Think of summer fruits and red, juicy watermelon is bound to come to your mind. A chilled watermelon feels like a refreshing cool breeze in the scorching summer months.
Biting into the watery pulp of watermelon is not only respiteful from the excruciating heat but also carries the sweet memories of nostalgia for many making it a popular favourite.
The best part about watermelons is their accessibility. Watermelons are available worldwide. As soon as summer hits, you can never pass by a fruit vendor without these green round balls being on display.
It’s no-brainer that this watery fruit is not fattening. But did you know that watermelons can support weight loss? Read further to know how.
What Do We Know About Watermelon?
Studies state that watermelons are an excellent source of antioxidants such as lycopene that can help prevent heart diseases and cancer. Research further links lycopene in watermelons to reducing inflammation in the body.
Another research indicates that watermelons are amazing for blood circulation and help manage blood pressure of obese individuals and of those with hypertension and prehypertension.
It is common knowledge that vitamins A and C are excellent for skin. Vitamin A moisturises skin and hair. Watermelon, being a potent source of vitamin A, helps maintain skin hydration and facilitates skin repair and new cell development while Vitamin C keeps the skin and hair soft.
These nutrients also help shield your skin from the sun’s harsh glare and prevent skin disorders like psoriasis. Watermelon also has a high Glycemic index (80). However, its Glycemic Load (content of carbohydrate) is low- just 5, so one can enjoy this fruit when in season.
What’s more? You can consume its seeds and rind! They are easy to roast and eat if you’re on the go.
92% of the weight of a watermelon is water. With its high water content, watermelons take care of your hydration levels. Moreover, studies consistently support the hypothesis linking hydration with weight loss.
In addition, the high amount of water in the fruit keeps you satiated for longer. Every time you feel those sugar cravings kick in, eating watermelon could do the trick. Furthermore, it has the goodness of electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium that help replenish energy levels instantly. This quality also helps prevent heat strokes.
Watermelon is an excellent arginine source, an amino acid that is extremely helpful in burning fat quickly.
Watermelon is a good dessert option as well. For those following a low-fat diet, watermelon can be a low-calorie way to satisfy your sweet tooth without running the risk of weight gain.
The main idea is that one serving, around 100 grams of watermelon, has about 30 calories or only 40-46 calories per cup. So for those trying to limit calories, watermelon is a low-calorie food that does not contribute to weight gain.However, it is imperative to eat judiciously as any food in excess is not good for health.
The HealthifyMe Note
Watermelon has a lot of health benefits. It mainly consists of water, which means you can get all the hydration from the fruit, and it is also very low in calories. Plus, increasing arginine concentrations in the blood after consuming watermelon can help reduce fat deposits and improve weight loss. It’s important to note that the Glycemic index of watermelon is high (80), however the Glycemic Load (the content of carbohydrate) is low- just 5, so one can enjoy this fruit when in season.
Ways to Eat Watermelon for Weight Loss
The ideal way to lose weight is by burning more calories than you consume. Therefore, it is vital to supplement your exercise routine with a balanced diet.
What makes watermelon so effective is that you’re eating a fruit that is mainly water and low in calories while ensuring that you won’t have any other cravings between meals. This also means that you will end up with reduced portion sizes for your other meals, which is great for weight loss.
However, avoid consuming watermelon at night. Watermelons have an acidic potency which could delay your digestion and cause issues with bowel movements the next morning.
Try to limit your total watermelon intake to about 2 cups per day. Sometimes 1 cup is the right quantity for weight loss, depending on your preferences. For example, if you eat one slice of watermelon for breakfast, you can pair your lunch with three pieces of watermelon. Or have it as an evening snack before 5 pm.
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The HealthifyMe Note
The best thing about eating watermelon is that it will reduce your cravings for unhealthy snacks and sweets by keeping you full for extended periods. It also helps reduce your portion size, which supports weight loss in the long run. Avoid having watermelon at night, which could hinder your digestion.
Watermelon Recipes to Try for Weight Loss
All in all, keep in mind everything we have outlined for you above. You don’t always have to eat watermelon as it is. There are many ways to consume this refreshing fruit. It doesn’t start or end with juice, although that is a great option!
