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Leisure Club Team 2021

Eat Your Vegetables!

5 Reasons Why Vegetables May Help You Lose Weight And Live Longer

Leisure Club Manager Matt lists the top 5 reasons why eating vegetables may help you lose weight and live longer. Read his top tips below of how to add more veggies to your diet.

Matt's Top Tips For Eating Vegetables

  1. Vegetables help keep you full for longer. The fiber and water in vegetables fill you up way more efficiently than eating processed carbs that are low in fiber. Combining vegetables with protein and healthy fats will keep you satisfied until it's time for your next meal.
  2. Vegetables help prevent dips and spikes in your energy levels. Once again, the fiber in vegetables helps regulate your blood sugar. If you're eating all your allotted vegetables each day, you shouldn't experience that late-afternoon energy slump (and cravings for sugar) that you may encounter when eating processed carbohydrates.
  3. Vegetables help you live longer. Numerous studies show that a diet rich in a variety of vegetables may help decrease the hardening of arteries, help lower cholesterol levels and help prevent inflammation, a component of many degenerative diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer's. Researchers believe the antioxidants (vitamins C and E, plus selenium and the carotenoids) may be partly responsible for this effect.
  4. Vegetables are the ultimate food replacement. You can't go wrong when you replace junk food and processed carbohydrates, which are typically full of unhealthy fats and deficient in nutrients, with nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, which contain fiber, antioxidants and vitamins.
  5. Vegetables help you lose weight. Vegetables tend to be low in calories, yet as mentioned above keep you full for longer. This all means you may tend to eat fewer calories, while still feeling satisfied, if not more satisfied, than when you rely on packaged foods and foods devoid of nutrients. As they are nutrient dense, they will help keep energy levels up which means you’re more likely to exercise.

How much veg is recommend?

Three to five portions (80g) of vegetables are recommended a day. Plus two portions of fruit. So what does this look like? 

Your All Day Vegi Plan

Initially, it may seem like a challenge to incorporate vegetables into the majority of your meals or snacks, but there are loads of options for each meal of the day. Here are some of my suggestions:

Breakfast

  • Add (baby) spinach, spring onions, mushrooms and a little tomato to your eggs (and top with sliced avocado)
  • Add red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and fresh herbs like coriander to frittatas
  • Make a low-carb breakfast wrap using chicken sausage (Heck do a great chicken sausage), scrambled eggs, spinach, red onion and avocado and wrap it all up in a leaf of romaine lettuce
  • Make ground beef hash by frying mince beef with spring onions, red and green bell peppers, broccoli florets, red onions and cheese.

Snacks

  • Celery stalks, sweet peppers or carrot sticks
  • Wrap slices of ham, turkey or chicken with a romaine lettuce leaf and chilli sauce
  • Top slices of tomato and cucumber with tuna or chicken salad.

Lunch

  • Pile spinach, tomatoes, red onion and mushrooms on a plate, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and top with a sliced, grilled chicken breast
  • Top a tomato with cooked ground beef (seasoned with chilli and cumin) and Mexican-blend cheese. Grill until cheese is bubbling
  • Instead of making or buying sandwiches, prepare a fresh salad then add a healthy protein (chicken, tuna, cottage cheese)

Dinner

  • Experiment with a baby spinach salad; add different vegetables (mmm roasted red peppers!) or dressings and top with grilled salmon, shrimp or steak
  • Stuff a half of a bell pepper with spiced turkey or pork mince, roast in the oven and top with grated cheese, salsa, avocado or even a fried or poached egg
  • Grill a steak, serve with a side salad and mashed “potatoes" (try cooking and mashing cauliflower instead of potatoes)
  • Add hidden veg like finely chopped celery, carrots, mushrooms, onions and bell peppers to chillis, bolognese or soups
  • Try a stir fry with bean sprouts, carrot, water chest nuts, onions, pepper, courgette…..the list is (almost) endless!
  • Here’s an idea…google ‘(insert favorite veg) & (insert favorite protein source) recipes’, for example: bell pepper and mushroom chicken recipe

Matt

 

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