recipes to keep things interesting and tasty.
Ketogenic diets have recently emerged as some of the most effective ways to lose weight. People all over the globe are seeing satisfactory results from using a low-carb keto diet. Even more so, nutritionists are looking towards Indian cuisine to compliment the requirements of a keto diet. It’s quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon for weight loss, and the numbers are showing that it seems to be working. Is there a catch or is this the next best thing since sliced bread?
What is this diet?
If you’re unfamiliar with keto diets, there’s one basic principle. You’re aiming to get as few carbs as possible in your system so that your body would burn fat instead. It’s a wonderful diet plan which has been shown to help people who are aiming for weight loss and bodybuilding. Millions have warmed up to it and it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular dieting options for losing weight. Best of all, it’s supported by scientific evidence. Just about every dietitian and nutritionist out there vouches for it, which helps solidify the idea that it’s not some temporary fad diet that people are latching on to.
Vegetarian diets need no introduction. For one reason or another, people prefer to avoid meat in their diet entirely. Some individuals do it to help preserve the environment, while others simply cannot consume meat due to allergies or digestive issues that accompany it. It’s not uncommon for people to choose vegetarian and vegan diets as a protest against the unethical treatment of farmed animals. Whatever the reason, there’s an increased demand for vegetarian keto diets nowadays, and this diet fits it perfectly.
What’s the deal with Indian vegetarian food?
Keto diets are great, but what makes the Indian version so interesting? What’s the deal with Indian vegetarian keto diets? It’s all about the variety. Indian food is so diverse and interesting that there is no limit to what you can make with the ingredients you’re given. You can follow a keto vegetarian diet in the west, but the number of recipes are pretty limited.
It’s a relatively new idea for westerners, but Indian cuisine has had a basis for ketogenic diets for a while. People haven’t used them often, but it’s still very much viable. Nowadays, the world is warming up to the idea of Indian vegetarian food, especially when it comes to ketogenic diets.
Why should you go for a keto diet?
What makes keto diets different from every other diet people have been trying for decades? It has to have something special to warrant such popularity. It’s all about how well people can handle the diet. It’s common knowledge that diets don’t last long for most people. They see good results for a couple of months and quickly drop the diet. This is because regular diets tend to be very restrictive and difficult to adapt to. You give up all the most delicious food and settle for bland stuff that is either too expensive to cook right or too difficult to digest. It’s more of a battle with endurance than anything else. More importantly, you have to constantly battle hunger, because you’re not eating fulfilling food like you used to.
Keto diets don’t really stop you from eating delicious food. Most of your diet would be made up of protein and healthy fats, which means you aren’t really all that limited. The only thing you have to avoid is carbs. Let’s not forget, food that is high in fat and protein is very fulfilling. A single meal will hold you for half the day, even if you aren’t eating a lot.
Think of all the filling meals you enjoy, they’re usually very rich in protein and fats. When food leaves you feeling full and sated, you don’t have to worry about constant cravings for snacks. This reduces your chances of failing the diet and going back to old eating habits. It helps that the body is always looking for energy in the form of your fat deposits, which means they’re constantly being burned. All of these factors combined make keto diets a lot more effective than most other diets.
Supplementing the diet
One of the great things about ketogenic diets is that they don’t require supplementation in the form of vitamins and minerals. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help push the diet along. People often have a hard time adapting to a huge amount of fat and protein in their diet. It’s not exactly something you can do without some adjustments.
A big part of keto diets includes adapting to an increase in protein. It’s not easy transitioning from lower amount of protein to a higher amount. This is why a lot of people try supplementing their diet at first. Protein powders are a pretty popular option.
However, Indian health gurus and nutritionists don’t consume the regular stuff you see at gyms and protein shops. They prefer natural options that are a lot easier to stomach. Adding a bcaa protein powder shake to your morning meal is a surefire way to quickly adapt to a keto diet. These powders contain lots of free amino acid chains, which makes them a lot easier to digest and utilize. They can help get you some extra energy and nutrients in those critical moments when starting a ketogenic diet.
Are the recipes worth trying?
If there’s anything Indian cuisine is known for, it’s for making extremely tasty recipes out of just about everything. You can make some delicious dishes out of the simplest set of ingredients you can find. Alternatively, you can make some grandiose meals with dozens of spices and it will turn out even better.
People tend to worry that having a limited keto diet will affect their ability to make a diverse meal plan. However, this is far from the truth. You will find that Indian cuisine supports ketogenic diets without too many restrictions. As long as you know how to find the right ingredients and recipes, you’re going to be fine.
