When you say you consumed X number of calories, did you know that not all of the calories you consumed were the same? As writer Kris Gunnars so aptly explained, “Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body. They can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn.”
Because of that, there are foods that are great for supporting weight loss, and as the title gives away, many of them are vegetables. Let’s explore some of the most weight loss friendly veggies and understand why they offer such effective support to your weight loss goals.
- Great big leafy greens – The trend in kale surprised some because it is not the most delicious of the greens, but it does not stand alone in its ability to provide support to weight loss. There is also swiss chard, spinach, collard, lettuces and more. They are fantastic for weight loss when eaten whole, juiced or added to smoothies and recipes. They are ideal for the diet because they are high in fiber, low in calories and almost free of carbs. They allow you to feel much fuller faster and they are packed with important nutrients, antioxidants and minerals. They are a fantastic source of calcium, particularly for vegetarians and vegans.
- The Cruciferous crew – Fans of brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli can rejoice. These crisp and crunchy veggies are some of the highest in fiber and are generous with protein. They are not equal to beans in that area, but do tend to beat out the remaining vegetables. They are loaded with fiber and make you feel satiated sooner than other foods. They are nutrient dense and noted for their ability to fight off some of the worst diseases, including cancers.
- Potatoes – Now, give them a moment. They earned a bad reputation among the no-carb groups, but potatoes are remarkably diverse and incredibly nutritious.
They are some of the highest in potassium, they make us feel fuller faster and when you boil them in their skins and allow them to cool, they are packed with a fiber material known as resistant starch that supports weight loss. Yes, potatoes can support weight loss. Don’t overlook the other root vegetables like sweet potatoes, rutabagas, and turnips, too.
- Beans and legumes – If you are a vegetarian eager to lose weight, beans and legumes should be your best friends. They are packed with protein, nutrient dense and full of fiber. The protein and fiber will help to make you feel full faster and they are also sources of resistant starch, like potatoes, which means they support weight loss on top of everything else.
- Avocados – Okay, they are technically a fruit, but we just couldn’t overlook them as a fantastic way to support weight loss. They are packed with healthy fats, including monounsaturated oleic acid. They are mostly water so do not come with a lot of energy density (i.e. calories). They are full of fiber and potassium and are shown to support increased nutrient uptake when consumed alongside other vegetables. They can be eaten “as is”, added to smoothies, salads and other dishes and are very satisfying.
- Chili peppers – We are talking the hot ones! Why would hot peppers help weight loss? It has to do with something known as capsaicin and this can boost your body’s natural fat burning while it also decreases your appetite. So, you eat less and burn more calories. That is one reason that it appears in so many weight loss supplements, but you can just enjoy the spicy kick they bring to just about anything.
- Radishes – An often-overlooked veggie, packed with color and crunch, they are also surprisingly high in nutrients, antioxidants and sulfur compounds that support digestion. Eating the tops brings tons of calcium and vitamin C and they make a wonderfully filling addition to salads and slaws.
- Cucumbers – Made of mostly water (almost 97%), they are full of fiber and can be used in many ways. They are good for satiety, ensuring you don’t overeat, and can be a wonderful vehicle for healthy dips like hummus or fat free yogurt.
There are some great veggies to add to your daily diet right away. All of them help you lose weight in different ways, but each of them has a unique flavor and texture to enhance the diet.