Try a Vegetable Diet to Lose Weight – But Not Just Any Vegetable Diet!
If you’re trying to drop a few pounds, you would do well to consider a vegetable diet to lose weight. Now I’m not talking about some boring, bland mush or animal food, either, but some really great tasting meals that you can enjoy eating. Losing weight is tough enough, you shouldn’t have to suffer through a miserable diet too.
One thing to be aware of, especially if you’re on a resistance training program (and you should be) is that it is more difficult to get enough high quality protein when on a vegetable diet. You can combat this one of two ways; eat specific combinations of vegetables that will give you a balanced amino acid profile, or you can add some fish to your diet. Fish will provide plenty of high quality protein and heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
Recent research has shown that steaming is the best way to cook vegetables to avoid decreasing their nutrient values. Boiling or even microwaving was shown to reduce the nutrition available.
Here are some of the vegetables that are so nutritious and beneficial as part of your fat loss plan:
Broccoli – Broccoli is a great food for all around health and weight loss. These mini trees are 66% carbs and 33% protein by calorie count. That’s right, broccoli has no fat, although you do need some fat in your diet, and you will get it, but later. The carbohydrates are complex so they will not spike your blood sugar levels, which is extremely important when trying to lose fat. This green vegetable is loaded with nutrients too. It is a great source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium. It has an amino acid score of 83, being slightly deficient in the amino acid leucine. That knowledge is important so you can add a complementary protein source.
Brussels sprouts – Who knows if they are actually from Brussels, but they taste good, despite what you thought as a kid! These green mini cabbages are nutritionally loaded, with copious quantities of Riboflavin, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese. They are moderately high in protein, but it is not complete, lacking high levels of the amino acids Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Tryptophan, and Isoleucine. You can get these missing aminos by enjoying some yogurt, red potatoes, or spinach.
Spinach – Speaking of spinach, Popeye’s favorite salad material has a lot to recommend it when planning a meatless weight loss diet. The bad news first, because spinach is mostly all good; it is pretty high in sodium. Other than that it is almost as good for you as the large forearmed cartoon character proclaimed. It is high in protein, containing 30% by calorie content. It is complete protein too, so you’ll not have to look for complementary protein sources.
It has plenty of other nutrients as well, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. It also has some niacin and zinc thrown in for good measure. Spinach has the great side effect of making you feel really full for how many calories and nutrition it provides, so you won’t eat as much, but you’ll still receive plenty of benefit.
Collard Greens - These southern favorites can really help you lose weight and pack on a little muscle too. They are loaded with protein and it’s very complete, lacking no essential amino acids. They get over 20% of their calories from protein and 70% from carbohydrates. Don’t worry, they are the good kind of carbs; the low glycemic ones.
Collard greens are incredible sources of some key nutrients such as Thiamin, Niacin and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Manganese. A single serving of these dark, leafy greens supplies 48% of your daily vitamin A and 21% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
Beans – Beans, Beans, good for your heart, the more you eat ‘em the more you…well lose weight and grow some mighty big guns. Beans are high in protein and have huge quantities of dietary fiber. A single serving of black beans has 15g of fiber! Black beans are also 23% of protein and have a very solid amino acid profile, ranking at 103. As a comparison, beef has between 140 and 150, chicken is about 130, and collard greens are in the low 90′s. Beans are a great part of a vegetarian diet, especially if you’re spending some time in the gym. Just watch how many beans you eat if you’re not working out, as they are fairly high in carbs. You need some carbs, but if you spend your time at the office or in front of the TV they can add up fast.
These are just some of the foods to include in a vegetable diet to lose weight. I know beans are technically a legume, but for the purposes of your veggie diet they qualify. Stay tuned for some delicious recipes you can throw these tasty foods into.
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