What you eat has a huge effect on your weight, and if your diet consists of lots of grains and processed foods, you’re not going to see the results you want.
By focusing on clean, whole foods rich in nutrients, you’ll set yourself up for weight loss success. And a big part of that kind of a diet is vegetables.
It may bring back all sorts of bad memories from your childhood, but the truth is you must eat your veggies just like your mother told you. And with so many delicious kinds available, you’re sure to find at least one that suits you.
Veggies don’t have to be bland and boring. It’s easy to substitute or incorporate them into your favorite meals – sometimes without even noticing a difference! Here are 13 ideas for how you can get more veggies into your diet to help you lose weight:
1. Use zoodles instead of pasta
Italian food is delicious but it can be packed with calories and leave you feeling lethargic and bloated. But by using a pasta substitute, like zoodles, which you can easily make by spiralizing a zucchini, you’ll save on calories but maintain flavor.
2. Put spinach or kale in your smoothie
Make your favorite fruit smoothie even more nutritious by adding in some greens. If you’re skeptical about how spinach or kale will change the flavor of your shake, try adding just a little bit at first. You’ll be surprised how little you actually taste it!
3. Mix veggies with eggs
Your breakfast can easily be bulked up by chopping up your favorite veggies and adding it to your egg scramble or omelet. Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and spinach make great toppings. And a little bit of cheese can take it that extra mile!
4. Load up your sandwich
Think about going beyond the typical lettuce and tomato. Cucumbers, artichokes, peppers and more can add up to one delicious sandwich. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think about new and fun combos!
5. Whip up a soup
One of the easiest ways to eat more veggies is to throw them all in a soup. Choose your favorite veggies, like carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, zucchini, cabbage and more, and throw them in a pot with chicken broth and a can of diced tomatoes. In a short while, you’ll have an easy, nutritious soup.
6. Put extra veggies on your pizza
Pizza night is everyone’s favorite day of the week, but it can also be the most calorie-heavy. Instead go light on cheese and sauce and heavy on yummy veggies like mushrooms, onions and broccoli.
7. Make cauliflower rice
Save the calories and go light on carbs by shredding up a head of cauliflower and lightly sauteing it to make cauliflower rice. If you don’t want to deal with the mess, you could even buy prepackaged cauliflower rice.
8. Go heavy on the salsa
In the mood for Mexican? Go easy on the cheese and sour cream, but don’t be afraid to load up on the salsa. It’s low in calories and most are made with just a few nutritious ingredients. Check your nutrition label to be sure you aren’t getting added sugar or something else.
9. Experiment with new veggies
If you’re bored with broccoli, try stepping outside of the box! Explore your grocery store to find a vegetable you’ve never tried. You may end up discovering a new favorite to add to your rotation!
10. Try lettuce wraps
If sandwiches are your thing, try taking the calorie count down a bit by using lettuce as a wrap instead of bread. Load up on your favorite toppings and throw it into a leaf of lettuce. The lettuce will give you a nice crunch!
11. Make kale chips
If you’re craving a salty snack, put down the chips and reach for the kale instead. Spread out the kale on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook in your oven for about 15 minutes and they’ll come out as crispy as potato chips!
12. Go meatless
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to try a vegetarian dish. Consider turning one day of the week into your vegetarian dish. With the focus off of meat, you’ll have no choice but to eat more veggies.
13. Use more spices
When you just feel like you can’t stomach any more vegetables, turn to your spice rack for inspiration. Step outside the box and go for something other than salt and pepper. Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and balsamic vinegar all make great seasoning for all types of vegetables.
Got more ideas? I’d love to hear them! Tell me how you love to eat your veggies in the comments below!