The Best Vegetables to Eat When You’re Trying to Lose Weight
Veggies tend to be weight-loss friendly. Why? Most are low in calories — and all offer filling fiber, which helps to tide you over and decrease those urges to snack. Plus, “the water content of vegetables increases the volume of the food,” says Shahzadi Devje, RD, CDE, MSc, a certified diabetes educator in Toronto. This helps to keep you fuller for longer. But some are even better than others.
Here are seven vegetables that are particularly helpful for weight loss:
“It’s lower in calories, packs a nutritional punch and is versatile to use in all sorts of recipes,” says Devje. Like other leafy greens, spinach is considered a powerhouse vegetable, per a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that says it’s strongly associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases — including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancers. Enjoy spinach in a healthy green smoothie, in a lupini bean salad or in a Mason-jar salad.
“This is one of my favorite vegetables for its versatility,” says Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, a culinary dietitian in Atlanta. “It’s also a great way to get in some extra fiber. I like to roast broccoli that’s tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and spices. I’ll eat it as a side dish or make it part of a main by adding it to pasta.” Cook up roasted cauliflower and broccoli, a healthy broccoli slaw or beef with broccoli.
Enjoy this winter squash any time you can get your hands on it. “It serves as an ideal low-calorie alternative to conventional spaghetti,” says Devje. A cup of the cooked squash contains just 42 calories, per the USDA Nutrient Database. “It’s also low in fat and provides fiber to help you stay full for longer,” she says. Add the veggie to chicken spaghetti squash, marinara spaghetti squash or chickpea kale curry stuffed spaghetti squash.