Easy Ways to Include Vegetables in Your Diet

Easy Ways to Include Vegetables in Your Diet

The world is full of fad diets and, let’s face it, none of them work; at least not in the long term. We all know that having a healthy diet is one of the basic keys to weight loss, but how many of us can actually say that we eat as healthily as we should?

I would guess that there are very few of us who can honestly say that deep down we’d rather eat a plate of greens instead of a slice of pizza. In today’s busy, on-the-go world it is sometimes next to impossible to eat the recommended five daily servings of veggies, and most of us replace them with quick, fried, calorie-laden, and/or otherwise unhealthy substitutes.

It will be much easier and less stressful for you to begin your path to health by adding items to your diet rather than eliminating your favorite indulgences. Here are some sneaky suggestions:

Craving a burger?
Pile on lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, and ketchup. Yes, ketchup can count toward your daily veggie intake!

Pizza?
Even if you choose to keep the meat toppings (what’s a pizza without pepperoni?), add some veggie toppings. There are the standards: mushrooms, onions, green peppers, banana peppers, and olives. Many pizzerias are offering more exotic toppings such as spinach and broccoli. You can even add extra toppings to frozen pizzas prior to or during baking.

Pasta?
Use lots of tomato sauce and add olives, broccoli, onions, and/or peppers to your dish.

Thirsty?
Drink a glass of water.

Sandwiches?
In addition to the above-mentioned burger toppings, green peppers, shredded carrots, and sliced cucumbers are delicious additions to sandwiches.

Eating out?
Order a side salad or steamed veggies instead of fries. Or if you aren’t quite ready to go that far, a baked potato. Don’t force yourself to eat vegetables you don’t like. Find ones that you DO like, and experiment with creative ways of serving them. Using the right spices and seasonings can turn otherwise-boring steamed vegetables into delicious side dishes. Start a recipe exchange with your friends or join one online.

Finally, to give yourself a jump start, keep a daily account of the vegetable servings you eat. Tally marks on the days of a calendar work wonderfully. Having a visual record is very important toward making this new practice an ongoing habit. Challenge yourself! Stick with these seemingly insignificant steps for at least thirty days to make them a habit. You just may find yourself feeling more fit and registering a few pounds lighter!