How eating cucumbers can help you lose weight
Cucumbers are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and have a whole host of health benefits associated with them. One benefit is their ability to help you lose weight.
In nutrition, calories are used to describe the amount of energy your body absorbs when certain foods are eaten.
For example, 100 g of macadamia nuts contain 718 calories.
That’s a huge difference compared to watercress, which only has 11 calories per 100 g.
The main reason for this difference is because macadamia nuts are mainly made up of fat and protein, whereas watercress is made up of water.
The simplest way to lose weight is to be in a calorie deficit. What this means is that you consume fewer calories everyday than what your body uses up.
If you do this, your body will end up using it’s excess fat stores as a source of energy. The more fat your body burns, the thinner you become.
You can use this calculator (included below) to determine how many calories you should be eating in order to lose weight, at a normal pace or fast pace.
This calculator will never show a number below 1000 calories per day. Please speak to a qualified health professional before attempting to eat less than that.
The number of calories you need are not set in stone because everybody is different; the amount of calories you will need to consume will depend largely on your gender, age, weight, height and activity level.
For example, a 35 year old lady who weighs 85 kgs (187 lbs), is 160 cm tall (5 feet, 3 inches) and exercises 3 – 5 days a week will need to consume approximately 1900 calories everyday to lose weight at a normal pace and 1400 calories to lose weight fast.
A 35 year old man with the same height, weight and activity levels would have to consume 2100 calories to lose weight at a normal pace and 1550 calories to lose weight fast. The simple reason for this is that men tend to be more muscular than women and therefore have a slightly higher metabolism.
So how do cucumbers fit into all of this?
Well, they are extremely low in calories due to the fact they are mainly made up of water (and pure water contains 0 calories, which is why it is the best thing to drink when you are trying to lose weight).
In fact, cucumbers are made up of 95% water and are the 3rd least calorie dense food in our list of 140 healthiest foods.
When you eat cucumbers, they take up a fair bit of space in your stomach. This means that you still end up getting a feeling of being full, but for fewer calories.
100 grams (around one third of a cucumber) contains:
You will notice from the table above that 100 g of cucumber contains just 16 calories, making them an excellent food to add to a weight loss diet. Obviously you can’t just eat cucumbers on their own and not eat anything else as they severely lack in fat and protein which your body needs for various bodily functions. But combining them with other healthy weight loss foods whilst cutting out junk will have tremendous effects on your weight loss efforts.
Water consumption helps boost metabolism
This study found that drinking water can boost metabolism. 14 normal weight individuals took part and the effect of them drinking 500 ml of water on energy expenditure was measured. The results showed that their metabolism was increased by up to 30%, meaning they burnt slightly more calories.
The study was repeated with 16 overweight or obese individuals. Again the results showed that drinking 500 ml of water boosted metabolism by 24% for up to 1 hour.
In this study, 48 overweight adults were split into 2 groups. Both groups consumed a calorie deficit diet but one group also drank 500 ml of water prior to each meal. Their body weight was analysed every week, for 12 weeks. The group that drank water ended up losing 44% more weight than the group that didn’t.
A lot of people are dehydrated without realising it. Dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger, thereby leading to overeating. Whilst it is important to drink plenty of liquid water, you can also get water from food. Cucumbers are 95% water and are therefore a great food to eat when trying to increase your overall intake.
How to add cucumbers to your diet
Cucumbers are delicious and cooling when eaten on their own but they can also be added to a wide variety of dishes. One of the most obvious ways that comes to my mind is adding them to salads. There are lots and lots of different salad recipes out there.
They can be used in salads, soups & smoothies. They also make a great food to snack on, compared to eating junk, which provides no benefit to you when trying to lose weight (or otherwise!).
There is no doubt that cucumbers will help you lose weight. If you make them part of a healthy weight loss diet, exercise on a regular basis and follow the weight loss tips here, you will start slimming down in no time at all!