Using vegetables for weight loss is common. They have a significant nutritional profile. Vegetables boost digestion and speed up metabolism. They also eliminate belly fat among other health-boosting benefits.
Vegetables for Weight Loss
The amount of vegetables you take depend on your weight loss caloric needs. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that; for a weight loss requirement of 1200 calories per day, go for a 1.5 cups of vegetable per day. If you are aiming for a 1600 calories weight loss requirement, go for 2 cups of vegetables.
Some vegetables have a great impact as compared to others. Here are the most nutritional vegetables with weight loss benefits;
Did you know that you can eat peppers to burn extra calories? For some time now, people have recognized that peppers could positively impact weight loss efforts. Studies done show that peppers reduce the effects of dietary fat and regulate fat genes.
Capsaicin is a naturally occurring component in peppers. It is the active component that researchers say is responsible in boosting weight loss through faster fat metabolism. The more capsaicin a pepper has, the hotter it is.
Hot peppers help you lose weight by encouraging metabolism in form of thermogenesis. This is the rate at which your body burns fat.
Spicy foods such as peppers also help to reduce the levels of cholesterol in the body. It controls blood sugar and healthier conversion of insulin after a meal.
Capsaicin can be found in all types of peppers, Bell peppers (red or Green) and ground chilies that are used to make powder.
Sweet pepper is high in vitamin C and has the dihydrocapsiate compound which works by boosting your metabolism. You can use the sweet peppers to make a snack or add them to an omelet or salads.
Rainbow Sweet pepper salad.
- Use a cup of diced bell peppers, one cup of diced carrots, one cup of broccoli, one medium sized onion and a half cup of cream.
- Mix all the ingredients.
- Add spices and herbs to taste.
- Add serve while chilled.
Broccoli for Weight Loss
It may not be a vegetable favorite for many but broccoli has numerous health benefits for weight loss. Broccoli is rich in dietary fiber, Minerals and vitamins sufficient to meet daily nutrient requirements. It is also low on calories and fat making it ideal for weight loss plans.
Broccoli is a dense food that is low on calories. A cup of raw broccoli contains 30 calories while that of cooked broccoli contains 54 calories.
It is also high in water content at 89 percent water by weight.
The high fiber content in broccoli controls your hunger by keeping you full and satiated.
Broccoli is rich in vitamin A, C and K that promote weight loss. Studies have shown that people who consume more vitamin C weigh less. The body uses vitamin C to synthesize carnitine, a compound that is essential in fat metabolism.
Vitamin C is also very helpful in balancing stress by lowering the levels of cortisol.
Calcium is thought to reduce the production of new fat cells. It stimulates the breakdown of stored fat and helps to lose weight in the midsection of your body.
Broccoli Fat Burning Recipes
Broccoli Salad (Courtesy of Health.com)
- 101 Calories
- 6 grams of fat
- 4 grams of protein
- 10 grams of carbohydrate
- 1mg Iron
- 44mg of sodium
- 56mg calcium
- A bunch of Broccoli rabe- trim the ends
- 2 heads of broccoli
- A tablespoon of chopped golden raisins
- ¼ cup of chopped salted cashews
- A tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons of seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 large cloves, finely minced
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons of lightly toasted sesame seeds
- Rinse the broccoli rabe and stem for 3-4 minutes or until tender but with a bright green color. Rinse in a colander under cold running water. Drain. Chop into small pieces.
- Cut the florets from stem and rinse well. Cut them into small pieces. Steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender with bright green color. Rinse in a colander under cold running water.
- Place the florets and broccoli rabe in a large bowl. Add in raisins and cashews. Mix the oils with vinegar, garlic and cayenne. Drizzle them over the salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Broccoli Soup for Weight Loss
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 baked potato, peel and dice
- ¼ cup of celery, diced
- A clove of minced garlic
- A teaspoon of salt
- A teaspoon of pepper
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 10 ounce frozen, chopped broccoli
- A tablespoon of dried whole basil
- Saute the onion until tender. Add in potato, celery, and garlic, salt and pepper… saute for 10 minutes
- Add in chicken broth, broccoli and basil and stir
- Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes on reduced heat- until tender.
