Ethnic Food is Killing Me.

To start off, I'm 19 years old and currently 240 lbs with a height of 5'9 and wearing pants that are at least 40 inches around the waist. I am also Bangladeshi, and to save us all some time, let's just say that I'm Indian, LOL.

I'm studying dietetics and nursing but it'll be an ultimate contradiction as I must become healthy first and then worry about helping others. Because honestly, no one wants nutrition advice from a fat guy, haha.

So I've been using MFP on and off since my senior year of high school and now I'm about start my junior year of college this fall and yet made no progress because I cant keep to my diet. Why? Because I get lazy after a while.

Like I said, I'm Bengali. With that being said, the main thing on our tables is ALWAYS rice. Parboiled, Long Grain, Basmati, Short Grain, Sweet, Brown, whatever. Rice. Rice. Rice. And with the rice, different curries of lamb, goat, chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, quail, veggies and all kinds of curries are served along side. But these curries have so much oil and spices to them that you'd be having pre-ulcer symptoms if you didnt stop eating it for a while.

It's the rice that kills me. I do have wheat Pita (equivalent to the indian Roti) sometimes with my curry, but it's still a carb. Anyone who is Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Nepali, Burmese and so on, and anyone who has had Indian food in general will tell you how addicting things can get. With that being said, I'm thinking about starting my old diet of minimal carbs again but making a few new changes as I have taken a few nutrition classes for my degree. And no, I will not let go of my curries. However, I will make some changes to them. Dramatic ones. My mother may slap me, but it's for the best. As for samosas and other fried delights, baking them is not an option and I will not bring shame to my desi household, so I am letting go of fried foods completely. Not even gonna try baking. :laugh:

Anyways, my new diet plan includes the following and still staying under 1500(-) a day.
-3 Cups of Organic Green OR Oolong Chinese Tea a day (no sugar). It'll be bitter but its good for ya!
-Using minimal amounts of oil in Curries and adding fat free yogurt to tame the spices. And it's added protein.
-Having soups more often: Lentil, Chicken and Veggies, Shredded Chicken Haleem (a healthier take on a Pakistani Lentil dish)
-Eliminating rice, completely.
-Incorporating more salad into meals with no dressing. Only lemon juice and some salt with some chopped Cilantro as dressing.
-No beef. Absolutely. I have seen my mother make curry out of a freshly slaughtered beef shoulder, starting with just only 1/3 cup of oil for a big pot and ended up with a thick layer of oil on top of curry after cooking. So much natural fat and oil comes out from the beef. It's a heart disaster waiting to happen.
-More chicken with lots of veggies. Like a Dopiaza (if anyone has had it before). Chicken breast with onions, peppers, and with non-traditional Dopiaza veggies such as eggplants, cauliflower, etc. All stewed in a spicy thin broth that's lightened with yogurt.
-More veggie stir fry. Eat it in a form of omelettes (1 yolk, 3 egg whites) or eat it with a slice of wheat pita.
-No candy. No cookies. No cake. No Ice cream. No Muffins. No sugar what-so-ever.
-No sauces. No BBQ Sauce, Ketchup or anything. Maybe Sriracha :heart: and Mustard is okay. NO MAYO!
-No Chips. Sigh. Good bye Hot Flamin' Cheetos.
-No fried foods. Including Samosas, Fritters and anything that takes in a lot of oil.
-No breading on any foods. It's just extra carbs. Searing your meats make a better crust anyways.
-No cheese, no butter, or milk. Unless it's fat free/skim milk, Almond Breeze or some other disgrace to milk.
-Eating plenty of Lentils, Beans, and Legumes in general. Protein keeps you full and balances you!
-Plenty of cucumbers! Really hydrates you and makes a good snack when sliced and salted.
-Hummus! YES. I love dipping raw veggies, such as Broccoli, Sweet Pepper slices, Cucumber slices, and other things into this mushy protein.
-Lots of Garlic! I add it to my hummus and my curries. It's really good for the heart. Not sure about weightloss but it makes food taste so much better. I even add it to my lemon dressing for my salad.

I think that foreign eating habits work well only in those places because the lifestyle is so much more different. Where I come from, people work from sunrise to sunset. They eat heavy breakfasts and lunches and eat a lot of rice BUT they burn it off because they're out working in the fields, farming and what not. We cant keep those eating habits in America. We dont walk much. We use our cars, MTA, public transport. We sit on our butts a lot. We dont burn the calories like they did back home.

Is anyone else foreign and struggling with ethnic foods? I know some Polish friends who are struggling because of their ethnic foods (something about lots of pork and potatoes and cabbage). So again, ANYONE else relate to what I'm saying? oy. :indifferent:

NOTE: 1500 calories a day is doable for me. Ive done it before and didnt complain. Just got lazy of inventing and finding quick fixes.

Replies

  • FaerieCae
    FaerieCae Posts: 437 Member
    Not really with the ethnic food, although I do fancy a damn nice curry! All your changes look good but remember not to put too much pressure on yourself!

    I eat brown rice with curry, cause at least its got more fibre in it, but i make sure i measure out 1 cup only ......Ive also been eating quinoa for a while which is good with curry too and has some protein in it.
    Hope that helps a little :)
  • toxicat
    toxicat Posts: 79
    Sounds pretty good to me, your plan! Just stay as active as you can at the same time! It sounds like you're doing what's called Clean Eating, and very close to Paleo (only you're including legumes). Keep a variety and emphasis on the veggies! I like your plan.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 9,375 Member
    Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Before you try and eliminate foods you like from your diet wait until you study more about nutrition........not really something you want to instil into your mindset about nutrition and then try and advice clients about proper nutrition. Moderation and count calories, try that.

