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Choose produce that creates a near-zero calorie flow. That means choosing foods that are so low in calories that you’ll be burning them while you eat them: shredded cabbage, celery, spinach, romaine and all lettuces. Any vegetable that’s leafy and green is good for weight loss. Not buying enough vegetables is the number one mistake people make when shopping. Vegetables help keep us feeling full, and it’s the answer to living lean, so buy at least a week’s worth of vegetables and fruits so you’re never without.
Keep in mind that you are supposed be eating at least seven servings a day, and that’s 42 servings a week. Stock up, and never underestimate the power of frozen veggies! They stay fresh and are always available when you need them.
Buy More: Romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, celery, radishes, mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli, frozen spinach and green beans
Buy Less: Carrots, tomatoes, corn and peas
If you want to lose weight, here are some ways to include vegetables in your diet:
- Keep cleaned/prepped veggies in your fridge.
- Double up on veggies in sandwiches/wraps.
- Eat a salad with lunch and dinner, or even as a snack.
- Make stir-fries (add a sauce to diced meat and frozen cut veggies).
- Add extra veggies to sauces and casseroles (like adding carrots to spaghetti sauce).
- Make vegetable soup or get a can of low-sodium soup and add veggies.
- Dip veggies in low-fat salad dressing.
- Add vegetables to side dishes like rice or beans.
- Add vegetables to egg white scrambles.
- Grill or roast zucchini, portabellas, onions, green onions, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, peppers, or asparagus with a teaspoon of olive oil.
While vegetables alone will not cause weight loss, they are a good source of vitamins and nutrients and low in calories. Low calorie, low carbohydrate vegetables are a good “go to” food for filling you up without adding a lot of calories to your meal. The best lower calorie vegetables are those that are low in carbohydrate content and they include: broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, onions, leafy greens, tomato, cucumber, jicama, celery, bell pepper, and carrots, to name a few. The vegetables that have a higher calorie and carbohydrate content are: peas, corn, potatoes, and beans.
In all honesty: any vegetables you can eat :)
The majority of nutrition clients come in with very low vegetable intake ratios. Since vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals, but low in overall calories, they should be a staple in your daily diet. Take note that vegetables do not provide everything you need for a balanced diet and optimum health, but the majority of us could certainly benefit from obtaining more vegetables in our diet.
If you struggle with finding vegetables you like, try preparing them in different ways. Steam, stir fry (no more than 1 tablespoon oil for 4 servings), roasted, raw, blanched, mashed, etc. All of these are great ways to take in your daily veggies. You can even try adding a handful of spinach to your morning smoothie or dipping raw veggies into hummus as an afternoon snack.
Try to think outside of the box and always opt for the cheapest vegetables when buying fresh (cheap means they are in season). Keep frozen veg on hand for quick soups and stews during colder months and try some pre-washed, ready-made salads during summer. Look into vegetarian recipes online or at your local library to get a little more inspired. You could also host a recipe swap with your friends and have everyone submit a veggie recipe.
Open your mind and your taste buds and you're sure to find something delicious!
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.