It’s common knowledge now that increasing protein intake curbs appetite, promotes satiety, preserve lean muscle, and therefore boosts weight loss. But a recent study done by a group of scientists under Dr. Westerterp-Plantenga wanted to find out if eating more protein could help people who had lost weight to keep the weight off. The recommended dietary intake of protein to avoid protein deficiency in adults is 0.80 g/kg body weight per day, which is about (48–56 g/day) or about 10%–15% of the total calories. For this study, they selected 148 people who were overweight and put them on a special diet for 4 weeks. This was a low-calorie diet and they lost weight as a result. After 4 weeks, the researchers split the people into two groups. One group got some extra protein in their diet, while the other group didn’t get any extra protein. The people who got extra protein ate about 18% of their daily energy as protein, which means that almost one-fifth of their food was protein. The other group, the one without extra protein, ate about 15% of their daily energy as protein. And guess what? The results showed that the people who ate more protein had 50% less weight regain compared to the people who didn’t eat as much protein. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14710168/). This means that the people who ate even a slight bit of extra protein were better at keeping the weight off after they had lost it! Now that we know that protein can help not only lose weight but also maintain it, let’s look at some good yet inexpensive sources of protein that we can have part of our daily diet.
In India, a major proportion of the population is vegetarian and lentils and dairy-based products are consumed to meet their protein requirement. Out of these, paneer is a rich source of protein along with other nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. It is also a good source of fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Paneer is considered to have a high nutritional profile as it retains about 90% of the fat and protein, 50% of the minerals, and 10% of the lactose of the original milk. That’s why paneer would be a good addition to your weight loss journey to increase protein intake (with up to 18 gm of protein in 100 gm). Not to mention, paneer ranks high on the taste factor as well and can be used to make a variety of dishes. But that does not mean having street-style shahi paneer or high-calorie paneer butter masala can be made a staple in your diet. You definitely have to know diet-friendly paneer options so that you can get all its high-quality nutrients and that includes protein as well. In this article, we list out 6 Ways To Eat Paneer Right For Weight Loss.
1. Grilled Paneer: This grilled paneer recipe is a healthier alternative to traditional fried paneer dishes and is packed with protein. Enjoy it as an appetizer or as a delicious addition to salads or wraps. To make healthy grilled paneer, marinate paneer cubes in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, cumin, coriander powder, and salt. Let it marinate for 15-20 minutes. Preheat grill or grill pan. Thread paneer cubes onto skewers or grill directly. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown with grill marks. Remove from grill, garnish with coriander leaves, and serve hot with lemon wedges for tanginess. It’s a yummy snack that with its high protein content would keep you fuller for longer and boost weight loss as well.
2. Paneer Burji: Can be made with minimal oil and a few common ingredients like onion, tomato, and everyday spices. It can be served with roti or paratha, or you can have it just like that if you want to avoid extra calories. Heat oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and sauté until they splutter. Sauté onions until translucent. Add green chili and cook for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook until soft. Reduce heat and add turmeric, cumin, coriander powder, and salt. Cook for another minute. Add crumbled paneer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve paneer bhurji with steamed vegetables or whole wheat roti for a balanced meal. This version of paneer bhurji uses less oil and incorporates fewer spices, making it a lighter and healthier option while still retaining the delicious flavors of the dish.
3. Paneer Tikka: Here’s another delicious recipe that’s easy to make as well. To make paneer tikka, in a bowl, mix together yogurt, besan, ginger-garlic paste, tandoori masala, turmeric powder, chaat masala (optional), and salt to make a marinade. Add paneer cubes, bell pepper cubes, and onion cubes to the marinade and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). If you don’t have an oven, you can use a grill pan or a regular pan. Bake the paneer tikka skewers in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes until they are slightly charred and cooked through. If using a grill pan or regular pan, cook the skewers on medium heat, turning occasionally, until they are cooked and slightly charred. Also read: “9 Delicious But Weight-Loss Friendly Snacks.”
4. Palak Paneer: Palak paneer sounds healthy with nutrient-rich spinach as the gravy, but one can turn this healthy dish into a high-calorie treat by deep frying paneer. So, avoid deep frying, boiling the paneer in water would be enough to soften them up. Also, avoid heavy cream and other high-calorie ingredients to this dish if you are on a diet.
5. Paneer Kebab: It’s an appetizing and yummy meal that you can even have during navratri fasting. They make a great evening snack as well. In a mixing bowl, combine besan, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala, turmeric, red chili powder, and salt to form a smooth paste. Add onions and bell peppers, coating them with the spice paste. Mix in paneer cubes. Thread marinated paneer, onions, and bell peppers onto skewers. Heat oil in a pan, cook skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side until paneer is golden brown and veggies are slightly charred. Remove kebabs from pan and serve hot as an appetizer. Optionally, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with mint chutney or yogurt dip.
6. Paneer Jalfrezi: While it may seem like a dish you would order directly from a street-style dhaba and assume it’s high in calories, you can actually create a healthier version of it right in your kitchen with just a few simple ingredients. Take minimal amount of oil, and saute cumin seeds, onion, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes, ginger, andother spices (coriander, turmeric, chili powders, garam masala), and salt. Allow tomatoes and peppers to soften and then add paneer fingers and fry for another minute. Garnish it with ginger and cilantro leaves, and you can have this dish with roti or paratha.
Summing up, do note that while paneer may help you increase protein intake, it’s not a magic bullet to melt away all extra fat. For that to happen, you need well-balanced diet plans, such as on Rati Beauty to get into calorie deficit and shed extra weight. Subscribe to the Rati Beauty app to access all our weight loss diet plans.