Eat More Fruits and Vegetables to Manage our Weight

by : James Vernon

You probably already know that a healthy diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. Losing weight can be very difficult, even for the highly motivated. In addition, maintaining an appropriate weight is difficult, particularly as a person ages. There are many different ways to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Using more fruits and vegetables along with whole grains and lean meats, nuts, and beans is a safe and healthy one.

Regardless of what types of food a person eats, the basic rule concerning weight loss is that to lose weight people must consume fewer calories than they expend. However, limitation of intake need not be based on calories. A feeling of being full is another reason that people stop eating. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.

To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than your body uses. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to eatless food. You can create lower-calorie versions of some of your favorite dishes by substituting low-calorie fruits and vegetables in place of higher-calorie ingredients. Another study shows how water added to food increases volume and thus its overall impact on feeling full.

Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling. Here are some suggested ways to cut calories and include more fruits and vegetables in your day:

Breakfast: Start the Day Right

Change some spinach, onions, or mushrooms for one of the eggs or half of the cheese in your morning omelet. The vegetables will add hearty flavor to the dish with fewer calories than the egg or cheese alone. Not so much cereal in your bowl to make room for some sliced bananas, peaches, or

strawberries. You can still eat a full bowl, but with fewer calories.

Go Easy on Lunch

Switch up on vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes,

cucumbers, or onions for 2 ounces of the cheese and 2 ounces of the meat in your sandwich, wrap, or burrito. The new version will fill you up with fewer calories than the original. Add a cup of chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, beans, or red peppers, in place of 2 ounces of the

meat or 1 cup of noodles in your favorite broth-based soup. The vegetables will help fill you up, so you won't miss those extra calories.


Add in 1 cup of chopped vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, squash, onions, or peppers, while removing 1 cup of the rice or pasta in your favorite dish. The dish with the vegetables will be just as satisfying but have fewer calories than the same amount of the original version. Take

a good look at your dinner plate. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains should take up the largest portion of your plate. If they do not, replace some of the meat, cheese, white pasta, or rice with legumes, steamed broccoli, asparagus, greens, or another favorite vegetable. This will

reduce the total calories in your meal without reducing the amount of food you eat. BUT remember to use a normal- or small-size plate - not a platter. The total number of calories that you eat counts, even if a good proportion of them come from fruits and vegetables.


Most healthy eating plans allow for one or two small snacks a day. Choosing most fruits and vegetables will allow you to eat a snack with only 100 calories. About 100 Calories or Less

a medium-size apple (72 calories)

a medium-size banana (105 calories)

1 cup steamed green beans (44 calories)

1 cup blueberries (83 calories)

1 cup grapes (100 calories)

1 cup carrots (45 calories), broccoli (30 calories), or bell peppers (30 calories) with 2 tbsp. hummus (46 calories)

These fruits and vegetables all have about 100 or fewer calories.

Instead of a high-calorie snack from a vending machine,bring some cut-up vegetables or fruit from home. One snack-sized bag of corn chips (1 ounce) has the same number of calories as a small apple, 1 cup of whole strawberries, AND 1 cup of carrots with 1/4 cup of low-calorie dip.

Substitute one or two of these options for the chips, and you will have a satisfying snack with fewer calories.

James Vernon Author and Webmaster of