Raw vegetables are low-calorie foods that may aid weight loss.
No magic tricks exist to help you shed those unwanted pounds faster. You'll need to exercise some self-control when eating and muster motivation to increase your activity level. However, including certain high-fiber whole foods in your diet may help you feel more satisfied while eating fewer calories when working to lose weight. Be patient, stay on track and eventually you'll reach your goal weight.
In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. That means your body burns more calories than you eat in a day. You can create this deficit by decreasing your calorie intake or increasing your activity level. Most successful weight loss plans include both. Creating a deficit of 500 calories per day produces a weight loss of roughly 1 pound per week, because a pound of body fat is equivalent to roughly 3,500 calories. Aim for a weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Raw vs. Cooked Vegetables
Eating raw vegetables while cutting back on calorie intake can help to decrease your hunger. Raw vegetables contain a significant amount of water, which helps to fill space in your stomach, making you feel full while consuming fewer calories. As most vegetables cook, they shrink in volume. So raw vegetables have the advantage of providing more volume in your stomach for fewer calories. For example, 1 cup of raw spinach contains 7 calories, while 1 cup of cooked spinach contains 41 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Vegetables are very low-calorie foods when compared to most other food items. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, peas and corn, contribute the most calories per serving in the vegetable group. Choosing to eat raw, non-starchy vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers and celery, instead of processed snacks such as crackers, chips, pretzels or cookies, saves you calories that could add up to weight loss. Eating 1 cup of raw cucumber sticks gives you only 16 calories, while 1 ounce of cheese puff snacks gives you 160 calories. If you made this switch once a day, you'd save 1,008 calories per week.
Eating raw vegetables also provides you with necessary dietary fiber, which may aid in weight loss. Fiber is indigestible by your body and provides almost no calories. However, it swells and adds bulk inside your digestive tract, helping you feel full faster and with fewer calories. MayoClinic.com notes that high-fiber foods also require more chewing time. The longer you chew, the more time your stomach has to signal your brain that you're full. So, chewing those crunchy raw vegetables may prevent you from overeating and help you to lose weight.