Veggie burgers are quick and convenient options for vegetarians and for meat eaters who want a cholesterol-free alternative protein source. They are low enough in calories and high enough in filling nutrients to be regular components of a weight-loss diet. As you plan your meals with veggie burgers, keep in mind that no single food determines whether you lose weight.
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Consider Calories for Weight Loss
Losing weight requires you to consume fewer calories than you expend. A veggie burger patty that weighs 2.5 ounces contains 124 calories. Choosing veggie burgers instead of higher-calorie foods, such as ground beef, can help you lose weight. A 3-ounce serving of ground beef contains 183 calories. To limit the calories in your meal, have a veggie burger patty on a lettuce leaf instead of a bun, or slice it and add it to a green salad.
Use Fiber to Fill Up
A 2.5-ounce veggie burger patty provides 3.4 grams of dietary fiber, or 14 percent of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Dietary fiber can help you feel fuller and aid in weight control, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Beans, oats and vegetables, such as mushrooms, peas and carrots, are possible ingredients in veggie burgers that can contribute to their fiber content. To get more fiber, use a whole-grain instead of a white bun and add grilled eggplant or bell peppers to your veggie burger.
Focus on Protein
A veggie burger patty contains 11 grams of protein, or 22 percent of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Protein is a filling nutrient because it slows the emptying of food from your stomach so that you do not get hungry as soon after your meal. To add more protein without too many more calories, add a slice of low-fat cheddar cheese to your veggie burger or, for breakfast, scramble eggs with a chopped veggie burger.
Veggie burgers can be high-calorie if you opt for a large patty, such as a 1/4-pound patty with 250 calories, or add full-fat cheese or mayonnaise-based sauces. Instead, opt for a small patty, low-fat or fat-free cheese and low-calorie condiments, such as mustard. Add lettuce leaves and tomato slices to make your burger bigger without many extra calories. What you eat with your veggie burger also affects your weight loss. Avoid high-calorie sides such as potato chips and french fries, and select fresh vegetables or fruit as low-calorie alternatives.