Your challenge this week is to develop the habit of eating vegetables on a daily basis. For a “lean jumpstart” I will give you a suggestion for an easy and immediate 3-step habit change.
This tiny routine change will help you to increase and automate your daily vegetable consumption. I have also prepared an advanced 3-week action plan, for veggie lovers or those of you who want to take their vegetable consumption to the next level.
Almost all obese people eat too few vegetables
You simply cannot find another food group that is as perfectly matched to our everyday needs. Most obese people, however, do not consume enough vegetables.
There are many reasons for this. Veggies must be washed, cleaned or peeled. Additionally, some people do not like the strange tastes of certain produce.
Cutting onions can make you cry, red beets color your hands and salsify can leave brown, sticky spots on your fingers. Veggies cause a lot of organic “waste”. Additionally, it has to be sliced or diced before it can be cooked.
If you do not have the right equipment, cooking can get complicated and time-consuming. Furthermore, plant foods spoil quickly and you need doable recipes or at least an idea of how to prepare them.
I know that I gave you now a lot of reasons to not participate in this challenge – but wait!
The keystone habit for a successful weight management
There is no doubt among health experts that incorporating veggies high in fiber in your daily nutrition is important to a healthy lifestyle and a successful component of weight management.
Veggies contain an abundance of health-promoting phytonutrients and vitamins. Phytonutrients give foods their delicious flavors, unique aromas, and wonderful colors. This alone would be reason enough to implement them in your meals as often as possible.
But veggies can do much more for you…
One of the wonderful components of vegetables is their indigestible fiber resulting in amazing digestive benefits and chewy texture. Soluble fiber binds more water while filling up the stomach and the intestines. You eat less and thereby automatically save calories. Also, the veggies balancing effect on blood sugar can help keep your appetite under control.
Click through to learn more about the health benefits of high fiber foods.
If you eat a variety of vegetables, you will automatically consume less fat and bad cholesterol (LDL). Additionally, you will eat fewer calories than with a meat- or sugar-based diet. If you are successful at implementing this important keystone habit, it will be much easier to manage our future challenges.
Do you need more reasons?
There is a growing body of evidence that a diet rich in vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes and probably some cancers. It can also lower the risk of digestive and eye problems.
3-step habit change with baby action steps
Start with small changes and don't give up too early! With each daily venture, your taste buds will become more acclimated to the flavor and your aversion will dissipate. Below is a simple 3-step habit change that can help you to increase and automate your fiber-rich veggie consumption. It is a tiny behavior that you may want to automate:
When preparing meals always nibble a portion of the raw vegetable that you will cook. That way you will eat two portions (raw and cooked) within one meal. If you didn’t plan to use any vegetables for a meal nibble at least one carrot.
- Use the action of “Preparing a meal” as a trigger
- Develop the routine of snacking one portion of raw vegetables whenever you are preparing them for a meal. This works best with carrots, celery stalks, tomatoes or peppers.
- The reward could be that you satisfy your first hunger or feel full earlier. If that doesn’t work as a reward, perhaps self-talk does. You could just say “I’m awesome” to yourself whenever you eat a portion of raw veggies while preparing a meal.
Tell me how the vegetable challenge is going for you
How is this week's vegetable challenge going for you? Explain how this week's challenge is going in the comments below. Tell me also how you are planning to reward yourself. Does self-talk work for you or do you want to give yourself a special gift when you have accomplished this week’s challenge?
Advanced 3-Week Action Plan
Take this healthy habit to the next level with the advanced 3-week action plan. Click the link and learn how to eat more vegetables.