Shrink your appetite, your calorie intake, and your pants size with just one little addition to your rice: vegetables.
In a recent study of normal-weight people, mixing vegetables into a plain rice dish at lunch helped people feel fuller for the rest of the day. So much so that they ate way fewer calories at dinner than the folks who had their rice straight up.
Less Is More
Mixing veggies with the rice also lowered the calorie density of the lunch dish, shaving off a solid 100+ calories from the meal. So whether you opt for brown, basmati, or long-grain, adding things like broccoli, carrots, peppers, and onions to your rice can help cut calories from your day twice. And that's twice as nice for your waist! (Here's another way to cut your appetite. Eat a little of this kind of fat.)
Weight Loss Weapon
It's not entirely clear why the lower-calorie veggies-and-rice dish produced a better effect on all-day hunger compared with the rice-only dish, but researchers suspect the high water content of produce may have been part of the key. High water content makes vegetables bulky, creating the visual illusion that the rice-plus-veggie serving was extra generous and hearty, and therefore more filling. Plus, eating high-fiber veggies helps slow stomach emptying. Whatever the hunger-quelling mechanism, it's simple to toss a few of your favorite vegetables into not only rice but just about any meal. (Want more ways to smite your appetite? Try these hunger-curbing tips.)
What's your favorite veggie?