Quick, what’s the first piece of advice you always hear about losing weight? Chances are that eating more veggies is near the top of the list. For good reason: Vegetables are nutrient-dense and help keep you full without a lot of calories. (As a bonus, studies show high veggie consumption may also keep you looking younger!) If you’re not a veggie eater, the thought of upping your daily dose of greens may leave you wrinkling your nose. It shouldn’t: Never before have Americans had access to such a variety of tasty vegetables, and such a wide array of easy options to prepare them. Here are just a few ways to use vegetables as a delicious, nutritious component of your medical weight loss program:
- Get up close and personal: If the last time you spoke to a farmer was at a third grade field trip, it’s time to make friends with your local grower. Find your neighborhood’s farmer’s market or co-op, and go! Talk to the vendors and ask about their produce. If you see something that looks interesting, ask for some ideas on how to prepare it and what to pair it with. And while you’re at it, make a commitment to try at least one new vegetable twice a month. You’ll be amazed at how limited your vegetable repertoire is now, and how expansive it will become – and you’ll also find yourself looking forward to trying that new flavor once you feel confident about how to prepare it. (Need more reasons to go? Many local growers do not use chemical pesticides and the produce can be relatively inexpensive!)
- Google it: The Internet is a treasure trove of great vegetable recipes. Once you’ve toted your new purchases home, look at some online recipe sites for great ideas on how to prepare them. Many online recipes include nutrition information; if not, check the ingredients carefully to ensure the recipe’s not loaded with butter, heavy cream, or other high-fat, high-calorie additives. Try looking through the healthy and equally mouthwatering recipes from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Plus, The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL) weekly newsletter features a brand-new, totally delicious recipe each week, complete with nutrition info, that’s ideal for the CMWL Modified plan.
Find out more about The Center for Medical Weight Loss plans, and see which one is right for you.
Keep it simple: No time to try a new recipe? There are lots of tricks you can use to keep prep to a minimum and let the veggie take center stage. The key is to keep it simple while still amping up the flavor to trick your taste buds into craving more. A little fat can go a long way toward bringing out the natural flavor compounds in vegetables, and taking a yummy fresh vegetable to a whole new level. For instance:
- Try just a teaspoon of an infused oil, like truffle oil, before adding portabellas.
- Crumble a tablespoon or two of feta or goat cheese over warm greens or sliced beets.
- Sprinkle five to seven slivered almonds or sliced walnuts over fresh steamed broccoli.
Herbs are another great and easy option: Try adding some chopped fresh parsley or cilantro to peppers or carrots. And don’t forget the flavor power of onions, garlic, and scallions: Just sautéing some garlic in a teaspoon of canola oil before adding chopped Brussels sprouts will have your whole house smelling delicious – and your neighbors wishing they were having dinner at your place!
Read the Success Stories of people who’ve lost weight – and kept it off!
Try our guide to smart supermarket shopping.
Find a center near you to schedule a consultation with a CMWL physician.