The pros of consuming a healthy diet can never be over-emphasized. It is a no-brainer that to live a healthy life in the long run, you need to have a well-balanced diet plan incorporated as part of your lifestyle. This plan should provide you with essential nutrients that satiate you and prevent weight gain.
It is essential to know what goes into our body and how many overall calories we need. After all, it is relatively easy to consume loads of calories in one sitting without even realizing it.
If you are wondering what calories mean, here is our take. To exemplify, just like any machine needs fuel to function, our body too needs food to function. Therefore, food, be it solid or liquid, provides us with calories. Calories, to put it simply, is a unit of energy. It is the amount of energy released when your body breaks food down.
Each food will provide you with a different number of calories. And that being said, each body’s total calorie intake per day differs. In addition, calorie requirements are different for people with different weights, and various life stages.
We suggest you use a tool like the HealthifyMe App to understand your daily calorie requirement. Now, calories, of course, come from both vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources. India is one of the countries with the most extensive vegetarian population (close to a whopping 33%). Therefore, it becomes essential to know how to consume an adequate vegetarian diet that fulfils your body’s nutritional requirement and stays within the calorie range.
Do you feel it is difficult to consume calories and nutrients as a vegetarian to lose weight or manage your medical health condition? Bingo! You’ve come to the right place.
1500 Calorie Vegetarian Diet Plan
Let’s start with understanding the basics and then work our way into the 1500 calorie vegetarian nutrition plan.
Are you always waking up early and looking forward to your breakfast the most? Well, you’re not alone.
Here’s a tip. Start eating within 30 minutes of waking up. Eating an early breakfast helps you keep your energy levels high throughout the day and saves you from intense headaches and food cravings.
If you feel hungry right after waking up, you should start consuming small and frequent meals. You will need to break down your day’s meals to be smaller but have them more frequently. Now, you may need to eat mid-meal snacks while doing so. It is therefore ideal that you keep your breakfast, lunch and dinner small and light. This small change helps you avoid overeating.
On the other hand, it is also fine if you’d prefer to stick to three main meals and no snacks. You can continue doing that. But, again, learn to listen to your body, and it will help you choose what is suitable for you.
Irrespective of how many meals you consume in a day, focus on including a maximum number of food groups, namely grains, legumes, lentils, vegetables, fruits, dairy, nuts and oilseeds.
You can also have a cup of coffee/ tea during the day with ½ or one teaspoon of jaggery.
However, eating anything that comes out of a packet is a big no-no. So, skip eating biscuits, muffins, breakfast cereals, on a regular basis.
Thinking of consuming parathas, idli/ dosa or perhaps sticking with sprouts and veggies simply because they are “healthy”?
We would suggest going for an excellent ol’ traditional breakfast menu. It could be idli, dosa, upma, poha or whatever you eat regularly.
Here’s the catch, do remember to include sambhar, chutney or curd alongside with your breakfast. You can also add the goodness of veggies into your poha or upma to make it heartier. If you are eating parathas, add in some greens like methi/spinach or stuff them with paneer or leftover dal.
Coming to portion sizes, keep dosas or parathas to 2 medium-sized portions. You can have about three idlis since they are on the smaller side. Consume one bowl of sambhar/curd and keep your chutneys to about 2-3 tbsp.
You can opt for a nutrient-dense snack such as a glass of buttermilk, coconut water with malai or fresh homemade lemonade. In addition, incorporating a hydrating drink can make sure to keep you satiated. It makes a difference if you have not drunk enough water in between a hectic workday schedule.
Suppose you have not eaten a fruit after waking up; you can have one whole medium-sized fruit like a banana, apple, pear or chikoo as your mid-morning snack.
We suggest you keep your lunch light enough to avoid feeling lethargic or sleepy the rest of your day but heavy enough to not feel hungry right after an hour of having lunch.
Adding a variety to your lunch will help you beat the afternoon slumber, especially if you are working. For example, choose either between roti or rice. By doing this, you can avoid overeating while you are working and eating in distraction.
Your lunch can be as simple as rice, dal and sabzi or rice, sambhar and poriyal. We emphasize these as it is essential to cut down on extra calories. Dal, sambhar and vegetables make a perfect combination as they keep you satiated. You can replace your rice with two rotis, and you can substitute dal with beans like choley, lobias, rajma or even a cup of curd. You can cook veggies as per your preference.
Another key is to use a good source of fat. Ghee is a great option. You can also replace your sambhar with a katori of curd. These good fats will not only enhance the taste of your food and make you feel fuller, and aid in delaying gastric emptying.
Evening snacks can be hassle-free with just one fruit and some nuts. For example, you can have 8-10 pieces of almonds, pistachios or cashews. It is ideal not to over snack and prepare your body for an early dinner.
If you eat a late and light dinner, focus on eating a heavier and nutritionally dense snack in the evening. This practice again will keep you from overeating during dinner time.
You can have a boiled corn-cob, sweet potato or homemade puffed-rice chaat with added veggies such as onions, tomatoes and carrots. Another option is to have curd/yoghurt with dry fruits and nuts. Make sure to eat only one cup of either of these.
You can also eat one portion of sandwiches made with multigrain bread and some veggies. The portion should be small to keep your energy levels up and help you perform the second half of the day with equal zeal.
Dinner can be similar to your lunch. If you have dinner, say, an hour before your bedtime, we suggest you eat only half the portion of your lunch.
On the other hand, if you have a 2–3-hour gap between your dinner and bedtime, then go ahead and enjoy your meal with your family. Do not restrict your portion sizes. However, do keep your evening snacks on the lighter side in this case.
You can drink a cup of turmeric-pepper milk at bedtime as per your preference.
Eating mindfully will always help you in the long run. It might sound challenging to keep track of your daily calories, but trust us, it is quite the opposite. Controlling the number of calories you consume in a day is no rocket science. And you definitely do not have to go to the extremes to stay fit, lose weight or manage your health condition.
It is critical to listen to your body signals to manage your health, whether eating, working out, or your sleep duration. The emphasis here is that there is no thumb rule of how much and what frequencies you should be eating. You do not necessarily have to eat every two hours or go on a fast to lose weight. Instead, a few tweaks into your regular diet can help immensely.
So, this was all about the 1500 calorie vegetarian diet plan. We hope this gave you an idea of how to plan your meal and better equipped you with insights regarding the science behind good eating and maintaining positive health.