Why Adding More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet Can Help You Lose Weight
Losing weight isn’t all about what you’re cutting from your diet, it also has to do with what you’re adding to your diet. And according to a 24 year long study done at Harvard, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is most likely going to keep you at a healthier weight.
The study involved over 117,000 people and checked in with participants every four years. They found simply that the people who were filling up on non starchy fruits and vegetables gained less weight over each four year period than the people who ate few fruits and vegetables or the people who ate a lot of starchy ones.
People who ate a lot of apples and pears weighed an average of 1.24 pounds less, and people who ate a lot of tofu weighed an average of 2.27 pounds less. Berry eaters gained 1.11 pounds less, vegetable eaters gained .25 pounds less, and citrus eaters gained .23 pounds less on average.
The logic behind this is that fruits and vegetables are low in calories while being high in fiber and water content, both being things that can fill you up.
Keep in mind that not all fruits and vegetables are created equally and that ones like potatoes, peas, and corn, are higher in sugars and calories. During the study the people who ate those types of vegetables gained more weight each year.
Then again this might be a little more complicated than simply calories in calories out, since certain fruits like apples have been known to have specific weight loss benefits.
Apples contain non digestible compounds such as polyphenols in addition to fiber, both of which remain undigested until they get fermented in the colon where they become food to healthy bacteria. When healthy bacteria thrives in the digestion system it can reduce inflammation which reduces the risks of obesity.
Citrus like grapefruit has also been shown to have its own diet friendly benefits, since it so filling for so few calories. Even adding lemon to water can help some people reel in their cravings and reduce calorie consumption since they can be satiated by the taste of the lemon and not turn to high calorie drinks instead. Always remember that grapefruits in particular can have an affect on certain medications with sometimes disastrous results, so always double check on that before combining the two.
A good rule of thumb when plating a meal is to try to keep half the plate fruits and vegetables, with another quarter protein and the other a complex carb. Fruit is a great option for dessert and can be just enough of a sweet treat for a lot of people to calm that post dinner snack urge before bed.