Our Fitness Resolution Week #1 blog helped make you a pro at planning healthy meals and snacks … so now let’s look at what you are eating. To lose weight, make it plant-based!
Plant foods are nutrient dense. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are low-calorie foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber.
The fiber found in plant foods (but lacking in all animal products) fills up our stomachs and gives a sense of fullness. I believe that when you meet your nutrient needs, your body does not crave empty-calorie junk foods!
When, for example, you eat a Clementine instead of a cookie for dessert, your body receives vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber versus processed flour and sugar. You may crave more and more cookies as your nutrient needs are not met with a cookie. With the Clementine, you receive a satisfying high fiber snack that is also deliciously sweet.
10 easy ways to increase your fruits and veggies:
1. Keep your favorite fruits and vegetables stocked in your fridge
2. After you buy your groceries, come home and cut up veggies, put them in baggies, and have them at the front of your fridge so you’ll grab them.
3. Put fruits in a fruit bowl on your kitchen table to remind you and your family to eat fruit every day.
4. Blend frozen fruit with low fat milk for a yummy smoothie.
5. Take grapes off the vine, wash them, and put them in a bowl in the fridge.
6. Make a colorful fruit salad.
7. Bring fruits and vegetables with you to work, on long car trips, and when you are running errands.
8. Have a “car apple” on your way home from work to curb your appetite before dinner.
9. Double up on portions of vegetables at dinners. Steam-fresh veggies in the freezer section are quick and easy to prepare.
10. In the evening, if you feel hungry, eat a fruit or vegetable. Sliced strawberries sure taste like dessert!
Strive for a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That could be two pieces of fruit per day, 1 cup of raw veggies, and 1 cup of steamed veggies (which counts as 2 servings).
You can still eat meat, yogurt, cheese, butter, and eggs, but the majority of your plate should consist of plant foods. Plant foods fill you up with lots of nutrients, yet very few calories.
I stand by my claim that I do not know anyone overweight from eating too many fruits and vegetables!
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Unity Point-Trinity and Two Rivers YMCA. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|