Think veggies first. When putting lunch and dinner together, start with filling the plate or bowl with non starchy veggies. Non starchy veggies average only 100 calories per pound. On the other hand, fats such as oil and butter are about 100 calories per tbsp! The average American eats about 5-6 lbs of food per day. Make at least 1/2-3/4 of your plate at lunch and dinner non starchy colorful veggies like greens, cabbage, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, string beans, asparagus and any other you enjoy! Filling your plate with tons of veggies helps to fill us up without feeling over full. In addition, as veggies go up, health improves, fiber increases and weight lowers. A recent study showed that a higher fiber diet improved the mood as 90% of serotonin (a feel good chemical) is produced by the bacteria in our colon, and our bacteria use fiber as fuel. So increasing veggies may help us feel better in body and mind.
More on fiber. As fiber increases, some research suggests that more weight loss results. Fiber is a non digestible carbohydrate that help to increase satiety and fullness and fuels the healthy gut bacteria. According to the DPP, the Diabetes Prevention Program, higher fiber diets resulted in greater weight loss: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5657137/ Fruits and veggies are good sources of fiber, but also beans, split peas, black eyed peas and lentils. Also, starchy veggies such as green peas, sweet potato and winter squash (acorn, butter cup, and others). Acorn squash has 9 grams of fiber per cup! Green peas are also high in fiber with 7 grams per cup. Strive to gradually increase fiber in your intake for excellent health and a healthy weight!
Yours in great health!
Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN