I love fruit. I really do. Strawberries, bananas, pineapple, clementines, pears, kiwis, raspberries, apples, grapes, oranges, and blueberries! Hooray for fruit! I’ve always liked fruit, but have only grown into really loving it as an adult.
OMG I’m an adult! …………….. Ok, Freak out over.
When I joined Weight Watchers (WW) with my Mom and Dad back in 2012, we learned that the WW program had some interesting ideas about fruit (among other things); It was FREE! Fruit didn’t cost ANY “points” so, in theory, you could eat as much as you wanted and still lose weight. Theoretically. The problem with this approach is that they clearly underestimated people like my Dad. He took the “free fruit” rule literally, and consumed about as much fruit as he could stuff in. All. The. Time. It was so bad that after grocery shopping and coming home with copious amounts and varieties of fruits, the next day all the berries would be gone. ALL of them. Even though we had purchased several pounds of them. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little... but only a tiny bit.
After we inevitably quit WW, I moved out and started teaching science to high school students. When I first went grocery shopping for my new place, I found myself waaaaay over purchasing fruit because I was so used to it being this scarce, finite resource because of Dad always eating it all. I had “fruit insecurity;” I still had flashbacks of not having enough fruit around! The fruit hoarding lessened a bit over time, but there is something still so satisfying about having a plethora of fruit available at any given time!
I’ll admit it; I’m a fruit hoarder!
Unfortunately, the concept of “point-free” or “calorie-free” fruit is not helpful to anyone in the long term. It deludes us into disregarding the calories in fruit as being negligible, but in reality, our bodies metabolize those calories just fine. The calories in fruit absolutely count! I had a bowl of sliced kiwi and banana yesterday and it was delicious; It also contained 136 calories. My body pulled those calories out and used them! If I had been in a calorie surplus (eating more than my maintenance calories), my body would have stored those calories as fat! There are no “free” calories in physics. You must weigh and log your fruit just like you would anything else in order to have predictable, replicable success in weight loss.
Those in the low-carb camp tend to avoid fruit because of the sugar content. However, fruit does not contain refined sugar, but has mostly fructose and glucose in varying proportions depending on the type of fruit. There is nothing inherently bad or unhealthy about this sugar, unless you eat a lot of it at the expense of other nutritious foods containing protein and fat, in addition to carbohydrates. The only true contraindication for eating fruit is if you have insulin resistance or blood sugar control issues that are not being managed by a doctor and/or medication. (Or if you don’t like it; remember, don’t eat things you don’t like!) Before my PCOS was being properly managed with medication, I tried so hard to avoid fruit and carbs for months at a time, and I did, but it was a losing battle. I felt crappy, I missed eating sweet things like fruit, and it wasn’t sustainable in the long term.
how have I used fruit in the process of losing over 70 pounds?
What an excellent question! I’m so glad you asked! 😉 Fruit will always have a special place in my daily diet. I eat 2-3 servings of fruit per day, on average. Besides enjoying the taste (Remember to eat things you actually like!), fruit provides vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a rather large volume for the cost of calories.
The weight loss plan I follow (losing 70+ lbs. and counting…) starts with the premise that nothing is off-limits as long as it fits into my daily calorie goal. This is where fruit really shines. I keep a bag of Fuji apples in the bottom drawer of my fridge (they keep for a long time) at all times as an emergency snack. For just 50 calories, I can have a sweet treat that satisfies any errant hunger. If I have used all my calories for the day and I’m still legitimately hungry, I’ll have an apple to take the edge off. It works fantastically well.
If I’m not hungry enough to eat an apple, I’m not actually hungry!
What if I have 80 calories left for the day and I’m still kinda hungry? A banana is a great way to fill up without going over on my daily calorie goal. I find that having something sweet at the end of the day keeps me feeling happy and not deprived. This is what allows me to keep on going on my weight loss plan indefinitely; I never deprive myself. If you like fruit and you have <100 calories left, fruit is a great way to finish out the day.
Fruit is low calorie, filling, and sweet. The trifecta! So enjoy those blueberries, strawberries, peaches, mangos, and kiwis! Enjoy your fruit!
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