Less calories in vegetables, more help in losing weight

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There are calories in vegetables, and there are fruit calories too, but don't be too scared of them.

Vegetables and fruits are great friends when you're losing weight. Compared to other foods, they are relatively low in calories, and they contain fiber and nutrients that actually help your body lose and maintain weight loss.

Where do the highest calories in vegetables come from?

Vegetables such as corn and potatoes are also carbohydrates, so they are great for energy, but they can also be traps for toppings!

Butter, full fat sour cream, salt, sauces and cooking methods, such as frying and baking in fat (I love my potatoes that way...and I still eat them, but I watch the serving size, and keep them as an occasional food, every couple of weeks or so), quickly make these vegetables very calorie laden.

Fruit calories can be high too, in things like olives and avocados, as these fruits contain quite high levels of fat, so they count as fat intake as well. But fat from plants contains no cholesterol, and as such are better for you. Again though, you don't want to be eating them every five minutes if you're losing weight.

Now that I've said, here's some ways to get more vegetables and fruit into your life...

How to increase your intake of vegetables and fruits.

Having said that there are calories in vegetables and fruit calories too, I'm now going to tell you that you should eat more of a great variety of vegetables and fruits, and worry less about the calories they contain.

I didn't calorie count very often when I was losing weight, and I do it even less now....and I don't think I've ever looked too closely at the calories in vegetables anyway.

Instead I'm continually working to make sure I have enough of them in my diet. They are great gap fillers when you're feeling hungry, you can use them to help reduce your portion sizes of other foods that are particularly high in calories, fat, sugar or salt. Here's some of the ways how I use them to lose weight, and to maintain it...

  • Breakfast - if I'm having cereal, I have less and top it with diced apple and pear. Result...I've reduced the amount of cereal I eat (so, I've dropped the calories and sugar) and I've added some fruit already.
  • Snacks - chop prepared snacks (like fruit bars, muesli bars, biscuits) in half and eat either a piece of fruit, or a tub of fruit (no added sugar), like peaches or mango. Result - again the fruit I'm eating has a lot less calories than the half a bar I've cut out...and again it's great for my body and my weight
  • Dinner - when I'm cooking dinner I tend to be very peckish, so I snack on the vegetables that I'm going to cook. I cut up extra carrot sticks...and eat them while I'm cooking. Salad vegetables, I always leave some on the chopping board for while I'm preparing. By the time dinner is served, I eat less overall, particularly the rice or meat, because those snacks have already had time to settle and tell my stomach that I'm not as hungry.
  • Hungry - somedays I'm really hungry, but before I have some rice cakes and cream cheese, or a bagel with avocado and tomato, I'll eat some cucumber sticks and low fat dip, then decide if I'm still hungry enough. If I am I have the bagel, or roll, with the avocado, by the time I'm finished I've had enough

More important than calories in vegetables...

Is what you gain from them, healthy long-term weight loss will only be sustainable if you also work your way into a healthy diet, because it is this that will give your body what it needs to be and give you it's very best.

Most of us don't eat enough vegetables or fruit...in fact more calories should come from a range of fruit and vegetables, different coloured ones, different types, and different flavors, as these form part of the basis of 'everyday' foods...and less of our calories should come from 'occasional foods' those high in calories, also highly processed.

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