Performance Nutrition: How to Use Fruits & Veggies to Shed Extra Pounds
Andrew Dole, RDN
Everyday Chef & Performance Nutrition Expert, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Full Bio
The end of winter is around the corner and it’s time to look forward to outdoor activities. Now is a great time to make those necessary nutrition changes to shed the holiday insulation. Eating more fruits and vegetables can help you get back on track to being leaner and healthier for the warmer months.
Shouldn’t You Just Eat Less?
In the end, losing weight comes down to eating fewer calories each day, but just eating less isn’t the best way to lose weight. Restrictive diets often leave you hungry and poorly nourished; hardly ideal for an active person. The key? Aim for at least 50% of each meal to be vegetables and fruits. This will maximize the benefits of the vitamins and minerals that provide immune support and aid in exercise recovery. It will also add the fiber from whole fruits and veggies that works to maintain fullness between meals.
5 Ways to Use Fruits & Veggies to Lose Weight
- Snacks. When feeling snacky go for some cut melon like cantaloupe or honeydew.
- Appetizers. Forget the chips and pretzels. Enjoy hummus and yogurt dips with baby carrots, celery, or chopped peppers.
- Pre/Post Workout. Need a before or after workout snack? Avoid energy bars and ‘carbed up’ sports products. Add some fruit like bananas, grapes, peaches, and berries to Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
- Fill Up! Looking for a hearty, fill you up feeling at meal times; roasted broccoli, cauliflower and eggplant work nicely.
- Instead of Sweets. Insatiable mid-day sweet tooth cravings can be cancelled out with pickled vegetable snacks like spicy pickled carrots, garlic mushrooms, or cider okra. The classic dill pickle is always an option too.