Fundamentally, to lose weight you must be in a calorific deficit. If you are consuming a surplus amount of calories, then in most cases you will not lose weight. Over recent years many theorists have concluded that there is more to fat loss than just being in a calorific deficit such as hormonal profiling, lean tissue mass, down regulated thyroids and over worked adrenals to name but a few, but the main contributing factor to weight loss is the energy consumed v’s energy expended continuum. After all, if you consume more energy (food) than what you expend (physical activity, exercise) then the excess energy will be stored – and in most cases it is stored as fat.
With the above in mind, just consuming green vegetables won’t result in fat loss on it’s own or unless you are in a calorific deficit. Calculating calorie requirements and deficits are difficult things to do, however if you approach any of the Personal Trainers who have completed the FLM Training’s Personal Training course they will be able to do it for you as we spend a lot of time discussing calorie requirements etc. during our qualifications.
Although consuming green veg doesn’t directly cause fat loss, it can and does support fat loss in the following ways:
Green veg contains fibre. This particular fibre supports your digestive system and also makes you feel fuller for longer. Therefore, it makes being in a calorie deficit a little easier.
Green veg isn’t very calorie dense and as a result you can consume more of it than other primary carbohydrate sources. For example, 200g of steamed green veg is equivalent to about 15-25g of carbohydrates where as 200g of boiled rice is about 150g of carbohydrates… that’s an extra 520 calories.
Green veg contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals such as DIM which can help women and men control oestrogen better – which in turn helps with fat loss. As well as this, the antioxidants support your immune system and as a result hep reduce inflammation. The minerals such as Zinc also help testosterone production and therefore make it easier to build lean tissue which again helps fat loss.
Choosing green veg over refined carbohydrates or hydrogenated fat based foods can help reduce oxidative stress, which in turn reduces the damage which free radicals cause on our cells and also reduce inflammation in the digestive system. This will result in less bloating which means less internal stress. Stress is one of the major culprits for fat gain, so if we can reduce it then fat loss becomes a lot easier.
Green veg can improve insulin sensitivity which as we know (see previous blog here) helps improve body composition, reduce body fat and improve health. Because green veg doesn’t contain refined carbohydrates / sugars and is usually ranked mid – low on the Glycaemic Index scale, it doesn’t cause an insulin response the way eating sugary snacks does.
Wow, those benefits are very impressive. If you are serious about fat loss and are super motivated to get in shape, then the inclusion of green veg into your daily diet is very important. I recommend you start with between 200-300g of steamed green veg every day. There’s no limit as to how much you can eat but 300g is a good starting point. As well as this, there are tens of different ways to eat green veg so it never gets boring. I’ve listed a few ideas below:
Steam veg to retain the goodness
Bake the vegetables for a crunchy treat. E.g. chickpeas with spices = similar to popcorn, kale with spices = similar to crisps
Make a big a bowl of green veg with lots of pepper and 1 vegetable stock cube – my favourite
Make a leafy green salad to go with a tender well prepared piece of meat
Make a green veg smoothie and add in a scoop of protein for extra goodness.