Is Idli Good for Weight Loss?? Know How and When to Eat!

Idli is one of the easiest and quickest foods to make, and is considered super healthy due to the recipe having zero oil or fat content. So is idli good for weight loss? Find out now!

Idli is a classic South Indian food that is gaining traction throughout the country these days. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that most South Indians can’t imagine not having this staple breakfast food in their diet. But is idli good for weight loss? Do you have to give up on this evergreen dish if you’re trying to lose weight? We have the answers to all your idli-related questions in this blog, so keep reading to know more about idli for weight loss.


What is Idli? Nutritional Profile of Idli

Idli is like a thick fermented rice cake, and it is extremely popular in South Indian cuisine. It has also gained much renown in other parts of the country due to its easy and quick recipe.

The nutritional value of 100 g of idli which contains parboiled rice, urad dal, fenugreek or methi, poha or flattened rice, vegetable oil and salt is as follows:

Energy149 kcal
Total fat1.03 g
Protein4.10 g
Carbohydrate30.77 g
Fibre1.28 g
Sugar0.26 g
Sodium192 mg
Potassium105 mg

Source: Nutritionix

Is Idli Good for Weight Loss?

Idli is a filling and satiating food item. To know if idli is good for weight loss, we need to examine its macronutrient make-up. Idlis are rich in carbohydrates and protein, and have a moderate amount of fibre with very little fat content. This makes idlis a better alternative to greasy foods like pakodas.

Some of idli’s benefits for weight loss include:

  • Idli is prepared by steaming the batter of rice and dal so it does not require a lot of oil or other fats.
  • Idli has a low calorie content despite being satiating, and as such can help promote weight loss.
  • The batter of idli is often fermented and fermented foods are good for the gut. A healthy gut with good digestion can aid in better nutrient absorption and weight loss.
  • Idli is rich in fibre and protein which can keep you full and satiated for longer, thereby reducing frequent hunger pangs and curbing your urge to snack or overeat.

When to Eat Idli for Weight Loss?

Idli is best eaten at breakfast as it supplies you with enough energy to get a good start to your day. It also fills your stomach better and for a longer time than other low-fibre breakfast dishes, thus eliminating the need for mid-morning snacking.

You can also snack on an idli or two during the day whenever you feel hungry. Portion control is the key to an effective weight loss journey, so try not to overindulge.

How Much Idli is Good for Weight Loss?

If you are wondering – “How many idlis should I eat for weight loss?” The answer is that consuming 2 to 3 idlis as a whole meal can aid in weight loss, and anything beyond this number can have the opposite effect. Though idlis can be very filling and satiating for the stomach, they are made of rice and dal which have high carbohydrate content.

Rice in idlis may cause weight gain when consumed in large amounts. Also, since idlis are small and light, there is a chance that you might end up overeating, which is counterproductive if you are trying to lose weight.

How to Eat Idli for Weight Loss?

The best way to eat idli for weight loss is to eat it with sambar or rasam instead of other high calories sides and dippings like coconut chutney, ghee, peanut powder, etc.

In order to make your idlis more healthful, you can reduce the quantity of rice you use for making the batter and replace it with an equal amount of oats. This increases the fibre content and satiety quotient of your meal.

You can also add veggies like carrots, green beans, sweet corn, peas, capsicum, etc. to boost the nutritional value of the dish.

What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Idli?

While idli may be a filling meal, there are some risks of overconsumption of idli. The biggest concern is weight gain, as idlis are rich in carbs.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Idli is a filling and satiating food item that is often consumed for breakfast. It is a thick fermented rice cake which is extremely popular in South Indian cuisine.
  • Idlis can be great for weight loss as they are steamed and not fried, have a low-calorie content, promote healthy digestion, and are rich in fibre and protein which can keep you full and satiated for longer, thereby curbing frequent hunger pangs.
  • Though idli can be eaten at any time of the day, the best time may be breakfast as idli can provide you with a much needed energy boost in the mornings.
  • It is important to be mindful of portion sizes while consuming any kind of food and the same goes for idli. Consuming 2 to 3 idlis as a whole meal can aid in weight loss but going overboard with it can further lead to weight gain.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading nutritionists and dieticians to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a Weight Management Program which provides 360º care. Start your weight management journey with Phable.

Friendly Asked Questions

Is idli junk food?

No, idli is not junk food. Junk foods usually are high in calories and saturated fats, with little to no nutritional value. Idlis, however, are prepared by steaming idli batter, and thus have little to no fats.

Which idli is good for weight loss?

Idlis made of oats and rava can be a good option for weight loss. Idli can aid in weight loss when consumed in moderation. The best way to eat idlis for weight loss is by using less rice while making the batter. The more rice is there in idlis, the more carbs you are consuming which can lead to weight gain. 

Does idli make you fat?

No, eating idli does not make you fat if you are mindful about your portion sizes. However, just like any other food, regular overconsumption of idli can lead to weight gain due to its high carbohydrate and calorie content.

Is rava idli good for weight loss?

Yes, rava idli is good for weight loss as it is low in calories and high in fibre. The fibre content in rava helps increase the feeling of fullness and may curb your appetite.

Is oats idli good for weight loss?

Yes, oats idli is good for weight loss due to its rich fibre content. It slows down digestion and keeps your stomach full and satiated for a long time, thus helping you cut down on snacking and overeating.

What is better: idli or chapati for weight loss?

Chapati is a great addition to any weight loss diet. Chapati is richer in fibre and protein, and low in calories when compared to idli. Idlis contain rice which may actually promote weight gain if not consumed in moderation.

How many calories are in an idli?

The number of calories in an idli depends upon its size. A medium-sized idli (about 40 g) has almost 60 kcal in it.

Which is better for weight loss idli or dosa?

Idli may be a better option over dosa for weight loss. This is because dosa requires oil or ghee for it to fry whereas idli does not. Idlis are steamed and not fried or baked like dosa.

Is idli good for weight loss?

Yes, idli can aid in weight loss when consumed in moderation. It is best to consume not more than 2 to 3 idlis at once to avoid any side effects of overconsumption. Try to make your own idli batter if your ultimate goal through consumption of idli is weight loss, as ready-to-cook mix may contain high amounts of carbs, additives (like salt) and preservatives.