In every contest diet or fat loss diet, I give my clients a list of good vegetables and bad ones that they can sometime choose from. Often times many of my clients mis-understand what I mean by bad vegetables and good vegetables. Most competitors who have suffered through a tough contest prep can attest to eating a hoard of broccoli and/or cauliflower during their diets. These are good examples of what I consider good vegetables. Good veggies have a one thing in common, they all have a low glyco-response in the body. This means that they don’t affect insulin levels very much and any carbohydrates that you derive from them are minimal and are delivered very slowly into the blood stream. These veggies include (but may not be limited to): broccoli, cauliflower, greens, lettuce (any kind), spinach, spouts, green beans, mushrooms, cucumbers, celery, peppers (any kind), and daikon (radish). Many of these can be used liberally in a contest or fat loss diet without fear of disrupting insulin levels. Hence, great for the contest dieter who wants to maximize fat loss and minimize hunger.
Now some of the bad vegetables include: potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, yams, squash, and beets. These veggies often are too starchy and can slow or even stop fat loss. This is death to any contest dieter or for anyone who is aggressively trying to lose body fat quickly. Now this isn’t to say these vegetables don’t have there place in a well constructed diet, they just must be watched with care or you can eat your way out of a fat loss diet quickly. Quick note, I get asked a lot about tomatoes, and actually tomatoes are a fruit and aren’t a vegetable. So needless to say tomatoes, while can be healthy to eat, they can be bad for fat loss if eaten in excess.
Veggies are a contest dieter’s staple and should be included in everyone’s daily food intake as a healthy part of a balanced meal plan, but too much of just about anything can be a bad thing. When you evaluate what veggies to include in your eating plan, first consider what your goals are for your diet and then decide what response you want from your food. This will often tell you what you need to know in deciding how starchy of a vegetable you want to include in a particular meal.