By Cellina LaForey, eHow Contributor
Vegetables are a high energy, low calorie food. They’re the perfect food to eat if you’re trying to lose weight. It is not necessary to engage in a strict vegetable-only diet, but increasing your vegetable intake will not only provide your body with much needed nutrients, but the high fiber content will make you feel full and help cut down on your caloric intake. The less calories you eat, the more weight you lose.
Significantly increase your vegetable to non-vegetable food ratio. When preparing a meal, increase your vegetable portion. For example, if your dinner plate consists of 1/3 meat, 1/3 carbohydrates (such as rice, potato or pasta) and 1/3 vegetables, change the ratio to ½ vegetables, ¼ meat and ¼ carbohydrates. You’re still satisfying your taste buds by eating the foods you like, you’re just modifying the portions to include more vegetables.
Make a list of available vegetables. To avoid getting stuck in a rut eating the same vegetables meal after meal, compile an exhaustive list of vegetables. Gardenology.com, with a list of over 50 different vegetables, is a good place to start. When you find that you’ve run out of vegetable ideas, pull out the list and get creative. Eating a wide variety of vegetables staves off boredom, which increases the likelihood of maintaining your new way of eating.
Eat raw vegetables when possible. The cooking process can strip the vegetables of some of their vitamins and nutrients. Eating raw vegetables provides the bulk needed to achieve the sensation of feeling full so that you’ll eat less, which in turn helps you lose weight.
Get creative when cooking vegetables. Although raw vegetables may be the most nutritious way to eat them, not everyone enjoys raw vegetables. Try vegetable soups, broths and sautéed vegetables. Cooks.com has over 2,000 vegetable soup recipes.
Stay away from heavy sauces. Increasing your intake of vegetables can help you to lose weight as long as you don’t negate the benefits by drowning them in high fat sauces. Stay away from too much butter, Hollandaise sauce and thick cheese sauces.