When it comes to weight loss, success often comes down to the small changes you make day to day. These small changes include adding more good-for-you food choices like fruits and vegetables to your meals throughout the week. We’ve talked about the benefits of lean protein as part of a weight loss diet. Fruits and vegetables can also be a powerful ally on your road to a healthy weight.
Loaded with vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, which has been shown to help with a healthy weight. In addition, produce is generally lower in calories (and saturated fat and sodium) and often one of the first foods dietitians and health professionals recommend increasing for improved health and weight loss. While much of the research into fruits and vegetables has drawn attention to their benefits in reducing the risk of certain diseases such as cancer, some studies have focused specifically on their ability to boost weight loss. One recent study found that fruits and vegetables may, in fact, have a positive effect on weight, specifically those with higher fiber and a lower glycemic load.
What does this mean for you and your healthy weight? Aim to make half your plate fruits and veggies at every meal, specifically non-starchy choices. Try these ideas for upping your fruit, veggie and fiber intake with minimal calories:
- For breakfast, add chopped apples or berries to your oatmeal or cereal, include chopped veggies or greens with your eggs or top a slice of whole grain toast with avocado and tomato slices.
- Choose whole fruits or vegetables for easy snacking throughout the day.
- For lunch and dinner, pair entrées with salads or veggie sides, mix vegetables into pasta, add extra vegetables to sandwiches, opt for vegetable soups and opt for fruit-based desserts like this Apple Pistachio Crisp Recipe.
Look for foods like these at the market and dietitian-recommended menu choices at restaurants to support your weight loss goals.
How do you add extra servings of fruits and vegetables to your meals?