Watermelon is an excellent addition to a weight loss plan, particularly in summer when it is plentiful and fresh. Some diets can go to extremes and use watermelon as the sole replacement for a healthy eating plan with a variety of foods. This is not a healthy long term strategy for weight loss, and will almost certainly result in a rebound weight gain or even in malnutrition. However, the underlying principle of using watermelon as a weight loss aid has value when done in moderation. Here are some of the benefits of eating this sweet summer treat.
Watermelon is Low in Calories
The main benefit of watermelon to weight loss is that it is low in calories. It is made up of around 92% water and is very filling. Watermelon also contains some healthy nutrients such as vitamin C and lycopene, but is only 30 calories per 100 grams. It is sweet and delicious, so it can be used as a satisfying replacement for high calorie snacks or desserts. Keep a few slices in the fridge for when a craving hits.
Watermelon is Versatile
While watermelon is usually only eaten fresh and raw in slices, it can be prepared in many different ways. It can be frozen and eaten like a sorbet or blended and sipped as juice. It can be used in a cold soup or salsa, the rind can be cooked as a vegetable and the seeds roasted for a very nutritious snack. Watermelon can even be grilled like steak, and when prepared in this way is said to have a texture similar to tuna. Being so versatile, watermelon will not quickly lose its appeal and can be added to meals in different ways to bulk them up without adding calories.
Watermelon as a Sports Drink
Watermelon can be used as a low calorie, refreshing snack on a hot day, and will help to replace lost electrolytes such as potassium. This can help you to maintain energy levels and hydration when exercising in the summer without resorting to sports drinks, which are often high in calories.
The Benefits of Citrulline
The white portion of watermelon, and the rind itself, contain citrulline, which is an amino acid that is used in sports supplements to decrease muscle fatigue. It works by relaxing the blood vessels. Decreasing muscle fatigue allows you to exercise for longer periods, as well as recover more quickly. Try digging a little deeper into your watermelon slice to get the benefit of the white section, or try grilling or pickling the watermelon rind.
Watermelon is a Rich Source of Antioxidants
Watermelon has good levels of vitamin C and A as well as lycopene, all powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants can help to mop up free radicals that might cause or exacerbate conditions like asthma and heart disease. Consuming a good amount of antioxidants will help to keep you healthy, which will in turn allow you to continue exercising and feeling good.
Watermelon is filling, nutritious and a good substitute for fattening sweets when it comes to losing weight. Watermelon can easily and effectively be made a part of a healthy weight loss plan.