Don't avoid fruits if you're trying to lose weight, since these nutritious foods are beneficial during weight loss. Eating fruit will help you get enough of the essential nutrients in your diet, which can be difficult to do when you are cutting calories. Fruits may also contain substances that help you lose weight.
Fruit and Weight Loss
Don't feel guilty about eating fruit if you are trying to lose weight. A study published in "Nutrition" in 2010 found that increasing the amount of fruit you eat may help you lose more weight. This wasn't the case with vegetables, and the study took into account differences in activity level, age and the amount of fat, protein and carbs consumed.
Eating foods that contain more fiber, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains, helps slow down the emptying of your stomach after meals so you feel full for a longer time. This can make it easier for you to stay within your recommended daily calories for weight loss. Women should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Good fruit options include raspberries, with 8 grams of fiber per cup; pears, with 5.5 grams per fruit; and apples, with 4.4 grams per fruit. Eat the skin of the fruit if it is edible, because a lot of the fiber is concentrated in the skin.
Foods that are low in energy density, like many fruits, can be helpful if you're trying to lose weight. These foods allow you to eat more while consuming fewer calories so you don't get as hungry between meals. Following a diet consisting mainly of foods that are low in energy density can help you lose up to 50 percent more weight, compared to a diet consisting of more foods that are high in energy density, according to a study published in "Obesity Research" in June 2005.
Increasing Fruit Consumption
Thinking about what you can eat instead of what you can't eat makes it easier to lose weight since you won't feel as deprived. Focusing on increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat while getting fewer calories overall may help you lose weight. A study published in "Obesity Research" in March 2001 found that advising people to eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a reduced-calorie diet was more effective for weight loss than advising people to eat fewer foods that are high in fat or sugar. The added fruits and veggies displaced some of the less-healthy foods in the diets of people participating in the study.
Eating too much of any food, including fruits, may cause weight gain. When you eat more fruits you need to cut down on other less-healthy foods to keep from going over your calories for the day. This may be easier if you eat your fruits and vegetables before you eat other foods that are high in calories, because the fruits and veggies will fill you up and leave less room for the high-calorie foods.
- University of Kentucky Extension: The Edible Rainbow
- Nutrition: Effects of Fruit Consumption on Body Mass Index and Weight Loss in a Sample of Overweight and Obese Dieters Enrolled in a Weight-loss Intervention Trial
- MayoClinic.com: Chart of High-fiber Foods
- Obesity Research: Provision of Foods Differing in Energy Density Affects Long-Term Weight Loss
- Nutrition Reviews: What Can Intervention Studies Tell Us about the Relationship between Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Weight Management?
- Obesity Research: Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Decreasing Fat and Sugar Intake in Families at Risk for Childhood Obesity
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.