3 Indian Tasty Food Choices for India Travelers Who Watch Their Calories

As it always happens we tend to put on weight after a holiday. The rest and relaxation, and of course gorging on tasty delicacies, induces weight gain and you find it difficult to shed the weight. Moreover your routine gets disturbed and the time change also plays havoc on your body. Since you’re on vacation you tend to indulge your sweet tooth and end up adding calories. Especially on your travel to India you can always expect to have good food, great hospitality and unlimited enjoyment. The varied Indian culture allows you to experiment with a variety of cuisine that is a treat to taste buds. At the same time you need to be careful that you don’t add a few more pounds after a vacation.

Here are three different tasty recipes that can help you enjoy Indian delicacies without adding weight. I can guarantee you that once you eat a healthy diet as mentioned below for two weeks you’re sure to lose weight as well as enjoy a variety of Indian dishes. These are three ideal foods that will not add weight but will fill your stomach and make you feel satisfied.

Idlis with chutney & sambhar

Whichever part of India you visit; Idlis are staple breakfast menu, even though they belong to South India. This rice preparation is steamed and served along with chutney and sambhar. Since it is steamed and contains no fat, it is easily digestible and doesn’t add any calories. If you’re suffering from jet lag or any other problem due to change in time zone, Idlis are the ideal food stuff to eat. The accompanying chutney is prepared with desiccated coconut and doesn’t contain any oil. The coconut is ground along with a green chilli and coriander leaves. Adding salt makes it the best accompaniment for Idlis.

Sambhar is a liquid dish that is made of dal (pulses) with tamarind water and masala (spices). It is boiled well and also contains no fat. This also serves as accompaniment to Idlis. Two Idlis with a cup of chutney and sambar is enough to fill your stomach for breakfast without adding many calories. A hundred grams of Idlis sambhar contains only 1 gram of fat and only 210 calories.

Idlis with chutney and sambhar
Idlis with chutney and sambhar. anshu_si’s photostream on Flickr


Chappati or roti is the main dish for North Indians. Phulka is a form of roti that has no fat and is roasted on fire. Resembling a tortilla, phulka rotis are ideal for people who are on a low-calorie diet. Two rotis along with mixed vegetables and chicken curry make a sumptuous meal. You can also have salads, raita (onion/cucumber in yoghurt/curds) and dal along with phulka. The wheat flour is made into dough and then rolled into thin phulkas and roasted over fire. These rotis are easily available all over India.

Grilled chicken wrap

While you’re on the go you wish to eat readymade foods and end up eating junk. Here’s a great recipe that is not only delicious but will also help you avoid weight gain. This wrap can be easily made and is available at all eateries. The combination of low fat and high protein content of this spicy dish not only fills you up but satisfies your taste buds as well. The chicken breasts are marinated in low fat yoghurt and allowed to rest. Added to it are a couple of garlic cloves and a dash of lime juice. Grill it for a while till the chicken gets cooked and soaks in the juices. Then the chicken is finely minced so that it can be easily filled into the roti. Eat it with sauce or mint chutney.

An ideal diet for a two week Indian vacation

India is well known for its summers. It’s warm especially for Westerners and international travelers. Hence it is advisable to keep your body cool. Besides wearing cotton clothes that soak in the sweat, it is better to drink juices and tender coconut water. There are a variety of juices and mock tails available in India. This can keep your body cool and help you enjoy your vacation too. Here is an ideal diet that can guarantee weight loss as well as have a wonderful holiday in India.


We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Once you’ve a nutritious breakfast you can even skip your lunch or have fresh salad along with kokum or lime juice for lunch. Here is an assortment of breakfast menu that can be beneficial to you.

Idli / Poha / Upma: Poha is flattened rice that is nutritious as well as helps in weight loss. If you’re diabetic then it is advisable to eat poha for breakfast.

There are several varieties of upma. The one that is low in fat is semolina upma.

Vegetable Sandwich/Sprouts: This is another best breakfast that is easily digestible and also doesn’t add calories.

2 egg whites with whole grain bread: Having two egg whites with two dry bread toasts is ideal for early mornings before you start your sight seeing.

Mint juice / Fresh lime juice / Sweet lime juice / Coconut water / Kokum sherbet: Washing it down with mint juice, which has a cooling effect, can help you keep your body cool and refreshed. Also mint is good against acidity and gas. Tender coconut water is ideal as an anytime, anywhere drink. You can drink it in the mornings or evenings or in the afternoon as well. It’s a natural electrolyte supplement to the body. Not only does it promote weight loss it also boosts your energy levels.

Kokum sherbet is a refreshing tangy drink that improves digestion and cools the body. It is made out of a fruit (botanical name is Garcinia indica) that grows mostly in tropical countries like Africa and India.

Poha flattened rice
Poha or flattened rice. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Lunch & Dinner

Lunch is indeed one of the best times when you can have a wholesome meal. While you’re travelling you may find restaurants that offer greasy foods. If you’re booking a package deal then ensure that your food is included in the package. That way you can be assured of getting wholesome food for lunch. Also make your preference for low calorie food while booking your hotel. Many hotels include a low calorie diet in their holiday packages to cater to people who are watching their weight. Here is an interesting assortment of foods you can sample for lunch.

An ideal Indian Lunch consists of rotis, dal, vegetable, salad, rice, chicken gravy/prawns/shrimp salad, mutton curry and yoghurt. For vegetables, try to stick to spinach, lady’s fingers, carrots, cabbage and cauliflower. Avoid potatoes and yam. Substitute gravy vegetables (that contain oil) with fresh salads. Cucumber, onion, carrots, apples, tomatoes, pomegranate and pineapple are apt to have as salads without any dressings. Just squeeze a dash of lemon and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. This will be helpful to fill your stomach as well as is good weight loss diet.

Indian dinner
Indian dinner. Can you see potatoes here (I can) Stick to green vegetables

Mixed rices like Bisi beli bath, lemon rice, pulauv or biryanis are also popular Indian lunch foods. However, since these are rice-based and hence calorie-rich, they may add to your body weight.

Evening Snack

Have fresh fruit juice along with roasted almonds or peanuts. Aam panna (raw mango juice) is a tangy drink that is ideal for summer vacation. The raw mangoes are boiled and peeled. The pulp is mashed and kept aside. Water with sugar to taste is also boiled (till sugar dissolves) and kept aside to cool. Then the mango pulp is added to the sugar water and strained. This juice keeps you cool and refreshed, especially in summer.

As you travel in India enjoying the various tourist attractions, center your diet around the above food recommendations, and I ensure you that you will not have to worry about gaining weight. You may even lose some! There are several healthy foods that are tasty as well as ideal to eat during your visit to India. Find out what suits you and go on, enjoy your holiday sporting a slim and trim figure.

Aam panna, raw mango juice
Aam panna (raw mango juice)

About the author


Latasri is a foodie and wellness enthusiast. In her blog she reviews meal delivery diet services and popular weight loss programs such as Bistro MD and eDiets. Growing up in India she developed an interest for foods enjoyed by different cultures. She enjoys writing about diets, recipes, and healthy meal programs. She now lives in Mumbai with her husband and two children.

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