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The ULTIMATE diet plan to lose weight!

Last updated on: July 5, 2011 11:57 IST

The ULTIMATE diet plan to lose weight!



No pop diets will help you knock of those kilos says fitness expert Samreedhi Goel. The dietician and fitness trainer shares with us her exclusive diet plan and tells you just how you can get into shape without sweating over it.

As dietician and fitness trainer Samreedhi Goel walks into her fitness centre, a beaming middle-aged man greets her.

"I lost half a kilo yesterday!" he says smiling from ear to ear.

Goel gives him a disapproving look, points to her watch and reminds him about two things: one that he is late for his workout and losing though 500gms is good he must lose a lot more.

Samreedhi Goel is one of those few dieticians who aren't in a hurry. She believes that every person has his/her limitations and will take their own time to lose the weight they hope to.

Her diet plans are perhaps one of the most lenient ones we've come across. Heck they even include paneer and pizzas once a week!

Goel tells us that the idea behind giving her clients so much levy is so they do not get tempted to eat the wrong stuff.

The pizzas and pastas she recommends you to have are of course homemade and the sauces are made of healthy ingredients with no cheese and aren't fattening.

Samreedhi Goel exclusively shares with us her 'Zigzag diet' plan, her recipes and tells us about the most common myths about food habits she's come across:

Click NEXT to read more

Chat with Samreedhi Goel on Friday, July 8 at 4.30 pm on tips to lose weight

Samreedhi Goel is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. She runs Size Wise, her training studio. She also conducts fitness workshops. Besides training with the International Sports Science Association, USA, she has a PG Diploma in nutrition and food technology and writes for a variety of publications. 

Image: Samreedhi Goel


All about the Zigzag diet

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Most diets work on the premise that you should continue to eat lesser and lesser and cut out majority of the foods to have sustained weight loss.

The result? You may lose weight but your metabolism drops; you are constantly cranky due to low energy and hunger pangs and eventually you turn to food with a vengeance leading to consequent weight gain. Only this time it is far more stubborn.

How the zigzag diet works

The diet aims at including at least three food groups per meal and sees to it that you do not get hunger pangs. It contains sufficient fibre, proteins, vitamins and minerals in the form of more whole grains, less processed foods, more fruits and vegetables and lean protein sources like chicken, fish, eggs, paneer, milk, curds etc.

This diet will help you balance your blood sugar levels throughout the day preventing hunger pangs, which result in overeating

The diet takes into account your deficiencies, fibre and liquid needs of the body.

In order to zigzag your calories, the carbohydrate content of your meals is altered daily as a result of which your calories intake fluctuates by a small margin at every meal. That way you are able to eat a variety of foods each day.

Portion sizes are specified to that eventually you learn to eat in moderation.

Recipes are given that are low fat but require home ingredients and not too much time for preparation.

The diet will help to give a boost to your metabolism so that the weight loss you have will sustain over a period of time. the aim is also to teach you healthy habits so that you do not fall back on the wrong eating behaviours that can cause weight gain.

Most importantly, the diet is designed in a way that you can include a lot of variety in your meals like pizzas, burgers, pav bhaji, biryani etc.

Image: Everything you must know about the Zigzag diet

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THE diet plan to lose weight

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Many of us are working professionals. Here's a suggested diet plan:

On waking up

1 glass plain water

1 cup tea/coffee +1 tsp sugar

For breakfast

1 bowl oats porridge (5 tsp oats + 1 cup milk + 1 tsp sugar)
2 egg whites omelette + 2 slices bread
1 glass skimmed milk + 1 handful cereal

Mid morning

Fruit (peach / apple / pear / plum / sweet lime /1 handful cherries)

For lunch (around 1.30pm)
2 roti + paneer burjee + salad(*cucumber, carrot, tomato) + 1 glass buttermilk
2 roti + whole moong + salad* + 1 glass buttermilk
2 idli + sambhar + salad*
1 bowl tomato soup + 1 grilled sandwich (without cheese or butter)
2 methi paratha + veg raita
Mixed veg pulao + veg raita

For evening snacks (around 4.00 pm)

1 cup tea + 1 khakra
1 vegetable sandwich
Any curd dip along with cucumber and carrot sticks or steamed vegetables

Around 6pm

1 fruit

For dinner (around 8.30 pm)

2 rotis + dal + French beans + salad
1 bowl soup + whole moong salad
1 bowl  soup + 2 pcs grilled chicken + salad
1 bowl soup + vegetables in whole wheat white sauce* (carrot, french beans, capsicum, mushroom)
1 bowl soup + 1 chicken burger* + salad*
2 Pav + Bhaji (no butter) + salad
1 bowl soup + 2 gobi paratha (made on non-stick pan) + veg raita
1 bowl soup + steamed rice + chilly panir/chicken

*Recipe at the end of the slide show

Image: Try this diet plan to lose weight

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Food and fitness issues with most Indians

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Indian food is essentially cereal-based. Everything we have has carbohydrates. There's no escaping it. This can sometimes be can issue

We also have absolutely no idea about portion control and are very casual when it comes to quantity while cooking.

Every dish in our cuisine has to have oil. The concept of steaming baking etc is just lost out on us!

