Whatever may be the reason behind your decision to lose weight, one thing is clear! You are on the right path! Weight loss can boost not only your confidence levels but also improve your overall health and well being. However, you don’t have to spend much on expensive fad diets, which come with more side effects than the actual benefits!
An easy solution comes in the form of Vegetables, which are low-calorie foods that satisfy your hunger levels and promote weight loss at the same time.
In this article, we shall look into some of the best vegetables for weight loss, most of which are found in local mandis and supermarkets.
Are Vegetables Good for Weight Loss?:
Your mother wasn’t lying when she told you how vegetables could be good for your body! There is enough scientific evidence to determine the relationship between vegetable consumption and weight loss. A particular study shows that people who increased their vegetable intake recorded a reduced risk of weight gain and faster weight loss results compared to those who did not. (1)
There are many reasons why eating a vegetable-rich diet promotes weight reduction. Vegetables contain high amounts of dietary fiber that speeds up digestion, suppresses appetite and increase body metabolism. Also, vegetables are low in calories, but high in essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. They can keep you feeling full for longer times and reduces your overall calorie intake per day.
Top 12 List of Healthy Vegetables for Weight Loss:
Let us now look into the list of weight-loss promoting vegetables and understand their benefits in detail:
1. Leafy Green Vegetables for Weight Loss:
Leafy greens are considered to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet! Greens like kale, spinach, amaranthus, collard greens, microgreens, watercress etc. are excellent options to lose belly fat and excess weight. These veggies create a calorie deficit in the body, enabling faster fat-burning to balance energy levels. A study also shows that increased intake of high fiber and low glycemic index foods like leafy greens leads to weight loss due to higher satiety in few calories (2).
2. Cruciferous Vegetables That May Help You Lose Weight:
Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts and Broccoli are cruciferous vegetables that can help you lose weight quickly. These vegetables are high in dietary fiber and satisfy your hunger pangs without contributing to calorie increase. A long-term study on the effect of vegetable diet on weight loss shows that eating significant portions of cruciferous vegetables was associated with reduced obesity (3). Additionally, these veggies are dense in minerals and vitamins like potassium, zinc, B-complex etc., to strengthen and nourish the body.
3. Tomatoes for Weight Loss:
Tomatoes are one of the best vegetables for weight loss, which work by increasing your body metabolism. They contain high amounts of dietary fiber and water, which curb your appetite and speed up the calorie-burning process. A 2015 study shows that women who were given 280ml of tomato juice daily for 2 months recorded a reduction in waist circumference and body weight. Scientists attribute this effect to an enzyme called Lycopene present in tomatoes that gives them the red colour.
Along with making you sweat and burning your tongue, hot chilly peppers can also burn excess fat from your body. Chillies contain an enzyme called Capsaicin, which is used as a key ingredient in many weight loss supplements. According to a study, individuals who ate spicy red peppers with high capsaicin percentage before meals showed decreased appetite and increased energy expenditure than those who did not due to faster fat metabolism (4). You can also try including non-spicy peppers, which contain Capsaicin in smaller quantities in your weight loss diet.
If you are planning to lose weight quickly, then try replacing carbohydrate-rich foods like rice with Pumpkin. Pumpkin is packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamins and minerals, which offers numerous benefits to our health. Additionally, 1 cup of cooked Pumpkin offers just 49 calories and 0% fat, making it an excellent meal replacement vegetable (5). Next time you are hungry, replace grains with Pumpkin to satisfy your hunger, guilt-free!
6. Carrot Helps in Weight Loss:
Carrots are regarded as superfoods for weight loss aspirants. These bright-coloured vegetables are dense in nutrition, water and dietary fiber, which makes them ideal foods for losing weight. Also, carrots are low in energy density and offer just 35 calories per 100gms (6). The low glycemic index of carrots may help in improving insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients. You can have 2-3 carrots as a healthy snacking option to cure your mid-meal hunger pangs.
7. Onions and Weight Loss:
Apart from enhancing the flavour of your dishes, onions can also help you lose weight. Onions bulbs contain a powerful dietary antioxidant called Quercetin that is known to have anti-obesity effects (7). Onions also offer very few calories, along with high amounts of soluble dietary fiber to keep you feeling full for long and avoid overeating. You can add raw onions in your salads or have it in the form of soups or even diluted juice to speed up weight loss results.
8. Sweet Potato:
Sweet Potato is gaining popularity as a healthy alternative to potatoes. This versatile vegetable is laden with vitamins, minerals and healthy carbohydrates to support an active lifestyle without offering too many calories. A study also shows that individuals who consumed controlled portions of white potatoes as a meal replacement for 8 eights recorded a reduction in body weight, body fat and BMI (8). This shows that sweet potato can be a smart dietary substitute to grains and high-calorie foods.
9. Cucumber for Weight Loss:
Cucumber is among the best weight loss vegetables you can binge on without the calorie-worry! It is a water-rich vegetable that contains zero fat and offers just 16 calories in one cup serving (9). Along with enhancing satiety, cucumbers also improve your digestive health by preventing disorders like constipation, bloating and acidity. You can have cut cucumbers with a seasoning of salt, pepper and lemon for improved taste and faster fat burning.
10. Beans and Legumes:
Legumes and beans can help you lose weight if you eat them in limited quantities regularly. Research shows that people who ate a three-fourth cup of legumes per day lost 0.75 pounds of weight more than those who did not eat them (10). This is because legumes are low in calories, high in protein and dietary fiber which can help you lose weight faster. Also, the appetite-suppressing effects of legumes make them one of the best weight loss foods from the plant kingdom.
Although there are no major studies to prove the effect of asparagus on weight loss, many health experts and dieticians swear by this vegetable for losing weight. Asparagus is a low-calorie veggie that offers just 22 calories per 100 gms, 8% of dietary fiber and 0% of fat, which makes it an excellent weight reducing vegetable (11). Asparagus extract is widely used in weight loss supplements for its anti-obesity effects.
12. Celery for Weight Loss:
Celery is another low-calorie vegetable that comes with many weight loss benefits. The high amounts of dietary fiber aids in faster digestion, while the electrolytes and water content prevents dehydration in the body. Additionally, a study confirms that drinking any low-calorie drink like celery juice can reduce your appetite and make you eat fewer calories than usual (12).
Those are some of the best vegetables for weight loss that can be consumed in myriad ways. You can have them in the form of salads, soups, curries or raw. Remember that eating these vegetables alone will not help you lose weight! Along with including them in your daily diet, you must also indulge in physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for better results!
DISCLAIMER: The content created in this article is written and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health condition.
1. Can I Lose By Eating Only Vegetables?
Ans: The key to losing weight is to create a calorie deficit in the body. When you consume any low-calorie foods like vegetables, you are minimizing the calorie intake. To create a deficit, you must exercise and burn the excess calories. Also, a strict vegetable-only diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies and overall muscle mass.
2. Is It Ok to Add Spices to Vegetables While Cooking Them?
Ans: Adding a lot of spices and masalas to vegetables can cause digestion problems. These disorders can indirectly contribute to weight gain. Instead, try adding whole spices and less amount of oil while cooking your vegetables.
3. What is the Best Form of Eating Vegetables for Weight Loss?
Ans: Not all vegetables can be eaten in a raw form. Some are best consumed in semi-cooked, boiled or steamed forms. So, there is no generic rule as such to prepare vegetables for your weight loss diet. As long as you do not add too much oil, salt, spices or overcook them, you can experiment with various recipes to make your meal time more interesting.