As a health coach, a common complaint I hear when people are trying to eat healthier is “I don’t like vegetables”. For some people, the struggle is real when it comes to eating vegetables. If this is you, consider this…
If you are trying to lose weight, eating more vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your long-term weight-loss success!
First things first…vegetables are good for your health.
It’s one thing experts agree on: We all can benefit from eating vegetables. In fact, 5 to 9 servings of fruit and vegetables are recommended daily, with at least two fruit and three vegetable servings. Vegetables are nutrient dense, meaning they are packed with all kinds of vitamins and minerals our bodies need such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, or potassium and they are a good source of fiber. Eating vegetables daily may reduce the risk of stroke, cancer, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes.
Vegetables are great for weight loss
Vegetables can fill you up with relatively few calories. Think about this: a donut is around 200 calories (or more). To eat 200 calories from broccoli would require eating 6 cups of broccoli! Eating vegetables will help you feel satiated and you can eat lots of them without worrying about how many calories you’re consuming.
Given the important role vegetables play in a healthy diet and with weight loss you should find a way to eat them regularly. But what if you really don’t like them?
Try different ways of preparing them
Do you like hummus? Do you like a certain type of salad dressing? Try dipping your carrots and cucumbers in a dressing that you like. Compare raw vs cooked vs canned vegetables and steamed vs oven roasted. The way vegetables are prepared can make a big difference in how much you like them. I used to only like eating spinach when it was cooked. Nowadays I have learned to eat it raw, and what helped me to get there was adding some spinach mixed with other vegetables and the right kind of seasoning. The way you season vegetables with spices and dressings and changing up food combinations can make such a difference to the taste and texture of the vegetables you’re eating.
Find a gateway vegetable and don’t be afraid to eat it often
What’s one vegetable that you like and are willing to eat again? Some popular ones are potatoes, onions, corn, tomatoes, cucumber, avocados, asparagus, and mushrooms. Eating more of the vegetables you do like is an easy way to increase your vegetable consumption! Over time this habit may even help ease you into eating other vegetables with different flavors and textures.
Keep an open mind when eating vegetables.
A positive attitude about eating vegetables truly makes a difference. Think about the benefits you gain from vegetables so but also consider reasons why you don’t like them. Do you not like prepping them? How can you overcome that challenge? Do you not like to cook? How about buying them already prepared, such as a salad to go? Can you add vegetables to something you already enjoy eating such as spaghetti sauce or on your pizza? Think about how to streamline the process of eating vegetables to make it easier and more enjoyable for yourself.
Although vegetables may never become your favorite food, you may be surprised that over time you can come to appreciate them more and even like them a little bit as your taste buds adjust to your new habits.
What vegetable would you start with? Tell us in the comments.
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