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Use fruit and vegetables for a more healthy you!

Updated on August 16, 2012

In addition to an exercise regimen, a healthy diet is critical to maintaining or controlling your weight. An easy way to eat better is to include fruit and vegetables in your daily diet and slowly eliminating the other junk you've been filling up on. Managing your weight is a serious balancing act; it will have its challenges, but it is much more rewarding in the long run.

Fruits and vegetables help:

  • Prevent gaining more unwanted weight or mass
  • Lose the extra pounds to achieve a healthy weight
  • Maintain your goal weight

The best way to incorporate these new foods into your diet is to try a little at a time. For example, try these little tricks:

  • Choose a piece of fresh fruit in place of a baked good for breakfast.
  • Choose crunchy veggies like carrots, celery, or peppers in place of fatty, salty potato chips with lunch.
  • Order or prepare soups with broth bases in place of cream bases liek chicken noodle soup in stead of cream of cheddar soup.
  • Skip the milkshake or ice cream cone and have a protein shake made with fresh fruit pieces.
  • When buying canned food, select varieties packed in 100% juice rather than oil or liquid with sugar or salt added.
  • When purchasing fresh produce, immediately wash and store your selections that make them easy to grab when you're ready to snack. Pre-washed, pre-picked grapes in a storage bag are much more likely to be eaten than just tossing the whole bag in the fridge.
  • Make portion sized snack bags of veggies to grab on your way to work, school, or the gym.
  • Try 1 new fruit or vegetable on every shopping trip.
  • Eat the rainbow - select fruits and veggies in red, dark green, yellow, blue, purple and white for maximum range of nutrition.


Tips on finding the balance to weight loss

  1. Make a plan - Before heading to the store, come up with a plan to actually shop for good, wholesome food for your family. This will help you resist the urge to go to familiar comfort food once you're in the store. Skip the snack food aisle, the soda display, and the candy rack. Healthy food is typically found on the perimeter of the store.
  2. Don't skip a meal - You may think you're saving calories by skipping breakfast or lunch, but you're setting yourself up to pig out at the next meal or snack your way through an afternoon. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and usse fruit & veggies for snacks in between meals.
  3. Set a realistic goal - Don't set a goal of losing 100 lbs in a month. Large losses must be achieved over time. Celebrate your small victories on the way to big goal. Take time to appreciate the work you're doing to improve your life and the health of your family.

Portion, portion portion...

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. You have to exercise portion control when serving or consuming a meal.

  1. Don't eliminate your favorite junk food, just decrease the amount and frequency you consume it.
  2. Get out your measuring cups and spoons and really get an idea of a serving size. The giant glob of dressing may look delcious until you find it is 5 Tbsp at 22 grams of fat PER tablespoon!
  3. Read the nutrition label carefully. Look at the serving size and number of servings per container. Some labels can really break it down to look like its low in fat and calories, but do the math to know exactly what you're consuming.
  4. Fruits and vegetables should take up half of your dinner plate. Fill in the rest with proteins and even smaller servings of fats and carbs.
  5. No portion should be larger than your fist.

How to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI = ((Weight in Pounds / Height in inches x height in inches) x 703)

Example: A person who is 130 pounds and 5'3" would look like this: ((150/ 63 x 63) x 703) = 23

BMI Ranges:
18.5 - 24.9 = Healthy
25 - 29.9 = Overweight
30+ = Obese


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