It's that time of year when everything has a pumpkin spin on it, whether it's a latte, a body lotion, or a protein bar. Little did you know, though, that pumpkins could be your greatest weapon in the fight for weight loss. They're very similar to sweet potatoes, so much so that they're often interchanged in many recipes, and sweet potatoes are known to be the ultimate weight-loss food. So let's break it down and see just how magical pumpkin truly is.
One cup of cooked pumpkin is only 49 calories (compared to 187 calories in sweet potatoes) and it only has 12 grams of carbs. Pumpkin is also very low in sugar — much lower than sweet potatoes, in fact; it only has about three grams. It also gives you hefty doses of vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron, and just like sweet potatoes, pumpkin has hardly any fat whatsoever.
Because pumpkin has a naturally sweet flavor, it can help you curb your sugar cravings (which seem to never go away at this time of year). Because pumpkin is lower in carbs, it's the perfect thing to snack on when you're hitting that afternoon crash and you need some extra sustenance. Additionally, the amount of fiber — three grams, which is about 12 percent of your recommended daily intake — will also keep you fuller for longer, which means less snacking and fewer calories are in your future.
If you're looking for some healthy pumpkin recipes to get into the Fall spirit and trim your waistline, here are some great options that will help you reach your weight-loss goals:
- Pumpkin pie chia pudding
- Spicy Thai curry and pumpkin noodle soup
- Pumpkin chai protein smoothie
- Raw vegan pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin pie cookie sandwiches with chocolate cinnamon filling