If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you must find a way to limit your caloric intake to what you can burn off. Crash diets in which you deprive yourself of a great many foods are generally not sustainable. Once you return to your pre-crash diet eating habits, your weight returns. One tried-and-true strategy to healthy weight management is to incorporate lettuce into your daily menu. Lettuce provides nutrient-rich, low-calorie fiber that fills you up without packing on calories. Consult with your physician before embarking on any significant change in your diet.
To keep your body and your metabolism in tiptop shape you must maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Each day include protein, healthy oils, grains and complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables. For many, the challenge is, once you start eating all this great, healthy food, it’s hard to stop. This is where lettuce comes to your rescue. By filling up on nutritious, low-calorie fare like lettuce, it is far easier to exercise portion control once you start eating your other healthy foods.
Lettuce Entertain You
Iceberg is cool, and it is high in water content so it is low in calories, but if you are giving lettuce a spotlight in your evening dinner show, you can spice up the intrigue by varying the menu. Darker greens such as spinach, romaine, Swiss chard, endive, leaf lettuce, escarole, radicchio and arugula provide a variety of flavors and nutrients, and they have greater amounts of nutrients than iceberg lettuce, reports OrganicFacts.net.
Your Dinner Plate
Lettuce is filled with minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients so the few calories lettuce provides are nutrient-dense. Lettuce provides vitamins A, C, E and K. It contains several B vitamins including niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine and thiamine. It is filled with chlorophyll, the compound that makes plants green. Chlorphyll improves oxygen flow to cells, releases toxins and is rich in antioxidants that reduce the risk of some types of cancer, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. The fiber in lettuce makes you feel full, cleans your digestive tract, and slows the release of the carbohydrates you eat as a part of your meal, stabilizing your blood sugar and quelling your appetite for a longer period of time.
Two cups of romaine lettuce give you just 11 calories. Top this lettuce with other low-calorie vegetables such as raw broccoli, peppers, celery, cucumber and carrots and for a mere 50 calories or so you can chow down on four cups – that’s four cups -- of crisp, crunchy, hunger-sating nutrients. If you feel like splurging, splash on a little low-calorie dressing. You’ll still get a lot of nutrition for few calories.
Humans are predators and we take satisfaction in the appetitive and consumptive aspects of eating. The amount of time and effort you expend in preparing and eating a lettuce salad helps to provide a more satisfying meal-time experience. When your only weapon in the weight combat war is portion control, it can seem like your meal is over before it starts. When you take the time to eat a salad, you create an extended experience of chewing and swallowing, helping to satisfy your inner glutton.
Keep It Up
Add lettuce to your lunches, snacks and dinners to re-create that satisfying feeling of consuming tasty, filling food that you know is nutritious. Vary your lettuce, dressings and other toppings to add variety to your dining. Experiment with new toppings to keep your interest piqued. For example, a few nuts, raisins or pieces of fruit alter the personality of your salad and keep you motivated to stick with your lettuce diet, hopefully for the rest of your ever-thinner life.
- Disabled World: Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
- Linus Pauling Institute: Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Chicaro, Escarole or Romaine Lettuce
- Young Women’s Health: Dark Green Leafy Vegetables