Forget ‘raw vegetable diet food’ (yuk!) and start cooking-up the delicious, new vegetable recipes online! Eating vegetables for weight-loss is one of the best possible ways to reduce your weight! You can enjoy tasty, satisfying meals, improve your health and save cash on your food and snacks bill. But first of all, get your weight-loss started by cutting-out processed snack-foods and sodas, please. They’re just a very expensive way to ruin your figure and your health!
How processed foods cause obesity
The rise in obesity started when women took on a dual-role as home-manager and wage-earner. Obviously, this made it impossible to have time to shop for and prepare the traditional balanced diet. This left a huge gap in the market, which was soon filled with processed ready-meals, fast-food and an explosion of snack foods. Fresh vegetables didn’t fit into packets, or fast-food menus, and were dropped from many people’s daily diet.
Fast forward to the 21st century and processed foods turn out to be nothing more than a money-making trick by food giants. Many people today exist on factory-made meals with ‘cheap fillers’ like fat, sugar and salt, and without any nutritional value at all. Our bodies need real foods providing vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber to work properly. And the rise in obesity, and digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is linked to removing vegetables from our diet. So it’s time for everyone to brush-up their basic cooking skills!
Best ‘weight-loss’ vegetable recipe ideas
Baked New Potatoes with Rosemary
Small helpings of plain, boiled or baked potatoes are a healthy addition to any weight-loss plan. The problem begins when you fry potatoes in cooking fat or oil. Boiled potatoes contain a wide range of nutrients, including lots of potassium, which we tend to lack in our normal diet. Potassium is vital for keeping blood pressure within a healthy range. And white, boiled potatoes are the most filling food of all as measured on the Satiety Index. The lowest-calorie potatoes are tinned or bottled small, new potatoes!
2. Sweet Potato
Roast sweet potatoes & brussels’ sprouts
Sweet potatoes are high in nutrients but lower in calories than white potatoes. An average serving of sweet potato has approx. 114 calories and no fat, along with 2 grams of healthy protein and lots of vitamin A. It’s a great substitute for potatoes, with a higher protein content and small amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and folate. Sweet potato also contains important minerals like phosphorous, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium. It’s a popular food, too, and there are hundreds of sweet potato recipes online.
A medium, sweet potato contains 4 grams of fiber – more than the 3 grams in a bowl of oat porridge. If can get purple sweet potatoes, eat it often to decrease your levels of the hormone leptin. Leptin helps control your metabolism and an extract of purple sweet potato is now being developed as a weight-loss treatment. Use sweet potato as a low-cal substitute for pasta, rice and baked potatoes in your ‘weight-loss for life’ meals.
3. Leafy greens & lettuce
Lemony spinach: simple and delicious side-dish for weight-loss
Anything that falls in the category of green vegetables is a great food for weight-loss and maintaining a healthy body. These include spinach, kale, collards and Swiss chard. Dark-green lettuces are also leaf-vegetables and include: butter-head, arugula, green ‘salad leaves’ and romaine among other varieties. Eating plenty of low calorie/low carb leaves is the perfect way to add more food to your plate!
Leaf-greens and lettuces are loaded with filling fiber and high levels of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Moreover, if you think that only cheese and dairy provide calcium, you’re mistaken. Dark-green vegetables are a great source of calcium, and calcium is a recognized ‘fat-burning’ substance! Make filling salads with a mix of raw carrot, onion, tomato, radishes and left-over cooked vegetables. Add protein from cottage-cheese, hot or cold meat or fish like salmon, mackerel or tuna.
4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Crunchy broccoli with garlic breadcrumbs
These are also high-fiber, stomach-filling, healthy foods that are exactly what you should be eating for weight-loss. This group also provides a good quantity of protein, so eat plenty of cabbage, cauliflower, brussels’ sprouts and broccoli! Eating two or three fresh or frozen vegetables a day, will effortlessly reduce your overall calorie intake, without any weighing or counting calories.
If you’re serious about losing weight for life, learn to include these vegetables in meals you enjoy. Apart from being highly nutritious and a good source of calcium – they provide cancer-fighting substances to the body!
5. Hot & cold vegetable soups
Slow-cooker Minestrone soup
It’s no accident vegetable soup is an ancient and popular international dish. Soup’s very simple to make and always provides a healthy, satisfying meal or starter. It’s also cheap and can be made from fresh, local products, or frozen vegetables. In hot weather, make chilled vegetable soups like Spanish gazpacho based on bell-peppers, onions, cucumber and tomatoes.
‘Cream’ of celery or watercress soups don’t require any cream, as you can add cooked potato or cauliflower as a ‘thickener’. I like to cook-up a load of fried, caramelized onions and different vegetables in a big pan and then whizz it up just a little, to thicken. The result is thick and chunky and can be enjoyed hot or cold!
Amazing weight-loss benefits of ‘low-energy density’ foods
Marinated grilled vegetables
Vegetables naturally contain a lot of water and are called ‘low-energy density’ food. This is great for weight-loss, as ‘low-energy density’ meals tend to make people eat fewer calories. Research showed that people given exactly the same type and quantity of food, once as solid food and once as a soup, had very different calorie intakes. When the food was served as a soup, people felt ‘full’ sooner and ate much smaller amounts of food!
Eat well – look good – feel great!
Eating a variety of vegetables is an easy way to lose excess weight and improve your health and mobility. As your weight goes down, you’ll feel more energetic and want to take more exercise. Exercise helps control your weight and is a medically accepted way to treat depression. If you’re not used to cooking vegetables, you’ll find plenty of easy recipes online. Just by making a little extra effort to cook tasty, healthy foods will bring huge benefits to your health, confidence and happiness!