A healthy diet will account for the majority of your weight loss. Along with regular meals, portion control, and other traditional weight loss rules, there is one simple rule you should follow at every meal to lose more weight: Fill half your plate with vegetables.
In this article, we examine why filling half your plate with vegetables promotes weight loss, as well as which vegetables you should be putting on this half of your plate when you’re trying to lose weight.
Why half-filling your plate with vegetables causes weight loss
Vegetables are nutrient-dense, but they aren’t dense in calories. This makes them a great way to bulk up your meals without bulking up your calorie intake.
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By eating more vegetables at each meal, you’ll feel fuller more quickly and stay satisfied for longer after the meal is over. This holds true because non-starchy vegetables, like those we recommend below, are mostly water, are virtually fat-free, and are packed with satisfying fiber.
Ideally, you should practice the half plate method and then divide the remainder of your plate as follows:
- One quarter protein – one quarter of your plate should contain a lean protein source like lean meat, fish, eggs, beans, or even tofu if you follow a plant-based diet. Protein is essential when you exercise regularly, as it helps to rebuild and repair muscles.
- One quarter carbohydrates – you should put high-quality complex carbohydrates on the other quarter of your plate. Some examples of complex carbohydrates include brown rice, whole wheat pasta, beans, legumes, and whole grain bread.
- Use fats sparingly – fats should be used sparingly with the half plate method. Add heart-healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocado for the best results!
The best non-starchy vegetables to put on your plate
The kinds of vegetables you choose to fill up your plate matter, too!
Non-starchy vegetables are essential when you’re following the half plate method because starchy vegetables are high in carbohydrates. As such, it’s best to leave starchy vegetables for the quarter of your plate designated for carbohydrates, or to reduce the amount of starchy vegetables you’re consuming in general.
Non-starchy vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that promote weight loss and general well-being. Some of the best non-starchy vegetables include:
- greens – like cabbage, kale, spinach, lettuce, romaine, and arugula
- pea pods
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. It’s always best to experiment with a wide variety of non-starchy vegetables so you can find what you like best. Better yet, you can explore all non-starchy vegetables to add variety to your diet. That’ll make it easier to stick to your healthy eating plan!
Are you ready to apply the rule to your diet?
Filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables is a simple way to get your recommended daily intake of vegetables for the day and to drop weight!
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