Eating fruits makes you healthy and lean, to a contrary, completely false belief. People fear fruits because they think “sugar”. But eating fruits fills you nicely, delivers healthy nutrients, satisfies you and keeps your calorie intake low.
Learn how to not fear fruit. Love it and enjoy it.
Many of us have great goals for the New 2015 and very often one of them is to lose weight to become lean and fit, or to lose weight to stop being overweight or obese. But whatever the end product is, the majority of new year resolutions has something to do with changing our body.
Some bad statistics
Did you know that 2 out of 3 people are overweight? And half of them are obese! That’s 1 out of 3, or more precisely, 34.9% (or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. That’s pretty serious. (Interested in more details? Read abstract in Journal of American Medicine ).
Obesity causes diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. Some other interesting facts (while I am looking up all the statistic): non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8%).
Obesity is higher among middle age adults, 40-59 years old (39.5%) than among younger adults, age 20-39 (30.3%) or adults over 60 or above (35.4%) adults. Among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men, those with higher incomes are more likely to have obesity than those with low income. Higher income women are less likely to have obesity than low-income women.
That is an interesting fact, isn’t it? High income men and women are opposite. But enough statistics and numbers. If we are middle aged, there is a chance that we are a bit heavier than we should be. And that’s why almost everybody has hefty promises and new year resolutions to themselves.
We want to feel good, look good, be healthy and perform well in sports.
Read another article about how to get lean eating fruits and some research from Dr. Greger.
The Best “Diet”
Many different diets will now become a center point of people’s focus. While I am such a non-believer of diets (but hey, I have tried many of them during my life, so I have a great personal, empirical experience… that’s why I don’t believe in them anymore).
The best “diet” of all is changing the lifestyle.
Stop eating processed, sugary, fatty, and salty foods. Eat more natural whole foods, as close to the nature as possible. Fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes… it is THAT simple. People always ask me many more or less complicated questions about eating this or that, and my answers are always surprisingly simple.
Just go back to basics.
Eat like your grandparents used to eat. Get your food in the garden (or farmers market or vegetable/fruit grocery section), bring it home, wash it off and eat it. A little middle-step could be to cook it, but it is not necessary.
I have been eating raw (uncooked) foods for the entire year now. Yes, it was my New Year 2014 resolution :-) I wanted to eat raw for one month. I thought I would be never able to do it and saw it as a huge and difficult challenge. Somehow, I figured it out and after all the logistics fell in place, I realized I that I felt absolutely amazingly and I just continued. It’s been a year.
One year raw anniversary and I do not plan to stop, because it gets only better. Any issues with foods I used to have (eating too much too late in the evening, overindulging on nuts and peanut butters, not knowing how to stop eating, having cravings for sweets and fats, etc) are ALL gone. Even I cannot believe that I don’t need to use my strong will and other will powers and techniques.
I feel satisfied, my body feels nourished, I have tons of energy for my intense training and for life, and I just enjoy everything I eat. I don’t crave things and food that “I am not allowed” to eat… I use quote-unquote because I don’t want to eat them anymore. Allowed or not, they don’t tempt me, they don’t appeal to me, they don’t taste yummy to me anymore.
Eating Fruits and Carbohydrates
Many people starting these new different diets ALWAYS fear fruits. Yes, fruits are sweet and fruits have sugar. But listen, not all sugar is bad. Any added or processed sugar is a no-no, but what is in your plants is all good.
My raw diet contains a lot of fruits. Sometimes I eat several pounds for breakfast or lunch. During the persimmon season (yes, it is my most favorite fruit that I cannot stop eating when I have them at home… I guess I am not completely gone with my food obsessions?), I ate 3 pounds for breakfast, just to have other 3 pounds for lunch…
Often people argue with me that I cannot get lean when I eat so many sugars and carbohydrates. Every day, I eat about 600-700 grams of carbohydrates, which is quite a lot, if you compare to some other diets that keep you below 50 grams a day.
So I took on an interesting challenge during the holiday season and I have decided to become and stay super lean during the entire holiday season, while eating these large amounts of carbohydrates. I have succeeded. I am a walking proof that there’s nothing wrong with carbohydrates and fruits.
Needless to say, I eat very low amounts of fat (only 10–15% of my daily calories), and I think that is what creates the great results for me. Carbohydrates give me energy to train hard, think clearly, sleep well and feel good. The protein (10-12%) from calories is used to repair and build my muscles, and it’s all good.
The Power of Eating Fruits
Fruits are extremely low in calories, while being high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and other great nutrients that your body needs. Compared to processed foods that you binge on while watching TV at night (such as fried foods, refined carbohydrates, fat laden sugary foods and animal products) it is almost impossible to binge-overeat on fruits. Well, unless you eat 11 pounds of persimmons in one day :-) I was still feeling great, actually. And light the next day.
If you eat fruits instead of chips or cookies, you will definitely feel more satiated and have less cravings for more refined stuff. The simple sugars in fruits are easily digestible and easily used by the body. They deliver the nutrients fast and you never feel too sluggish or heavy after eating fruits. You can have a huge fruit meal before your training and you still feel great and full of energy.
Because fruits have a lot of fiber and water content, you may feel full faster than when you eat cookies and chips. Which may cause that you eat much fewer calories… which is great if you want to lose weight, but you have to be aware that if you are a performing athlete, you need your calories to train hard. Or lift heavy weights. Grow muscles. So while it is extremely exciting to start losing weight rapidly and effortlessly, make sure that you get your calories in. Please…. you still want to look strong, muscular and lean, right?
Eat. Your. Calories.
Make sure that you eat the majority of your fruit calories in the first half of the day. Because if you are low, then you may feel like binging on bad stuff later in the day, such as crispy and crunchy chips or sweet and fatty cookies. Eat more fruit and you won’t crave those things.
I eat about 3,000 to 3,500 calories a day. My breakfast may be a smoothie with bananas and other yummy fruits, or a freshly squeezed carrot-apple-ginger juice. I have more fruits before training. After my workout or tennis practice, I may have a fruit smoothie (with extra protein) or a fruit salad (with extra protein). Later, I snack on more fruits and for dinner I often have a vegetable salad. Whatever I find in the fridge, gets cut and mixed into a bowl. Voila, salad! And I also add one fruit in it, for the sweetness. You always want to have all 5 flavors (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami) in your meals, so you feel satisfied.
(Check a few simple recipes for smoothies and juices)
This little fruity post hopefully encourages you and motivates you not to be scared of fruits anymore. Allow yourself to eat the delicious nature’s gif without fears. Enjoy it. Carry it with you. Snack on it.
Love. Your. Fruit.
Would you like to learn more about the simple plant-based lifestyle, whether you are a serious athlete or a weekend warrior? Or if you just want to be healthy and lose some of the extra winter weight? Gift yourself “The Athlete’s Simple Guide to a Plant-Based Lifestyle” and learn everything you need to know for your new healthy eating lifestyle. It is very simply written, no previous nutrition knowledge necessary. And if you enjoy it and it helps you, feel free to drop me a note (I am always so proud of you accomplishing new great results) or write a lovely review on Amazon, so others can learn from your success.
Be awesome and fruity.