Eating lots of vegetables every day will help you lose weight quicker. Veggies are low in calories, high in volume and packed with critically important nutrients. They fill you up without loading you down with fat and calories. And when your stomach is filled up with high volume, low calorie food, there is less room for the other not-so-healthy stuff.
Here are some simple ways you can cut calories by adding vegetables throughout your day.
• Add some sautéed veggies to your scrambled egg or omelet. This is a great way to use up leftover vegetables from last night's dinner.
• Replace some of the fruit in your breakfast smoothie with dark green veggies like spinach or kale. Your drink will be green but it won't taste like you're drinking a salad - I promise! Leafy greens aren't the only smoothie-worthy veggies; carrots will lend a mild sweet flavor to your smoothie, and so will a scoop of canned pumpkin.
Lightened Up Lunch
• Make your sandwich, wrap, or burrito with less meat or cheese and more vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or onions. This lightened-up version will fill you up with fewer calories than the original.
• Add extra chopped vegetables such as green beans, carrots, spinach, or leeks to your favorite broth-based soup so you can decrease the amount of meat, noodles, or rice and still feel satisfied.
• Add sautéed vegetables such as zucchini, cabbage, mushrooms, onions, or peppers to your favorite rice or pasta dish. It will be just as satisfying but have fewer calories than the same amount of the original dish.
• Take a good look at your dinner plate. Vegetables should take up the largest portion of your plate. If they do not, replace some of the meat, cheese, pasta, or rice with legumes, steamed broccoli, asparagus, squash, greens, or another favorite vegetable. This will reduce the total calories in your meal without reducing the amount of food you eat. BUT remember to use a small-size plate - not a platter. The total number of calories you eat counts, even if the right proportion of them come from vegetables.
• Choosing vegetables as snacks will allow you to eat more often throughout the day without adding lots of extra calories, unhealthy fat and sodium.
• Instead of a high-calorie snack from the vending machine, bring some cut-up vegetables from home.
• One snack-sized bag of corn chips (1 ounce) has the same number of calories as 2 tbsp. hummus (45 calories) with 1 cup raw carrots (45 calories), I cup of raw broccoli (30 calories), AND 1 cup of raw bell peppers (30 calories).
To get you started on your way to losing weight quicker, here's a recipe that's really simple to prepare. Give it a try. You're going to love the way it tastes. Even better, you're going to love the way you look and feel as you eat healthier and slim down.
SUMMER TOMATO AND CORN SALAD WITH BASIL
Courtesy of American Institute of Cancer Research
1 large ear local yellow or yellow-and-white corn
3 ripe medium tomatoes
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, green and white parts
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. mustard powder
4-5 large basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint, optional
Shuck corn and steam for 3 minutes. When corn is cool enough to handle, cut kernels off ear and place in mixing bowl.
Half tomatoes vertically and cut one half into 4 wedges for garnish. Remove seeds from remaining tomatoes. Chop tomatoes and add to corn. Add red pepper, green onions and sweet onion. In small bowl, whisk lime juice with salt, mustard powder and 4 or 5 grinds pepper until salt dissolves. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently with fork to combine. At this point, salad can sit up to 15 minutes.
Just before serving, stack basil leaves, then cut crosswise into thin strips, and add to salad. Add mint, if using. Toss to combine herbs with salad. Garnish with tomato we