High levels of fruits, vegetables, greens, and beans help you lose weight because they are low in calories, high in volume and high in critically important nutrients. On a very practical level, they fill you up, without loading you up with fat and calories. And when your stomach is filled up with high volume, low-calorie food, there is less room for other bad stuff.
So You want to Lose Weight Fast? Then Read On.
Fruits and Vegetables Fight Food Cravings
Our body is really smart, and often sends us signals. Hunger is a big signal. It is your own body telling you to eat. If you have ever been pregnant (or know someone who has!) you are familiar with peculiar food cravings. It is the same thing with your body and nutrients. Your body is looking for specific nutrients and is not getting them in nutrient poor processed foods, and anything marked low fat or low carb. So you eat and you eat and you eat but the body still hasn’t gotten what it needs. It’s still looking for the nutrients available in fruits and vegetables.
There is also a growing body of evidence that shows that plant-based foods help to control food cravings and overeating. They are nutrient dense, which simply means they are packed with all sorts of good things for you, which is something most of us know.
But what is new is the idea that a diet very high (much more than the recommended 5 servings a day) can help turn off our cravings for processed foods. They can short circuit the food addiction cycle, and help provide a jolt to your weight loss efforts.
Your Diet May Be Balanced- But Are You?
The average American diet is roughly 8% fruits, vegetables, and beans. We are told to eat 5 or more portions a day but to get a real impact on your weight or health, you need to radically and dramatically increase daily intake, and put a special focus on green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and salad. Often what keeps us from doing this is that we are told to pursue a “balanced diet” and to “eat sensibly”. But what if your body is out of balance and overweight? In order to attain balance, might we need to pursue an “unbalanced diet” where we simply invert the ratios of fruits and vegetables in relation to everything else?
Ever heard of drinking water to lose weight? The diet tactic actually works, along with eating foods that contain a lot of water, like fruits and veggies. In a University of Tokyo study, women who ate high-water-content foods had lower body mass indexes and smaller waistlines. Researchers speculate that the water in these foods may fill you up so you eat less. Make the strategy work for you by adding more of these in-season fruits and veggies—each is at least 90% water—to your meals.
Vegetables Can Rapidly Lower Elevated Cholesterol Levels
Arguably the most important “modifiable risk factor” for heart disease is one’s “blood cholesterol level.” This is an EASILY MEASURABLE THING! According to the U.S. National Institute for Health:
“Your blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with your chances of getting heart disease. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. A risk factor is a condition that increases your chance of getting a disease. In fact, the higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States. Each year, more than a million Americans have heart attacks, and about a half million people die from heart disease.”
Pectin-Containing Fruits Like Apples and Pears can help you Lose Weight
You have heard the old saying that “An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away.” That is literally true. “Pectin” is a fiber that binds to bile acids in the digestive system. So when you eat an apple, or a pear or a pile of green vegetables, you are triggering a process that can literally suck elevated levels of bad cholesterol out of your system!
What Vegetables and Fruits Speed Up Weight Loss
There is a growing body of evidence that shows that not all fruits and vegetables are created equally. Certain fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients per calorie than others, and these nutrients help your body do what it needs and wants to. When your body is getting what it needs, you are going to feel better physically. And you just may feel better emotionally.
The absolute best vegetables to help you lose weight are green vegetables– Collard Greens, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage. If you are in a Chinese restaurant, pay very close attention to the vegetables they serve. And get in the habit of eating them. If you want to lose weight quickly, you need to eat a ton of these vegetables every day and start to get a sense of your portion sizes.
Other things that will help you lose weight quickly are Romaine Lettuce, Vegetable Juice, Boston Lettuce, Carrot Juice, Tomato Sauce and Red and Green Peppers. If it grows, eat a LOT of it!!
Just like vegetables, not all fruit is created equally. You hear that certain fruits are “antioxidant superfoods.” These fruits also will help you lose weight more quickly. Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blueberries are at the top of the list when it comes to helping speed up weight loss.
