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Is Upma Good for Weight Loss? Low-Calorie Recipe Included!

Is Upma good for weight loss?

We Indians are known for our simple yet nutritious breakfast ideas that provide us with ample energy and nutrients to kick-start our day. And one nutritious breakfast that is popular all over India is Upma. From North India to South India, Upma is a staple breakfast option for many families.

Now, if you are wondering whether Upma is good for weight loss, you are at the right place. Read on to find out if this wonderful and tasty breakfast option can aid in your weight loss journey.

Oh, and we also have a great low-calorie Upma recipe for you that you can try out! So, without further ado, let's dive right in.

Upma – An Overview

Upma is made out of semolina, or sooji as it is more commonly called, and is a type of traditional Indian dish. It is versatile and can also be prepared in different ways. It can be consumed at breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.

Upma first originated in South India and is now a staple food in many parts of India. It is prepared by mixing semolina with water, spices, and different vegetables.

Some of the common vegetables used in Upma are onions, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, and even peas. The finished dish can also be garnished with chutney, yogurt, or even cilantro.

Upma – Nutritional Profile

Upma – Nutritional Profile

Now, let's take a look at the nutritional profile of Upma.

One cup of Upma, which is approx. 155 gm contains the following:

  • Calories – 132
  • Saturated fat – 0.3g
  • Trans fat – 0.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat – 2.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat – 0.9g
  • Sodium – 179 mg
  • Carbohydrates – 21g
  • Dietary Fiber – 2g
  • Sugar – 2.7g
  • Protein – 3.5g
  • Potassium – 191.4 mg

Thus, as you can see, Upma is low in fat and sugar. It also contains a good amount of carbs and protein. Moreover, it contains nutrients like sodium and potassium, which act as electrolytes in our body.

Is Upma Good for Weight Loss?

If your goal is to lose weight, then you should be eating fewer calories than your total body expenditure. Moreover, you should be following a weight-loss diet that includes healthy meal options that aren’t high in calories.

This is where Upma can step in and make a great addition to your weight loss diet. Upma is low in calories and can be a great option for people who are trying to lose weight.

It contains a good amount of fiber that can keep you full. This will help to curb your appetite and also prevent you from eating. Fiber will also help you regulate your metabolism and aid in healthy digestion, which further prevents constipation.

Upma also contains a healthy amount of protein, which helps to preserve muscle mass and improves body metabolism. Moreover, different recipes of Upma will help to increase the protein content when it is mixed with peas, lentils, or even nuts. 

Upma can be a great weight-loss meal. It is also a versatile food item and can be prepared in different ways. Healthy vegetables like tomatoes, onions, carrots, beans, and even spinach can be added to Upma, which further enhances its nutritional value.

Moreover, spices like coriander, turmeric, and even cumin can also be added to Upma, which can improve digestion and provide additional health benefits.

Low-calorie Upma Weight Loss Recipe

Below is a great low-calorie Upma weight loss recipe that you can easily prepare at home with just a few ingredients.


  • 1 cup semolina (sooji/rava)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (preferably olive oil or any other healthy cooking oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green beans
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bell peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


  • Dry Roast Semolina

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and dry roast the semolina until it turns golden brown. Keep stirring continuously to avoid burning. Once roasted, set it aside.

  • Prepare Vegetables

In the same pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter, then add cumin seeds. Add chopped onions, green chilies, and grated ginger. Sauté until the onions are translucent.

  • Add Vegetables

Add chopped carrots, green beans, peas, and bell peppers. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender.

  • Spices and Semolina

Add curry leaves, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well. Slowly add the roasted semolina while continuously stirring to avoid lumps.

  • Cooking Upma

Pour in 3 cups of water gradually, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Cover the pan and let it cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes or until the semolina is fully cooked and the upma has a smooth consistency.

  • Garnish and Serve

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

Final Thoughts

If you are on a weight loss journey, adding Upma to your diet can be a great option. You get to reap the benefits of a low-calorie, high-fiber meal and also get the added benefits of all the green vegetables you add to it.

So, get some Upma now and get ready to indulge in a delicious, low-calorie, and nutritious weight-loss meal.

For professional nutrition guidance consult the best nutritionist in bangalore Silky Mahajan.

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