- Transfer the boiled contents to a blender and process until smooth
- Serve in soup bowl
NOTE: Broccoli for weight loss is best if eaten raw and fresh. That way, you get to conserve the essential nutrients. If you have to cook it, it recommended that you don’t do it for more than 5 minutes. Opt for steaming, blanching or stir frying when using broccoli for fat loss.
How to Eat Spinach to Lose Weight
The amount of calories you take determine how much weight you’ll be able to lose. Spinach is one of those power foods that you should include in your weight loss diet plans. Nutritionists recommend that eating a cup of spinach daily in place of high calorie foods can boost but not guarantee successful weight loss efforts.
How does spinach help with weight loss?
It’s a low calorie food with just 7 calories per cup. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, reducing calorie intake by 500 calories daily will help to shed about 1 pound weekly.
It is an excellent source of fiber. Foods with high fiber are not fully absorbed or digested by the body. They help to reduce hunger by filling you up. Also, spinach has the compound known as thylakoids which help you to reduce cravings hence promoting weight loss significantly.
How to use Spinach to Lose Weight
1. Green Spinach Smoothie for Weight Loss
While this doesn’t sound like a thrilling weight loss idea spinach smoothie is one of the healthiest green drinks. Blended spinach is not an all tasty fat loss recipe. Ingredients such as pineapple, pears or apples help to mask the green spinachy- taste- you won’t even notice it.
- A cup of spinach leaves
- 1 ripe pear, peeled and cored
- 1 green apple
- Fat free plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 avocado, cored
- A tablespoon of fresh lime juice
Process all the ingredients in a blender to a desired consistency. You can add spinach into other low calorie protein shakes for better diet results. Drink this to help in growth and recovery of muscles post work out.
2. Spinach Salad
Replace high fat sandwiches with a spinach based salad for lunch. Make it even more fun by adding in other vegetables like carrot, cucumber and lettuce. Do not forget to add a lean protein source like ham or grilled chicken breast.
3. Spinach Dip
Make a spinach dip with low fat cream cheese, artichoke and a pinch of salt.
4. Eat Spinach as a Side Dish
Have spinach instead of having high carb side dishes like pasta and rice. Make spinach curry or sautéed spinach with plenty of onions to bring out extra flavor.
5. Spinach Frittata
Make spinach frittata with feta cheese and red onions.
Note that while you need to eat less calories to burn more, spinach is very low on calories. It is best to have it as a supplement to other weight loss diets. Make sure you have the recommended daily caloric requirement for your weight loss plan.
Pickles for Weight Loss
Pickles have vinegar, they are filled with fiber, and are said to be low in calories. One big pickle is estimated to have around 15 calories and 2 grams of fiber. Vinegar which is part of the pickle brine is responsible for their sour taste. It is acidic and contains properties that aid in fat loss.
Are pickles a good snack when trying to lose weight?
Pickles are not exactly a wonder weight loss food. They are low in calories and can fit into any weight loss diet plan. A cup of dill pickles has 17 calories. Sweet bread or butter pickles made with syrup are higher in calories. A 3 inch long pickle contains about 32 calories.
How to Use Pickles for Weight Loss
To effectively use pickles in fat loss, use unsweetened pickles.
Drinking Pickle Juice to Lose Weight
Does pickle juice make you lose weight? Pickle juice has for a while been used as a sport’s drink. Some even claim that drinking pickle juice helped in fat loss. Its benefits are likened to those of using Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss.
The benefits of pickle juice diet is largely due to the acetic acid in vinegar. The acetyl group in acetic acid helps to metabolize carbohydrates and fat into energy molecules. Animal studies have shown that acetic acid suppresses the accumulation of fat.
Friendly bacteria in pickle juice help in proper digestion of food.
Pickle juice is high in sodium and electrolytes. During activity, they supply your body with electrolytes and water which keep you well hydrated. This means that you will be able to work better and for longer hence you can burn more calories.
Pickles in Salads or Sandwiches
Use pickles to add flavor to meals without adding lots of calories. Add chopped pickles to a vegetable salads. You can also use them in chicken breast sandwiches in place of fattier add-ins like mayo.
There isn’t much evidence on the benefits of eating pickles before bed to lose weight.
Pickled cucumber sandwich.
