How to eat rice and lose weight

Rice is not a popular item on most dieting charts. Does its contemporary, the roti, score more on the dieting scale? I have heard a lot of people say that they have stopped rice and switched over to eating rotis in an attempt to reduce weight. I have myself suggested stopping eating rice to effect weight loss. Most people doing so claim that they have particularly reduced the tummy with a no rice diet.

For people from South India, not eating rice is a huge sacrifice since rice is their staple. So, let us see how one can eat rice and still lose weight.

The rice vs roti battle
· Rice is eaten not with just one side dish but an entourage of dishes and this is exactly why you can end up overeating. In the south, ghee is added to the first few morsels of rice. The next few mouthfuls need sambar, and rasam and the various poriyals or dry sabjis, and finally curds. Then, again how can one eat without pappad or pickle? Thus, calories add up to make the meal complete. On the contrary rotis can be eaten with one dal and a dry sabji or a dry sabji and raita. Simple but filling.

· Salad is not a popular accompaniment in the Indian rice combo. But rotis may go well with a raita or green salad.

· Rice is easily consumed since it does not require much chewing, while chewing roti needs a reasonable amount of time. Researches show that chewing well causes early satiety and slow eating leads to lesser eating.

· Estimating the quantity of rice to be eaten could go wrong unless one actually takes a measuring cup or weighing balance, while it is easier to count rotis by numbers.

· Unless you are eating brown rice daily, the fibre content may not be satisfactorily high, while it is possible to have whole grain atta and therefore higher fibre content is got from eating rotis.

· Whole wheat rotis have a lower glycemic index than rice. Possibly this explains why one feels less hungry eating rotis than rice.

How to eat rice and lose weight
· Most importantly, measure the quantities. An easy way to measure is by your fist. A fist full of rice is a good quantity of rice to eat. The idea is to have more accompaniments than rice on your plate.

· Forgo the pickle. Grill the papads instead of frying them.

· Mix rice with a dal curry, curds, sabji/poriyal and green salad. The raw vegetables in the salad, makes chewing a little slower and takes longer. The protein in the curds and dal gives a better glycemic index than eating rice with vegetables alone.

· Add a spoonful of bran or flaxseeds to the curds. This increases the fibre content.

· Drink a glass of water or a bowl of clear soup before starting the meal. This controls hunger.

Parvathy R Krishnan

The author is a trained Nutrition & Dietetics expert with over 20 years’ of experience in hospitals like Vijaya Hospital in Chennai and the Armed Forces Hospital and New Mowasat Hospitals in Kuwait. She is presently a member of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. Parvathy blogs at http://premadiet.blogspot.in/


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