You might be worried about the calories in strawberries but you need to realize there are only 74 per cup and those are the calories you want. There are even fewer calories in raspberries. They will give you energy, make you feel great and help burn off fat very quickly. They also help to fight cancer. This summer, find a place where wild raspberries grow and take a hike to that place. And gorge on them! You will have a great day- and it is free. If you are a parent, these kinds of activities kids love and will help them form great behaviors for their lifetime. A gift to yourself and others.
A Little Tip: This summer, find a place where wild raspberries grow and take a hike to that place. And gorge on them! You will have a great day- and it is free. If you are a parent, these kinds of activities kids love and will help them form great behaviors for their lifetime. A gift to yourself and others.
Here are some simple ways to cut calories and eat fruits and vegetables throughout your day:
Breakfast: Start the Day Right
Substitute some spinach, onions, or mushrooms for one of the eggs or half of the cheese in your morning omelet. The vegetables will add volume and flavor to the dish with fewer calories than the egg or cheese. Cut back on the amount of cereal in your bowl to make room for some cut-up bananas, peaches, or strawberries. You can still eat a full bowl, but with fewer calories.
Lighten Up Your Lunch
Substitute vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or onions for 2 ounces of the cheese and 2 ounces of the meat in your sandwich, wrap, or burrito. The new version will fill you up with fewer calories than the original.Add a cup of chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, beans, or red peppers, in place of 2 ounces of the meat or 1 cup of noodles in your favorite broth-based soup. The vegetables will help fill you up, so you won’t miss those extra calories.
Spice Up Dinner
Add in 1 cup of chopped vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, squash, onions, or peppers, while removing 1 cup of the rice or pasta in your favorite dish. The dish with the vegetables will be just as satisfying but have fewer calories than the same amount of the original version.
Take a good look at your dinner plate. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains should take up the largest portion of your plate. If they do not, replace some of the meat, cheese, white pasta, or rice with legumes, steamed broccoli, asparagus, greens, or another favorite vegetable. This will reduce the total calories in your meal without reducing the amount of food you eat. BUT remember to use a normal- or small-size plate — not a platter. The total number of calories that you eat counts, even if a good proportion of them come from fruits and vegetables.
Instead of a high-calorie snack from a vending machine, bring some cut-up vegetables or fruit from home. One snack-sized bag of corn chips (1 ounce) has the same number of calories as a small apple, 1 cup of whole strawberries, AND 1 cup of carrots with 1/4 cup of low-calorie dip. Substitute one or two of these options for the chips, and you will have a satisfying snack with fewer calories.
More Tips for Making Fruits and Vegetable Part of Your Weight Management Plan
Eat fruits and vegetables the way nature provided—or with fat-free or low-fat cooking techniques.Try steaming your vegetables, using low-calorie or low-fat dressings, and using herbs and spices to add flavor. Some cooking techniques, such as breading and frying, or using high-fat dressings or sauces will greatly increase the calories and fat in the dish. And eat your fruit raw to enjoy its natural sweetness.
Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are also good options.Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as the fresh varieties. However, be careful to choose those without added sugar, syrup, cream sauces, or other ingredients that will add calories.
Choose whole fruit over fruit drinks and juices. Fruit juices have lost fiber from the fruit.It is better to eat the whole fruit because it contains the added fiber that helps you feel full. One 6-ounce serving of orange juice has 85 calories, compared to just 65 calories in a medium orange.
Whole fruit gives you a bigger size snack than the same fruit dried—for the same number of calories.A small box of raisins (1/4 cup) is about 100 calories. For the same number of calories, you can eat 1 cup of grapes.
Remember: Substitution is the key.
It’s true that fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than many other foods, but they do contain some calories. If you start eating fruits and vegetables in addition to what you usually eat, you are adding calories and may gain weight.
The key is substitution. Eat fruits and vegetables instead of some other higher-calorie food. You can’t just eat more vegetables and hope to lose weight, though. They must replace higher calorie foods in your meal plan.
To lose fat, you must eat fewer calories than you burn. Eating a lot of vegetables helps you lose fat because they tend to be high in fiber and water while providing few calories per serving.
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