Thinking of adopting a vegetable diet to lose weight? Great idea: many veggies can help you slim down and are good for you in other ways as well. But also keep plenty of (lean) protein in your diet, okay? If you're vegetarian or vegan, click here for some suggestions about that.
If you're so fortunate as to have broad and varied veggie tastes, a vegetable diet could be a piece of cake (so to speak). But if your preferences fall within a fairly narrow range, your options may appear correspondingly narrow. I've been in that boat myself.
When such a "boat" describes your own situation, taking the route of a vegetable diet to lose weight may require you to weigh what you’d prefer to eat against what would better serve your weight-loss goals. So, here's a suggestion: instead of doing a big cold-turkey number on yourself, perhaps begin with just one change at a time.
For example, try adding one more veggie serving to your daily ration, while still eating some of your "normal" foods. After a few days, gradually add in two more vegetables and begin dropping some of your fattier choices. With a gradual approach such as this, you'll greatly increase your chances of losing weight with a vegetable diet (IMHO). Plus, you're improving your nutrition at the same time, which means you score twice.
So, what Are the best vegetables for a veggie weight-loss diet, anyway? Quite a few, really, particularly the green and leafies,
because they generally carry a lower carbohydrate/calorie load than some of their companions in the
Vegetable Kingdom. They also provide lots of fiber, giving you a feeling
of fullness while at the same time moving things along "digestively," so to speak.
But hold off on the artichokes for now, despite their abundant fiber and great taste. Why? Because you're also looking at 13 carbohydrate grams and 60 calories for a single artichoke. All that, BTW, before you've even added the butter or dip...which few of us can forgo without angst. So, maybe give Artie a miss for awhile if you're trying to slim down...
Lighten up, as well,
on the carrots and spuds, neither of them particularly helpful in a vegetable diet you're using to lose weight. Although the two of them do provide some good stuff
nutritionally, they also carry a load of starch and/or sugar...as do
And forget the beets for a while, plus peas, acorn and butternut squash, yams, corn, and plantains. You can ease some of those back in when you have your weight closer to where you want it.
But now for some weight-loss champions: for example, grab some bok choy now and then. Carrying a
mere 10 calories and 2 carbohydrates, baby bok choy is wonderful in
stir-fries and salads. Or consider the cucumber:
only 45 calories and 15 carbs—and that’s if you eat the whole thing,
which you’re unlikely to do (burrrp).
Three-quarters of a cup of green beans will set you back a paltry 25 calories and only 5 carbs. Serious contenders, these, along with most green veggies. Asparagus, another contender, "weighs in" at 13 calories per half cup and carries minimal carbs but a good bit of fiber. Plus, it tastes great if not overcooked. (But for now, go easy on such enhancements as butter, pesto, and/or almonds, right?)
Celery, too, brings lots of fiber to the table and relatively few
calories (6 for an 8-inch stalk). Although it carries more sodium than
some veggies, you're probably okay with it unless your doc or personal judgment have warned
Besides the veggies just named, the following are particularly good when you’re trying to lose weight, all of them low calorie/carbohydrate and carrying plenty of fiber. Plus, they taste good, several of them particularly when raw. (In fact, most members of the Brassica family taste good to some of us only when raw.) So, here are some potential weight-loss buddies...
Sure, other veggies can help
you pare down, but the ones listed here are among the Very best
vegetables for dieting. Plus, they're generally easy
to find. Okay, sprouts may be a little harder, but if you find a source, try the usual candidates and Definitely sunflower sprouts! They're unbelievably scrumptious. You could even experiment with growing your own.
[FYI: Great sprouting instructions at this page.]
But sprouts can’t do the job alone.
If you're serious about using a veggie diet to lose weight, you'll need to include many other
veggies to satisfy your nutritional requirements. So, this could be a great time to experiment with different veggies and also various ways to prepare them: easy vegetable recipes.
To check the calorie, carbohydrate, and fiber counts of these vegetables, try this free and easy-to-use calorie counter: thecaloriecounter.com. And speaking of calories, as you prepare your dishes and snacks, perhaps remind yourself to keep a light hand with the butter, mayo, and rich sauces/dips. They can add calories and fat dismayingly fast. How fortunate, then, that so many veggies taste great naked!
Please understand that the material at this site is NOT medical advice, as I am neither doctor nor nutritionist. What I am is merely someone who's lived successfully on a vegetarian diet for many decades...and I transitioned from omnivore to vegetarian gradually. Do check with your doctor, though, if you're considering big changes to your own diet. Also, be sure to find a dependable source of Vitamin B12.
Living Vegetarian the Easy Way
Copyright 2010-2023. Lynda Edwards. All rights reserved.