Eat veggies, lose weight. It makes sense, but what kinds of veggies should you eat and how does it work? Vegetables are an excellent source of nutrients that your body needs to maintain good health. Even better, if weight loss relies on a lower calorie intake, than veggies are basically miracle foods because they have a very low energy density – meaning they contain few calories compared to their weight. So veggies do a good job of filling you up without putting a big dent in your daily calorie allowance.
When it comes to the ‘best’ vegetables for weight loss, here’s what nutritionists recommend:
When you’re looking to lose weight, non-starchy veggies such as spinach, broccoli and capsicum help by filling you up without loading your body with starch, which converts to glucose in the body. Non-starchy veggies also contain the fewest calories.
When choosing non-starchy veggies, some are even more beneficial than others. Dark leafy greens such as raw spinach, kale and lettuce have fewer than 10 calories per cup. Next time you’re out for lunch, check out the salad section of the menu for a filling, low-calorie meal option.
More watery non-starchy veggies, including cucumber, beetroot and carrot, also contain more fibre than some other veggies, further assisting you to lose weight.
Although a tad higher in calories, starchy veggies make excellent meal options for shedding fat. Starchy vegetables include potatoes, pumpkin, peas, sweet potato and sweet corn. They also make great tummy-fillers; giving you loads of energy and helping to keep you feeling satisfied for longer, meaning you can trim down your portion sizes at meal times.
Extra credit foods
When you’re looking to shed some kilos, you can’t go past the many benefits of legumes. Legumes are so rich in nutrients that they count as a vegetable as well as protein. Protein is essential for filling you up and keeping you sated for hours. Legumes are slightly higher in calories than regular vegetables but their high fibre content is known to assist with weight loss.
Examples of legumes include beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. It’s best to consume legumes on their own or alongside non-starchy vegetables.