Paneer will be your best friend
If you’re aiming for a low-carb diet, paneer is one food that is going to blow your mind. Just one hundred grams of it contain only about three grams of it, give or take a little bit. This is an insanely small amount for something so nutritious.
It’s used extensively in many Indian dishes, especially those of the vegetarian kind. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone from India that doesn’t like it. you can add it to a bunch of salads or dishes and it will go over without issue. Bhurji is considered a relatively easy dish to make, and it contains lots and lots of paneer.
To make some delicious bhurji, you’re going to have to start with cutting up the paneer into small cubes. Take half of it and crumble it, it’s going to be useful for later. Take some tomatoes and slice them into even quarters. Heat some desi ghee in a pan with bay leaves. Some black peppercorns and green cardamoms would go well with it as well.
Marinate the paneer with some garlic, salt, and ginger. Take the tomatoes and grind them while they’re being cooked along with the garlic. Combine with the desi ghee and cook it on low for a minute. Add the paneer, cook it for a couple of minutes, and enjoy the delicious vegetarian meal.
Try some Sarso Ka Saag on occasion
There’s no shortage of greens in Indian cuisine. When you have so many low-carb choices to choose from, it’s no wonder that countless delicious recipes will emerge. Some of these greens are made into salads, while others are cut up and cooked directly with some other meals.
During the winter months, Indians can look forward to green veggie mustard that is eaten as Sarso Ka Saag. The green leafy veggie, also known as sarso, contains very little in the form of carbs. A hundred grams of this green vegetarian heaven has only around five grams of carbs. It’s a wonderful addition to some ghee recipes, but it’s most famous for being cooked in a Sarso Ka Saag dish.
Start by cleaning the mustard leaves and rinsing them out for a few minutes. Once they are dried, shred them roughly and slice the stems. Make sure you’re slicing them pretty thinly. Scrape and cut some ginger and leave it to the side. Get some garlic and onions and chop them up into tiny pieces.
In a bottomed pan, place the sarso leaves, some spinach, and the chopped ginger. Add salt and water before leaving it to boil. After it boils, put it to a simmer until it’s tender. Drain the mixture and put it in a blender. Blend it to a puree and place it back in the bottomed pan. Add the other veggies and ingredients alongside some red chilli powder. Return to heat and simmer while stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasoning and it should be ready in about half an hour.
If you’re a fan of stews, avial might be right up your alley. It’s a delicious vegetable stew that contains lots of protein-rich elements which are keto-friendly. Many of them are seasonal, so you can’t exactly make avial at every point of the year. Still, you’re going to love it any time you get the opportunity to make the stew. One of the best parts about avial stews is that they are cooked on coconut oil. It’s a monosaturated oil which is considered to be very beneficial to the body.
Grind some grated coconut into a paste and add some cumin and curry leaves to the mix. Cut drumsticks, yams, carrots, and green beans into rectangular pieces. Try to make them long and roughly the same size. Put them all in a pan with some water and cook them until soft. Add a teaspoon of turmeric, some curry leaves, and don’t forget to salt it. Add the coconut paste to the mix and have it simmer for around fifteen minutes. Add some curd and oil and simmer it for a couple of minutes. Once the mix is semi-dry, you can serve it. Make sure you serve it hot so that it keeps some of the warming quality.
Losing weight is often said to be simple, cut and dry math. Numerous attempts by millions show that it’s often a lot more complex. Sure, you could simply eat less and hope that you’ll manage to tough it out forever, but you’re likely going to feel really bad the whole time. It’s a lot more likely that you’re going to cave after a while and move on to the next diet. It’s a tale as old as time and numerous examples can be found that confirm this.
Ketogenic diets help by keeping the body well-fed despite a caloric deficit. Your body is quick to adapt to a completely new way of consuming food, which means you don’t lose anything by cutting carbs out of your diet. As long as you know what kind of food to eat during your keto diet, you’re going to find it a lot easier to manage than any other diet you might have tried. Even vegetarians find that it’s a lot easier to deal with weight-loss when you’re on a ketogenic diet.
Indian culture and cuisine have always had the basics of a ketogenic diet, which helps a lot when picking out recipes. If you find that these recipes are helpful for stimulating your appetite towards keto food, you might want to make them a regular part of your everyday diet. Even when you grow tired of some of the more basic recipes, there’s no shortage of vegetarian recipes that you can choose from for your future keto meal plans. Stick with this diet and you’ll find that your weight loss goals are a lot more attainable than you previously thought.