Of course, you’re an 8-year old child living in a grown-up’s body aren’t you?
And you’re going to tell me you don’t like fruits and vegetables.
Then you’ll probably “huff” and turn around, march out of the kitchen and go plop down in front of the TV to watch Scooby Doo without doing your homework, won’t you?
Well, time to grow up. “Not liking” fruits and vegetables is no excuse to not even try and improve your diet.
After all, I was a picky eater growing up, and over the years I’ve learned to like, even love, almost every vegetable I can find. In fact, here’s my daily fat loss diet including my complete fruit and vegetable intake.
Brunch Omelet: 4 whole eggs, 1/2 ounce cheese, 1/4 green pepper, 1/4 red pepper, 1/4 cup broccoli, 1/4 cup mushrooms, 1/4 cup spinach, and diced red onion. 1 apple or 1 orange. Greens drink. Green Tea.
Dinner Salad: 1 cup spinach, sliced red onion, 1/4 red pepper, (sometimes) 1/4 cup strawberries, 1/4 cup walnuts, shredded feta cheese
Dinner Main: 1 can Amy’s Organic Chili, 1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup mushrooms, diced red onion. 1 apple.
Evening Snack: Fruit and/or raw nuts
I’m not a “low-carb guy”, but I have found cutting back on whole-grains helps with fat loss. Plus, fruits and vegetables fill you up more than bread, cereal, or granola bars.
I mean seriously, who has ever had a 250 calorie granola bar and said, “Wow, I’m full.”
You probably just wanted another (thanks to the sugar and whatever else they put in there to make you hungry for more!).
But waaaaaay back in December, 2005, I discovered that replacing whole grains with more fruits and vegetables helped me take my body fat from 10% to 9% consistently. And that diet was a key in helping me achieve this look all year round. ====>
Not surprisingly, science has found the same thing.
A recent study agrees with this approach. Subjects on a low-fat diet that ate more fruits and vegetables lost more fat than another group on only a low-fat diet.
The group that ate the extra fruits and vegetables said they were less hungry. They were also able to eat a greater volume of food because fruits and vegetables are not energy dense (meaning they don’t have a lot of calories per serving).
(Reference: Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 85: 1465-1477, 2007.)
Eating more fruits and vegetables will help you cut calories and stay full longer, so you’ll lose more belly fat with that diet of whole, natural foods.
Bottom line: Fruits and vegetables help you lose fat. And live longer.
Research from the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California studied the food records of over 193,000 men and women and found that an increase in fruits and vegetables intake specifically helped to reduce the incidence of colon cancer in men.
(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 3, 730-737, September 2008.)
Here are some tips from Turbulence Twitter followers on how to get more fruit and vegetables into your diet…
1) Easiest way – make a smoothie with favorite vegs and fruits. Broccoli is
even good that way!
2) I love peppers and hummus, broccoli and hummus really good too.
3) Have a BIG bowl of fruit set out where it’s seen. Then you can graze as you
walk by during the day instead of grabbing junk
4) Make a whole-grain wrap of crushed walnuts, almond butter, and spinach. Great way to get a serving of spinach w/out even noticing its there.
5) Celery, apples or pears dipped in a good nut butter or paired with some raw nuts.
6) Buy mini bell peppers in packs; eat them instead of chips! Same crunch factor, but healthy! Add tbsp hummus or salsa
And a few quick tips from me:
a) Instead of having toast for breakfast, have an apple.
b) Usually have a side of rice at lunch? Have 1 cup of broccoli.
c) Typically have a bowl of cereal at night? Have an orange and an ounce of pecans (or walnuts or almonds), instead.
It’s very simple to eat more fruits and vegetables, and that way you’ll stay full and lose belly fat.
Let me know what WORKS for YOU! Post your comment below!
Helping you eat your way to fat loss,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS