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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fruits and Veggies Can Help Shed Pounds

Are you having trouble losing some weight? One key component for successful weight loss is going for the garden goods. The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid advocates eating unlimited quantities of fruits and vegetables-whihc is not a word often used when it comes to weight loss. You can snack all day on veggies like green beans, cauliflower tomatoes, and cabbage without gaining weight. Making simple, small changes over a long period of time with your eating style can result in long lasting weight loss. Focus on a minimum of 7 serving of fruits and veggies each day. It may sound like a lot, but it really isn't.
Here are some easy ways to boost your intake:
  • Shop for convenience: Take advantage of the perpetually stocked salad bar at your local grocer. With the pre-cut fruits and veggies you could snack all day. If you are pressed for time, like most families are, go ahead and pick-up pre-chopped cucumber, broccoli spears, and carrots. Pick up some grape tomatoes or celery sticks. the pre-washed, pre-cut fruits and veggies, gives just enough of a twist to any salad or side dish.
  • Stock the freezer: Mix any combination of your favorite frozen veggies, pop them into the microwave, soup, or casserole. With this time saving method, there is no need to exclude veggies from your meal.
  • Prep ahead your snacks: After you get your groceries into the kitchen, wash and chop all fruits and veggies before they go into the refrigerator. Bag snack size portions, so they are ready to eat when you want them.
  • Hide them: Frozen veggies can slip easily into any soup, casserole, pasta sauce, or stir fry. Shred carrots or chopped zucchini into meatloaf or meatballs. Instead of gravy on your mashed potatoes, try creamed spinach.
  • The way to cut: Cut or slice your fruits and veggies into different shapes and sizes. The difference gives a unique eating experience. Add another twist, use low-fat dressing or yogurt as a dip.
  • Be different: Try a different fruit or vegetable once or twice a month. There are many fruits and veggies available that are wonderful to eat and packed with nutrition. How often or have you eaten prunes, star fruit, mango, leeks, or butternut squash? These are common fruits and veggies that are not often eaten. Always check with your physician before starting any exercise regimen or change in diet.