- Start off with making pickling liquid by mixing vinegar, salt and peppercorns.
- Peel and cut a cucumber in a vertical form then coat with the pickling liquid.
- Then use two slices of bread and spread some cream cheese on the bread and toast them.
- Then spread some butter on the toasted bread slices and leave two others without.
- Place the pickled cucumbers on the toasted bread cup put the unbuttered slices on top.
- Serve the sandwich immediately while it’s still warm.
Side effects of drinking pickle juice
Pickle are relatively high in sodium which is more likely to make you retain more water. This could make you weigh more- temporarily. While it does not stop you from losing weight, it makes it harder to notice weight lost.
A fermented pickle contains 19% of the daily sodium value, a dill pickle about 12% and a sweet pickle provides 7% of the daily sodium value.
Eating potatoes is very helpful for weight loss since they have a resisting starch which in return promotes fat oxidation hence reducing abdominal fat. Whether you lose weight eating potatoes depends on how you prepare them. Eat baked white or sweet potatoes as a healthier alternative to French fries.
Potatoes are rich in nutrients, they are fat free and low in calories. This makes them an ideal addition to weight loss diets.
Plain potatoes when included in a healthy weight loss diet offer a number of benefits for weight loss. According to the European Food Information Council, boiled potato are very satiating- they can cub cravings, reduce hunger by keeping you full for longer. Unfortunately, most people do not eat plain potatoes but rather in form of French fries.
The daily mail adds to this by confirming that it is possible to eat potatoes and get slim as long as you stick to a calorie controlled diet.
How to Serve Potatoes for Weight Loss
- Bake potatoes in the oven until cooked
- Chop them into small pieces and dress them with either Greek yogurt or sweet pepper
- Use steamed broccoli as a topping for white baked potatoes and sprinkle low fat cheese for a satiating lunch
- Toss cubed red onions in olive oil and roast in the oven to make a delicious low calorie side dish for dinner
Onions are widely used in the world to add flavor to dishes.
Benefits of Onions for Weight Loss
- They have minerals that increase metabolic rate.
- Onions are rich in fiber which help to boost digestion and absorption of food into the cells.
- Eating onions can help to get healthy bowel function.
- Have onions to burn fat. They are a good source of antioxidant quercetin which increases caloric burn
- Eat onions to lower cholesterol and prevent the arteries from hardening as it is important in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.
- They help regulate blood sugar on of the biggest weight loss drawbacks.
How to use Onions to Lose Weight
They can be used raw or cooked. To make soups and pickles. Use onions when making soups, salads, vegetables and even pasta.
This is the easiest way to consume onions. Simply add them into your salad recipes.
- In a large bowl, add in one chopped red onion
- 4 medium sized tomatoes-chopped
- One medium sized cucumber- chopped
- 1 ripe avocado- peeled, cored and cubed
Mix all the ingredients. Add in a tablespoon or two of olive oil, a table spoon of vinegar and mix.
Onion Soup for Weight Loss
- Skin and chop onions (bulb or spring)
- Boil the onions for 5 minutes on low heat
- Add in a desired soup base
- Serve and sprinkle some parsley
- You can add in carrots, tomatoes, green peppers or cabbage to add in flavor
Drinking Onion Juice for Fat Loss
Well, this is not what you are thinking. You are not going to have to gulp down a glass of fresh onion juice while tearing helplessly.
- Skin a bulb of fresh onion
- Cho/slice it
- Boil in a pan of 200cc water for 5 minutes or until the onions turn transparent
- Transfer the ingredients into a blender (add in water as desired). Blend until smooth
Pickled onions can be beneficial if used in moderation. I read this real life story on the benefits of eating pickled onions for weight loss. Still, beware of the high contents of salt due to the prickling process. This is especially not good for those with health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The high acidic content is not good for those with stomach ulcers.
The major causes of unhealthy weight loss is engaging in unhealthy lifestyle, lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits. While eating vegetables is good for your health, it is never enough to make you lose weight when used sorely. Make this part of effective weight loss plans. Pair this up with exercise and a healthy lifestyle for healthy weight loss.
Be sure to consult a nutritionist before making grand changes to your dietary habits as this may have detrimental effects to your health.