How many times have you tried to lose weight only to gain it back again? If you’re struggling with your weight, don’t blame yourself, because it might not be completely your fault. Instead, look at the food you eat on a daily basis. If you aren’t eating vegetables that are both low in calories and high in nutrients, then it might be time to revamp your diet by adding more vegetables into your diet that aid weight loss without sacrificing flavor or taste.
If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s a good idea to cut out empty carbs and calories. The best way to do that is by choosing vegetables over complex carbs (like bread) and sugar-rich foods (like candy). One of our favorite vegetables is green beans, which are jam-packed with fiber and low in calories. A half cup of steamed green beans has just 34 calories. To burn off those extra 34 calories from eating green beans—you would have to walk more than three miles!
Although celery doesn’t contain many calories, it can certainly help you lose weight. This vegetable is a great addition to your diet if you’re looking to shed pounds because it makes you feel full and crowds out unhealthy foods that may be less nutritious. You also get a lot of fiber from eating celery, which takes longer to digest than other types of food; as a result, it helps slow down digestion and keeps your blood sugar levels on an even keel throughout the day. Ultimately, adding celery to your plate is sure to keep you feeling – and looking – your best!
Bell peppers, or sweet peppers, are low in calories but are still packed with vitamins and minerals. A 1/2 cup of bell pepper contains just 33 calories, yet it provides 5% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Bell peppers also contain high amounts of vitamin B6 and iron. An iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss in women; to combat it, add bell peppers to your diet on a regular basis. B6 boosts metabolism, which is especially helpful if you’re trying to lose weight because metabolism helps you burn more calories throughout the day and keeps your body operating at its most efficient level.
Mushrooms are a great way to lose weight because they help fill you up, and they’re also very versatile. You can sauté them with olive oil and some garlic, and add it to a stir-fry. You can bake them into vegetarian pizza. You can put them in your salad, or eat them as an appetizer with a little bit of goat cheese sprinkled on top. There are lots of ways to make these little gems work for you—stuffed with brown rice, marinated in balsamic vinegar and roasted in an oven, etc.—but whether you opt for meaty brown mushrooms or more exotic shiitakes, just about any mushroom is a good addition to your weight loss plan if you want something that will fill you up.
One cup of cooked asparagus provides just 31 calories, making it an excellent low-calorie choice. Plus, it’s a good source of vitamin K and folate. These nutrients help regulate blood clotting and are especially important if you’re pregnant or nursing. Asparagus also offers vitamins A, C and E—three antioxidants that support immune health. Get some in your diet by grilling up spears or roasting them in butter with some garlic and herbs, then adding them to a salad as a side dish. Steam whole stalks or cut up pieces to throw into stir-fries and vegetable soups for added texture, taste and visual appeal.
The green leafy stuff may be the best vegetable for weight loss. It’s an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, and other nutrients. One study even found that overweight women who ate lots of spinach gained less weight over a 5-year period than those who ate less leafy greens. And it’s easy to add spinach to just about any meal—add it to omelets, stir-fries, salads, or pasta dishes. Work your way up to eating about one cup of raw spinach per day. Spinach is a great addition to lunchtime sandwiches: Try stuffing it into wraps with chicken and mozzarella cheese. I guarantee you’ll lose weight!
With just 5 calories per cup, lettuce is a great low-calorie source of fiber and other nutrients. And many types of lettuce are rich in folate, a vitamin that’s been shown to help break down fat cells. A study published in Cell Metabolism revealed that subjects with high folate levels also had a higher percentage of body fat-free mass—that’s total weight minus fat—compared to those with low folate levels. In addition to providing energy that fuels your workouts, try out some new varieties of lettuce such as romaine and frisée. They add texture and flavor to sandwiches without adding too many calories or carbs.
One of my personal favorites, cucumbers are a low-calorie, nutrient-rich way to get over a mid-day slump. Cucumbers are loaded with water and fiber, which will help keep you hydrated and feeling full throughout your busy day. Cucumber is also an excellent source of vitamin K, which can aid in developing strong bones and preventing osteoporosis. All in all, one cup of sliced cucumber packs only 50 calories—and since most cucumbers don’t have much taste themselves (which makes them great as a snack or as an addition to smoothies), they’re easy to add into pretty much any diet or eating plan.
Exercise, in addition to eating a nutritious and clean diet, is critical for weight loss, and you simply cannot ignore it if you want to see results. Simultaneously, simply exercising without paying attention to your nutrition will not result in any changes. In order to lose belly fat and keep it off, you should strive to minimize your stress levels, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, as well as have frequent exams for hormone imbalances. It’s past time to quit procrastinating and get down to business.