5 Side dishes to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight.

Kamala Somasundaram

September 18, 2019

Ever wondered why you aren’t losing weight in spite of eating at regular intervals, not cheating on your diet, and limiting your calorie intake? Chances are that the sides you indulge in are packing on the calories. And you thought they were harmless, right? We give you 5 dishes to avoid if you want to lose weight!


Rice and dal seem like an incomplete meal without papad on the side. Papads can be fried – deeply unhealthy – or roasted – still unhealthy! They can be made from rice, flour, potatoes or chickpeas and are mixed with a variety of spices, salt, and oil. An uncontrolled serving of papad can amp your calorie intake and exceed your daily budget. The increase in sodium can lead to water retention, bloating, constant thirst and may even cause an increase in one’s blood pressure.

Calorie Counter: Masala Papad


A spoonful of pickle can spice up any meal. It takes curd rice; adds a punch to aloo ka parathas, and makes theplas the best dish to snack on! However, pickles are loaded with calories because of the oil they are preserved in and their nutrition content is almost zero, as the vegetables and fruits are minced and dried, which takes away the nutritional value. Like papads, they are high in sodium due to a use of excessive salt for preservation.

Calorie Counter: Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Salad dressings  

If you think having salads at the start your meal will help you eat one less paratha, then go ahead and have a bowl! But only if the salad is not loaded with high-calorie dressings. You might as well eat the part if it is! Adding dressing to a salad can make the calorie content soar. Dressings such as Thousand Islands and Mayonnaise are loaded with calories, most of them fat. Stick to olive oil, lemon or low-fat yogurt instead!

Calorie Counter: Salad Dressing


Done right, a soup can be a healthy meal. But if the soup is loaded with toppings such as cheese, cream, and croutons, it’s far from healthy. Stick to clear soup with pieces of veggies and meats; shun all cream-based soup. And never pick up the soup sticks or dinner rolls that accompany your soup in a restaurant. That’s another side you don’t need! You can also try these healthy cold soups.

Calorie Counter: Cream of Mushroom Soup

Boondi Raita

This raita is a hot favourite with most of us. The curd is high in protein, low in unhealthy fats and the perfect aid for digestion. The problem begins when you add boondi, which is essentially fried globules of chickpea flour. The addition makes it a high-caloric food. Try alternate raita recipes using lauki, cucumber or onions to stay healthy and win the weight-loss quest!

Calorie Counter: Boondi Raita

About the Author

Kamala has a Master’s degree in Food & Nutrition, and more than ten years of experience in the hospital and fitness industry. She has also completed a year’s tenure as a lecturer at Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute. Her expertise lies in Maternal & Child Health, Weight Management, Diabetes Management, Sports Nutrition, Diet Planning & General Health. She has been a part of Health Talks in over 15 MNCs in and around Bangalore. Kamala’s goal has always been to motivate her clients through their fitness journey and help them achieve their long-awaited health goals.

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8 responses to “5 Side dishes to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight.”

  1. I do not take papad or pickles regularly. I’m just consuming the suggested calories and gulp min 8 glasses of water everyday. Still my weight has not reduced. Activities are nearly 60% of targets. What is wrong ?

    • Hi Purush

      Weight loss does not depend only on avoiding certain kinds of foods. It is about balancing the protein, carbs and fat. Along with that, you need to have a proportionate level of exercise, the technique of which also matters.

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