Is Chicken and Rice Effective for Weight Loss?

Chicken and Rice for Weight Loss

A few weeks ago, a young girl came to my office with a fever and sore throat. I barely recognized her because the last time I saw her, about a month ago, she was much bulkier.

She told me she had lost about 12 kg in just one month. I was surprised and planned to investigate her for any medical conditions that might cause such rapid weight loss.

However, she insisted that the weight loss was intentional.

Curious, I asked about her diet that led to such a dramatic change in 30 days.

She explained that she had been eating chicken and rice for both lunch and dinner, avoiding bread and other foods.

She also included salads in her meals, ate a piece of fruit daily, and drank a glass of skim milk.

You know, I’ve been advising all my patients who struggle with weight, diabetes, or high cholesterol to steer clear of rice.

But it turns out, I might have been mistaken. It’s not just a blanket rule. It all boils down to the type of rice, how much you eat, and how it’s cooked.

If you are a chicken and rice lover and want to lose weight simultaneously, here are some tips listed by our nutritionist that can help you enjoy your meals and lose weight at the same time.


Can Chicken and Rice Help with Weight Loss?

Here are some key benefits that come from a diet packed with chicken and rice.

1.    Lean Protein Powerhouse:

When it comes to lean protein, skinless portions like breasts or thighs are an incredible source.

Protein is what keeps you full for longer periods and reduces your cravings for sugary snacks throughout the day.

This comes in handy when you are trying to be on a calorie-deficit diet.

Moreover, this macromolecule can help you build muscles and retain their strength to provide support through your weight loss journey.

2.    Carbs for Energy:

While cutting back on calories, you can not cut back on energy, right? That’s where rice plays its part.

Carbs are the primary form of energy and rice provides a moderate amount of it. You can use it for exercising and carrying out daily activities.

However, excessive consumption will lead to high-calorie intake so remember to control your portion size.

3.    Calorie and Fat Control:

There are several methods to prepare the mix of chicken and rice. But if you cook it in the right way, avoiding any extra oil, then you have created a meal that provides low calories, energy, and satiety; the best of all things.

Nevertheless, it is not all sunshine and rainbows. Here are a few drawbacks that you must consider.

chicken rice for weight loss

4. Variety is Key:

Yes! This combo is good for weight loss, but if you solely stick to it then nutrient deficiencies and a boring meal plan are what await you.

You need a diet full of variety, where you can choose protein from plant sources (like cooked lentils and rice), and carbs can come from whole wheat.

This way you have an exciting meal to look forward to every day.

5. Portion Patrol:

As we mentioned above, remember to control the portion size. Overeating any form of food is welcoming unnecessary calories, which will be stored as fat and you will end up gaining weight, not losing it.

6. Not a Magic Bullet:

Despite all the hype, there is no singular magic bullet for fat loss. A combination of low calories and high physical activity is what can help the most.

Consult a dietitian and get a diet plan made according to your needs. Talk to a fitness professional who can help pick a workout routine that focuses on your abdomen muscles.


Making Chicken and Rice Work for Weight Loss

Choosing the Right Ingredients:

Now that you have understood the benefits and drawbacks of chicken and rice let’s teach how to properly cook it for your weight loss.

The key lies in choosing the appropriate ingredients.

  • Lean cuts of chicken including thighs and breasts are the best. You get minimal fat for maximum protein.
  • Choose brown rice over white rice so you can consume more fiber, and nutrients, and stay full for a longer period.
  • No! Do not keep it bland. You need to experiment with herbs and spices and find your perfect match. Keep switching up the recipe each time so you can stay motivated and healthy.

Cooking Methods for Healthy Results:

After selecting the right ingredients you need to select the right cooking method as well.

  • Stick to low-fat cooking techniques like baking, grilling, or poaching the chicken. These methods provide the least amount of fat when compared to frying or sautéing.
  • Why not spice things up and use low-salt vegetable broth to cook the rice instead of plain water? It adds a tinge of flavor without added calories.

Adding Variety and Nutrients:

Like we told you, chicken and rice won’t be enough to fulfill your body’s needs. You need a well-rounded and sustainable weight loss plan.

  • Include a variety of vegetables in the meal. They are low in calories and full of vitamins and essential minerals as well as fiber, all of which your body needs for optimal health.
  • You can try cooking methods of other cuisines to keep your taste buds happy.
  • While chicken gives the best protein, you can choose whole eggs or add protein from plants like chickpeas or lentils.
  • Fish like tofu also gives a variety of nutrients with a good amount of protein.

Is Rice Good For Diabetics?

Because obesity and diabetes go hand in hand, obese individuals with diabetes might be concerned about their blood glucose levels when trying rice and chicken for weight loss.

However, the glycemic index of rice and chicken is less than white bread and comparable to most other food items.

Foods are generally classified as low, medium, and high glycemic index foods:

  • Low Glycemic Index: 55 or Less

  • Low Glycemic Index: 56 – 69

  • Low Glycemic Index: 70 or above

The GI index is a measure of how rapid the food gets absorbed and leads to glucose spikes.

Here is a table of the glycemic indices of different forms of rice compared with other food items:


Glycemic Index

White Rice70 – 90
Brown Rice50 – 70
Basmati Rice50 – 58
Parboiled Rice30 – 50
Wild Rice45 – 50
White Bread70 – 80
Whole Wheat Bread60 – 70
Sourdough Bread48 – 65
Rye Bread50 – 60
Multigrain Bread45 – 70
Boiled Potato50 – 70
Baked Potato70 – 90
Sweet Potato44 – 61
Raw Apple30 – 40
Banana42 – 62
Mangoes51 – 60
Grapes45 – 59

In the table above, the Green highlighted rows indicate food items with a low glycemic index, the blue highlighted rows indicate food items with a medium glycemic index, and the pink ones have a high glycemic index.



So does chicken and rice help with losing fat? Absolutely, it does; but with some important considerations as well. This combination has great potential to be your weight loss foundation as it is low in calories.

Nevertheless, we remind you again to add variety. Do not stick to chicken and rice completely and be bored.

Include a rainbow of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, beetroot, and others while rotating your protein options.

Most importantly, chicken and rice are just one piece of the puzzle.  For sustainable weight loss, creating a calorie deficit through a balanced diet and regular exercise remains essential.


What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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