How to get lean with a South Asian diet

The South Asian diet can make it difficult to lose fat due to several factors:

High Carbohydrate Content: South Asian diets often include a significant amount of carbohydrates in the form of rice, bread (such as naan and roti), and lentils. High carbohydrate intake can lead to increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which can make it harder to burn fat.

Use of Refined Ingredients: Many traditional South Asian dishes use refined grains and sugars, which can contribute to weight gain and make it challenging to lose fat.

High-Calorie Foods: The diet includes calorie-dense foods such as deep-fried snacks (samosas, pakoras), rich desserts (gulab jamun, jalebi), and creamy curries. 

These high-calorie foods can easily lead to an excess caloric intake.

Cooking Methods: Traditional cooking methods often involve frying and the use of large amounts of ghee (clarified butter) and oil, which add to the caloric load.

Portion Sizes: Culturally, meals can be served in large portions, which can lead to overeating, especially of calorie-dense foods.

Social and Cultural Factors: Social gatherings and celebrations are frequent and often revolve around food, making it difficult to maintain a calorie-controlled diet.

Lack of Protein: South Asian vegetarian diets may lack sufficient protein, which is essential for muscle building. Protein also helps in feeling full, which can prevent overeating.

These are some of the tips we use with our clients To improve the effectiveness of a South Asian diet for fat loss:

Increase protein intake with lean meats, fish, legumes, and dairy.
Opt for whole grains instead of refined grains.
Incorporate more vegetables and fruits.
Use healthier cooking methods like grilling, steaming, and baking.
Control portion sizes and be mindful of calorie intake.
Reduce the use of oils and ghee.

Some of the biggest challenges we see those of South Asian heritage face can be around cultural expectations & body image.

Don't be afraid to reach out for help. When you can lean on friends, family members and professionals, you can draw on their skills, experience & gain a new perspective.

Despite the challenges, it is still possible to lose fat & improve your health whilst following a South Asian diet. 

Work with us and we will give you the structure, support & accountability that you need to make lasting changes. 

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