Kale is one of the best superfoods to incorporate into your weight loss diet because its calorie count is very low relative to volume, but at the same time, the green is incredibly rich in nutrients that help your body function better.
In the rest of the article, we’re going to look at the specific ways in which kale is good for weight loss, the various ways you can eat kale, how it’s good for your skin, and how maintaining a calorie deficit helps you achieve weight loss.
Why is Kale Good for Weight Loss?
Kale’s biggest strength when it comes to weight loss diets is that it has very few calories per ounce, which makes it a great aide to your quest in maintaining a calorie deficit. Kale also has a very wide range of vitamins and minerals, which help in keeping your overall physical health optimal.
Kale is One of the Most Nutrient Dense Foods
Kale has an incredibly broad nutritional profile and a very high density of all these vitamins and minerals. A large portion of these nutrients are lost when cooking, so if you want to maximize your vitamin intake, eating it raw will get you there quicker, but this is not necessary to get the benefits from it.
Maintaining a balanced diet is important because your body is operating at its best when you have all the nutrients you need. It can be hard to make sure you’re getting everything you need every day, which is why kale’s nutritional profile makes it such a convenient food to keep your metabolism burning fat consistently.
Kale is Low in Calories but Very Voluminous
A single serving of kale, at 80 grams, contains only 22 calories. To put it another way, you could eat a whole pound of kale and only take in a bit over 125 calories. This will take up a lot of space in your stomach and the rest of your digestive system while not negatively affecting your calorie deficit, which is essential for weight loss.
Kale is Really High in Vitamin K
A single serving of kale has more than triple the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. In a study published in 2017, vitamin K was found to have an effect on lowering specifically visceral fat. This is the fat that sits inside the abdominal cavity, sometimes called a “beer belly,” and has the reputation as some of the most difficult weight to lose.
How do You Incorporate Kale Into Your Weight Loss Diet?
Kale may not be the most versatile food, but there are still lots of way to get it out of your fridge and into your stomach. Traditionally, it’s been used in many hot meals, but it’s also recently becoming a popular snack food.
Kale as a Snack
Kale chips are becoming a new trend for people who want that familiar snack but don’t want all the calories that come with eating fried potatoes. You can get them prepackaged at plenty of health food stores, but you can even make them yourself.
The first step to making kale chips at home is cut out just the leaves. Then add some oil so that they can properly crisp over and salt for taste as per your preference. Bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, and you’ve got your homemade kale chips.
Kale in Your Meals
Kale has a long history of being used as a part of hot meals in Europe. Soups like the Italian ribollita and the Portuguese calbo verde, literally meaning “green broth,” make extensive use of the vegetable. Kale is also prepared with a lot of meat and potato dishes, where it balances out the nutritional profiles of the recipes.
Is Kale Good for Your Skin?
Kale is good for maintaining your skin’s health. It contains vitamin C, which is greatly beneficial to your body’s synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which helps clear up your complexion. It’s not the only one. Kale is also rich in vitamin A and vitamin E, which are also antioxidants.
Kale is so good for skin, that it’s often an ingredient in all sorts of skincare products. Moisturizers and cleansers make great use of the vegetable for its ability to tighten pores, detoxify your skin, and keep it looking young and clear.
How do You Lose Weight With a Calorie Deficit?
Kale is great for weight loss primarily because of its low calorie count, which helps you in taking in less calories per day than you use up. This is called a calorie deficit. Generally, if you want to reduce your caloric intake, the aim for an average person is to consume below 2000 calories per day.
This isn’t the only way to achieve a calorie deficit, though. You can consume much more than 2000 calories per day and still be in a calorie deficit if you’re burning more than whatever it is that you’re consuming. Increasing this number involves physical activity, such as exercise.
Increasing the Calories You Burn
Physical activity uses up energy which causes your body to need more calories. If you need more than you’ve eaten that day, it will start to burn your fat cells for energy. The more intense the activity, the more calories you’ll burn. Running and swimming are good ways to burn a lot of calories in a very short amount of time.
You don’t have to go to extremes to increase your calorie output, though. Small changes to your lifestyle can lead to weight loss if you make them part of your daily routine. Walking is a surprisingly efficient way to burn calories. You can incorporate this into your life by taking walks for leisure or replacing some short commutes that you’d normally drive for with it.
Decreasing the Calories You Eat
If you don’t have the time or desire to make any big changes in your exercise habits, you can still achieve a calorie deficit by changing your eating habits. If you replace calorie dense foods like potatoes with low calorie foods like kale, you can see your calorie intake drop dramatically with very little effort.
The other way to reduce your calorie intake is to change how much and how frequently you eat. You can get into the habit of eating only until you’re feeling sated, not until you can’t eat anymore, which has a host of health benefits, including fewer calories. Reducing how many meals or snacks you have throughout the day can also make a huge difference to your calorie count.
We’ve learned today how to achieve weight loss through calorie deficit and how kale helps you do this, as well as some of the other health benefits associated with kale.