Managing Your Weight With Fruit and Vegetables
There are many methods of keeping your weight under control. The most effective ones are based on a healthy diet consisting of lean meat, nuts, whole grains, beans, fruit and vegetables.
It's important to manage your weight with fruits and vegetables, especially when replacing them with high-calorie foods. As fruit and vegetables contain water and fibre, a person will feel satisfied after a meal without having to consume large portions. As fruits contain fructose – a form of sugar – eating large quantities should be avoided.
Fruit and vegetables make excellent substitutes for some of the ingredients usually included in a breakfast. Sliced bananas or strawberries can be placed in the bowl before the cereal to take up some of the volume. Some onions or mushrooms can be substituted for one of the eggs in an omelet or in eggs and bacon. Not only will vegetables add volume to the meal, they will enhance the flavour.
Anyone who does not normally eat a cooked breakfast could replace a bowl of cereal with a fruit smoothie. The smoothie should contain all the pulp and skin to get the most nutrients from the fruit. If you do not have a blender, you can easily make a smoothie in a bowl with crushed ice or with frozen juice that has been partially thawed.
It is important to not rely on fruit juices as drinks during the day as they contain more calories than a similar portion of fruit. By the same token, a very small serving of dried fruit will contain a big serving of calories, so overindulgence in dried fruit as a snack will be counterproductive. It is important to remember that the drying process removes some of the nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium and calcium.
Many people who make a sandwich for lunch each day include a large portion of meat or cheese. At least some of these two staples can be replaced with lettuce, cucumbers, onions or tomatoes. Again, substitution means fewer calories. If lunch consists of a soup, some of the meat and noodles could make way for peppers, broccoli, beans or carrots which contain fewer calories.
A satisfying dinner is a major event in the day, and there is no need to make a low calorie dinner uninteresting and flavourless. Start by replacing some of the pasta, cheese, rice or meat with whole grains and vegetables such as asparagus, beans, broccoli or peas. As many of the calories in the average evening meal are found in the sauces or dressings, make use of recipes where spices are the key elements of the flavour.
Do not overcook vegetables. Nutrients can easily be destroyed by boiling for any more than a minute or two. Microwaving or steaming vegetables carries less risk of eliminating the goodness. Vegetables can, of course, be eaten raw. When the vegetables are boiled, the water can be used for gravy or stock so no nutrients are wasted. If canned or frozen fruit and vegetables are used, they should be varieties that contain no added sugar or other ingredients that contain calories.
The idea that fruit and vegetables can help with weight loss is not new. Part of the problem is often that people make a drastic change from their eating habits to fruit and vegetables. The change in diet does not have to happen in one day, or even one month. It is possible to introduce new items into a diet gradually. This reassures the body that it can enjoy fruit and vegetables as much as it did the old diet.