Chilled Watermelon Soup
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cubed watermelon: 4 cups
Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
Fresh mint: 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper as per taste
Method of Preparation
Take all the ingredients and blend them together.
Add salt and pepper according to taste.
Adjust seasonings as you see fit.
Leave it to chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
Garnish with fresh mint leaves, and serve.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Watermelon cubes: 1½ cup (350 g)
Strawberries, chopped and frozen: 1 cup (200 g)
Banana, chopped and frozen: ½ (50 g)
Milk, unsweetened: ¾ cup (200 ml)
Two small lemons, juiced
Chia seeds: 1 tbsp (45 g)
Method of Preparation
Add all the ingredients to a blender, and blend until a puree-like consistency is achieved.
Adjust the consistency to suit your taste – add milk if you like a thinner smoothie or else add fruits to make it thicker.
Pour into a glass, top with chia seeds and enjoy your smoothie.
You can turn your watermelon smoothie into a smoothie bowl by sticking to a thicker consistency. Top with fresh fruits, nuts and seeds, and enjoy.
Chilli Lime Watermelon
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Watermelon cubes: 4 cups
Chilli powder: ¼ tsp (10 g)
One lime, zest grated and juiced
Crumbled cottage cheese: 3 tbsp (100 g)
Chopped fresh cilantro(coriander): 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Method of Preparation
Place the cubed watermelon in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and chilli powder. Toss well.
Add the lemon juice and top with the lime zest.
Add the crumbled cottage cheese and cilantro. Serve immediately.
All you need for these are a couple of cups of watermelon.
Blend the watermelon into a puree and pour it into a popsicle tray.
If you don’t have one, an ice cube tray also works!
If you like, you can add any other fruit you want to pair with watermelon in your popsicles. For example, strawberry or kiwi makes a great pairing. All you have to do is puree your preferred fruit along with watermelon.
Put in your chiller/freezer for a few hours until set. Serve and enjoy.
Watermelon is not just something to eat that can beat the heat. You can substitute your higher-calorie snacks with watermelon and be well on your journey to weight loss.
Watermelon has many benefits, including hydration and satiation. It can also be a key ingredient as you work toward your well-being. While consuming watermelon helps you lose weight, limiting your fruit intake to only watermelon is unhealthy.
It means overeating one fruit is a wrong eating pattern, even if it is considered an excellent fruit for weight loss. To achieve any goal, the right approach is required. One must work on the proper diet and consistent workout regime for weight loss.
Watermelon lycopene and allied health claims – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/
Cardiovascular benefits of lycopene: fantasy or reality? – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27609297/
Watermelon extract supplementation reduces ankle blood pressure and carotid augmentation index in obese adults with prehypertension or hypertension – https://academic.oup.com/ajh/article/25/6/640/160387
Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4901052/
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the side effects of eating too many watermelons?
Consuming too much watermelon can cause digestive discomfort such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea. Furthermore, watermelons are high in an antioxidant known as lycopene. Lycopene is also a pigment and overeating watermelon can give you lycopenemia. In this condition, lycopene builds up in your skin. Thus, giving it an orange discolouration. However, lycopenemia is extremely rare and reversible as well.
Does watermelon burn belly fat?
Watermelon can help burn your belly fat as it is a hydrating fruit rich in lycopene. In addition, watermelons increase arginine levels in your body, an amino acid that helps burn belly fat. Along with this, watermelons are mostly water, so they are a low-calorie food, perfect for weight loss.
What is the energy value per 100 grams of watermelon?
There are 30 calories, or the energy per value is 30 in 100 grams of watermelon.
Can women with PCOS eat watermelon?
Watermelon contains nutrients that can improve PCOS and help with risks associated with the condition, such as high blood pressure and weight gain. Additionally, since PCOS can impact skin health, the vitamin C in watermelon can help keep skin voluminous and plump by producing collagen. However, it is crucial to consume watermelon in moderation to avoid blood sugar spikes.
Can diabetics have watermelon?
When consumed in moderation (i.e., 100-150 grams, 2-3 days a week) watermelon can be beneficial for people with diabetes. It is not particularly harmful, but it affects everyone differently. Hence, it is better to consult an expert nutritionist to identify your portion size and the correct ways of consumption. However, the general strategy is to track your carbs, understand a food’s glycemic index, and monitor your blood sugar levels.