    EDIT: I loved travelling through India.......oh, the food was something out of this world.
  • mrajon12
    mrajon12 Posts: 11 Member
    I'm open to all kinds of foods. It doesnt have to be Indian or anything. I just focused on Indian food and trying to work with it so that my family can work around it. I love incorporating Mediterranean food because theyre high in protein and fiber and low in carbs. And generally, so much more healthier than most ethnic foods. I guess thats why the Greeks had chiseled chests. Lol.
  • PaliDNAnge
    PaliDNAnge Posts: 81 Member
    I'm Palestinian, and we love our rice and bread. So I haven't had much of my culture's traditional food. And I avoid Asian food since most of the yummy dishes are rice or noodle dishes. I understand your pain, and carbs, especially sweets, are my weak spot. For the first year, I avoided processed foods and carbs (bread, rice, noodles) as much as possible. I did have dairy, though, and full fat in some cases. I'm starting to reincorporate them in my diet, but it's a tricky balancing act that I'm still trying to figure out.

    I understand your pain! You're not alone!

    P.S. I avoided the carbs because I know they're my weakness, and it was easier for me to avoid them to help me on my journey.
  • mrajon12
    mrajon12 Posts: 11 Member
    I love Middle Eastern food, whether it's Palestinian or Lebanese. OMG. I cannot get over how delicious sliced up grilled chicken (lemon and garlic marinated) served on top of a bed of fattoush is! I love it so much! It really is satisfying. A
  • lemur_lady
    lemur_lady Posts: 350 Member
    I know different things work for different people but I am shorter and weigh less than you and I eat 2000 a day to lose weight. You could up your calories and still lose weight. The more you restrict yourself the more likely it will be you will cave in to cravings and keep falling off the wagon so to speak. Make small sustainable changes that will ultimately morph into a new type of lifestyle rather than it being a 'quick fix'.

    That said I so totally get what you mean about bangladeshi food. My friends mum comes from bangladesh and oh my....the food she makes is SO good! The curries and the spiced lentil balls....nom nom!
  • picklesroofus
    picklesroofus Posts: 68 Member
    Hi

    I eat a lot of rice and wheat and I am doing okay.

    Loosing very slowly if you look at my dairy and loss but I am making strides. I keep my rice to one cup and try to eat less food after. Like have rice.. but not have dessert..maybe a small coffee at most. If I have a day of cookies (look 2-3 days back where I had 3 packs of treats ..I skip the rice dinner and try to eat less.

    I am on day 64 and I can do this forever - so that is all that counts. I bet I will get there one day!

    Welcome and please do not get down - I know we can do this and we do not have to do it how quick/perfect as anyone else - just in our own little ways.
  • Healthy_4_Life2
    Healthy_4_Life2 Posts: 595 Member
    As a West African, rice, rice and more rice is my issue. I always try to cut it out completely, but that never works. I try moderation, but honestly, that doesn't always work for me. I just can't give up white rice and African stew. Yummy! Seems like you are doing good with your plans though.
  • jenilla1
    jenilla1 Posts: 11,118 Member
    Eat what you want - just don't eat beyond your calories. Are you going to be able to go the rest of your life without your favorite foods? Generally, whatever you do (including restricting certain foods) needs to be something you are willing to do forever, otherwise the weight is likely to come right back on as soon as you start eating "normally" again. Instead of cutting out rice, and curries and fried foods forever, just eat smaller portions of them instead...at least, that's what I do. Good luck! :flowerforyou:
  • mrajon12
    mrajon12 Posts: 11 Member
    As a West African, rice, rice and more rice is my issue. I always try to cut it out completely, but that never works. I try moderation, but honestly, that doesn't always work for me. I just can't give up white rice and African stew. Yummy! Seems like you are doing good with your plans though.

    Rice is like a staple thing we have. My family (6 people) goes thru about 50lbs of rice a month! So I know that it will be hard to let go of. And I can avoid it for a long time because I did before. But I crawl back often. But this time, in moderation. What things can keep you full and isnt a rice or pasta dish or a sandwich?
  • TrekkieChic
    TrekkieChic Posts: 110 Member
    OMF, I can so relate to this!

    My mother's side of the family is Cape Malay, so a meal is considered incomplete without two different types of rice and at least three different curries... Don't even get me started on the rotis and samosas and little pastries!

    I escaped the brunt of it by marrying a white guy, but whenever I visit family I walk away with a barakat (wrapped parcel of enough food to feed Napoleon's army at the Russian front).

    Good luck with this and let us know how it goes!
  • mrajon12
    mrajon12 Posts: 11 Member
    OMF, I can so relate to this!

    My mother's side of the family is Cape Malay, so a meal is considered incomplete without two different types if rice and at least three different curries... Don't even get me started on the rotis and samosas and little pastries!

    I escaped the brunt of it by marrying a white guy, but whenever I visit family I walk away with a barakat (wrapped parcel of enough food to feed Napoleon's army at the Russian front).

    Good luck with this and let us know how it goes!

    Ive never had South African food before. But I did have West African. A few of my friends are Senegalese and omg. AMAZING FOOD.
  • TrekkieChic
    TrekkieChic Posts: 110 Member
    Haha! Good on you for knowing what Cape Malay is! Or did you google? ;)

    Cape Malay food has very minimal African influence, it's mostly based on the food the Asian slaves brought to the Cape. Believe it or not, many of those slaves were also from modern day Bangladesh! (I'm hearing Russell Peters going, "who buys an Indian slave?!" Love that man!)

    I love African food too, but tend to stick to meat!