Early last fall, I decided I wasn’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. I promptly began incorporating more into my daily diet. These were simple changes–I substituted a piece of fruit or unsweetened applesauce and a low-fat string cheese for my mid-morning snack (instead of my usual protein/snack bar). In the morning I traded one of my morning cups of coffee for a glass of 100% fruit juice and I packed a tangerine with my lunch in place of pretzels. I also began following the "half-my-plate" concept and tried to fill half my plate with fruits and/or veggies at each meal. My reasons for the changes were all the research I had read about how fruits and vegetables help to keep you healthy and feeling good. What I didn’t realize was that there would be another unexpected result from this change–dropping body fat without really trying!
I first noticed in late January that some of my winter clothes were fitting looser than normal and when I stepped on the scale I was surprised to see that I had lost 5 pounds–without even trying to do so!! In fact, both my kids have been involved in sports and other extracurricular activities this school year, which has impacted my gym schedule on some evenings. Now that it’s April and I’m beginning to pull out my warm weather outfits, I continue to find my clothes are definitely fitting better than last year.
In reality I wasn’t overweight–I had just put on an extra 5-10 pounds over the past 5 or so years and had been unsuccessful in my attempts to drop the extra weight via my usual methods (more exercise, cutting out all snacks, etc.). The diet change I made last fall has been a long term lifestyle change and not restrictive at all. I’m NOT on a diet and never feel deprived of anything. In addition, my energy level has definitely gotten a boost since incorporating healthier alternatives into my meals.
So, if you are trying to get ready for bathing suit season, why not give this a go?? You’ll feel better and my guess is you may find yourself as pleasantly surprised as me with a drop in weight. To get you started, check out our Healthy Weight section. It will provide you with information abot how fruits and veggies play a role in losing and then maintaining your weight along with some tips on incorporating exercise into your daily routine.