Lack of exercise: Somehow most of us lead a very sedentary lifestyle. Combine that with unhealthy food habits and you have a huge issue on your hands.

Image: Indians lead a very sedentary lifestyle

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Five diet myths busted!

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Potatoes and bananas you fat.

Unless you have them every single day and fry them its very unlikely that potatoes and bananas will make you put on weight.

Warm water and lime will make you thin

Now this is a very common myth. If this were true, we would not have a single fat person in the world. As a matter of fact my dentist tells me that it even rots the enamel.

Coffee before workout increases metabolism

No one food makes you thin or fat. It's what you do throughout the day that makes a difference.

Eating too much of proteins is good.

Big myth. Over consuming any food type is bad for the health.

Cut down on your carbohydrates

This is a huge health hazard. By doing this you are depriving your body of a lot of nutrients and energy. When you cut carbs protein has to supply your body with energy. When protein is broken into energy, the by-product is toxic.

Image: Having potatoes in measured proportion won't lead you to put on weight

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Gymming and weight loss

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It is a myth that if you stop gymming you will put on weight.

Gaining weight has nothing to do with gymming or any kind of exercise; it has to do with leading a sedentary lifestyle.

It's logical that don't burning as many calories when you stop working out.

When you stop Gymming blood circulation is reduced and your appetite is increased. When you don't exercise, your appetite increases.

Weight training is often misunderstood. Body weight exercises, workouts with therabands are also forms of weight training.

You don't necessarily have to hit the gym all the time. You can simply do exercises to suit your needs and how you want to look.

Once you have your form right you can workout at home.

Image: If you stop gymming, make sure you lead a disciplined lifestyle

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Foods to avoid

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Fried food and sweets

It's pretty obvious why. They're unhealthy, heavy and don't help if you want to stay fit.

Refined products

Refined products like maida and foodstuff like cookies and cakes and white bread tend to increase the sugar in your blood and promote fat storage in the body. Go for multi-grain or whole-grain foods.

Juices without fibre

Yet again, when you throw away the fibre from the fruit there aren't a lot of healthy nutrients it can offer you.

Eating two proteins in the same meal

A lot of us go for paneer and chicken or chicken and fish in the same meal. That doesn't help because there has to be something to balance out the proteins.

Image: Fruit juices without fibre are entirely avoidable. Go for full fruits instead

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Simple low fat recipes YOU can try at home!

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Low fat pizza sauce: (Makes 3 six inch pizzas)


  • Tomato 6-8
  • Onion 2 large
  • Garlic 1 tsp
  • Ginger piece
  • Salt, sugar, red chili powder to taste
  • Tomato ketchup 1 tsp
  • Oil 1-1 tsp
  • Oregano/assorted Italian herbs to taste


  • Cut tomatoes in half, put in cooker with cup water give 5-6 whistles
  • Blitz the tomatoes to a pulp and strain
  • Heat oil add ginger, garlic, onion paste & saut till brown
  • Add slat, sugar, chili powder, tomato pulp & ketchup cook well


Whole Wheat White sauce (can be used for pasta or mixed veg casserole)


  • Wheat flour 2-3 tsp
  • Skim Milk 100 ml
  • Water 50 ml
  • Olive oil 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste 1 tsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix wheat flour with little water to make paste.
  • Add it to remaining milk and water mixture. Cook till the flour taste goes away.
  • In another vessel, heat oil. Add garlic & saut it. Add salt & pepper to it.
  • Add this garlic mixture to the sauce. Mix well.


Grilled chicken burger Makes 7-8 cutlets


  • Minced chicken 350 grams
  • Onion 1 large
  • Green chilli 2-3
  • Garlic 2-3
  • Ginger 1" piece
  • Salt + pepper+ Chilli powder to taste


  • Squeeze out all the water from minced/ground chicken
  • Grate onion, grate ginger, garlic, chop chilies.
  • Drain all water from onion paste and add dry spices
  • Line oven tray with aluminium foil and grease. Bake cutlets at 160-170 degrees C

Chilly Chicken (Serves 2 Vegetarian option: use paneer)


  • Chicken kilo
  • Olive oil 1-2 tsp
  • Ginger garlic 1 tsp each
  • Slit green chilli 2-3
  • Vinegar 1 Tbsp
  • Soya Sauce 1 Tbsp
  • Sam's chilli sauce tsp
  • Ajinomoto 1 pinch
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  • Corn flour 1 tsp (optional)
  • Capsicum 1
  • Spring onion 2-3
  • Sugar tsp


  • Heat oil, add ginger garlic paste and cook till brown for 5 minutes on low flame
  • Add vinegar , soya sauce,chilli sauce with ajinomoto, salt and pepper
  • During the last five minutes of cooking, add capsicum, spring onions and sugar.
  • If you want to make the gravy thicker, mix corn flour with 2 tsp water and add before adding capsicum and onion.

Chat with Samreedhi Goel on Friday, July 8 at 4.30 pm on tips to lose weight

To know more about Samreedhi's exercise studio log on to or visit 6, Bir Sagar, End of 17th Road, Next to Dhan Patohar Gurudwara, Santacruz (W), Mumbai 400054 or simply write to her:

Image: You CAN have pasta as well as pizzas in this diet. Make sure you follow these recipes

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