Is Upma good for weight loss?

Is Upma good for weight loss?

Published: 10:17AM 15 May 2023

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Jayti Shah

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Upma is a popular Indian breakfast dish that is made from semolina (also known as sooji or rava), vegetables, and spices. It is a versatile dish that can be prepared in many different ways, and it is often considered a healthy option for breakfast. But is Upma good for weight loss? In this blog post, we will explore the nutritional benefits of Upma and whether it can be a helpful addition to a weight loss diet.

What is Upma?

Upma is a traditional Indian dish that is typically served for breakfast. It is made by cooking semolina in a mixture of water, vegetables, and spices. Some common vegetables used in Upma include onions, tomatoes, carrots, peas, and green beans. The dish is usually garnished with fresh cilantro and served with chutney or yogurt.

Is Upma Good for Weight Loss?

Upma can be a good addition to a weight loss diet for several reasons. First, it is relatively low in calories. A typical serving of Upma (1 cup) contains about 250-300 calories, depending on the recipe and the portion size. This makes it a great option for those who are trying to lose weight, as it can provide a filling meal without adding too many calories to their daily intake.

Additionally, Upma is rich in fiber. Semolina, the main ingredient in Upma, is a good source of fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps to keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. This can help to reduce your overall calorie intake, as you will be less likely to overeat throughout the day. Fiber also helps to regulate your digestion and prevent constipation, which can be a common issue for those who are trying to lose weight.

Upma is also a good source of protein. Depending on the recipe, Upma can contain a moderate amount of protein from sources such as lentils, peas, or nuts. Protein is important for weight loss as it helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied. It also helps to preserve lean muscle mass, which is essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism and burning calories.

Finally, Upma can be a nutritious meal when prepared with healthy ingredients. Vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, and carrots provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are important for overall health. Spices such as turmeric, cumin, and coriander can also provide additional health benefits such as reducing inflammation and improving digestion.

How to Make Upma Healthier for Weight Loss

While Upma can be a healthy and nutritious meal, it is important to prepare it in a way that supports weight loss goals. Here are some tips for making Upma healthier for weight loss:

  1. Use less oil: Upma is often prepared with a significant amount of oil or ghee, which can add a lot of calories. To reduce the calorie content, try using less oil or using a non-stick pan to cook the vegetables and semolina.
  2. Add more vegetables: Adding more vegetables to Upma can increase the nutrient content and fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full for longer. Try adding bell peppers, spinach, or broccoli to your Upma.
  3. Use whole wheat semolina: Whole wheat semolina is a healthier option than regular semolina, as it contains more fiber and nutrients. Look for whole wheat semolina at your local health food store or online.
  4. Use low-fat dairy: If you like to add yogurt or milk to your Upma, try using low-fat or non-fat options to reduce the calorie content.
  5. Limit the portion size: While Upma can be a healthy meal option, it is important to keep portion sizes in check. Stick to one cup of Upma per serving to avoid consuming too many calories.


Overall, Upma can be a good addition to a weight loss diet when prepared with healthy ingredients and in appropriate portion sizes. It is a low-calorie, high-fiber, and high-protein meal that can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day. By following the tips above, you can make Upma even healthier and support your weight loss goals.

Jayti Shah is a Clinical Nutritionist with a master's degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA). Over the last 9 years, she has helped 400 clients in their clinical and weight loss journeys. She works with SocialBoat as a nutrition consultant.

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