My Experience: Does Too Much Fruit Cause Weight Gain?

Does Too Much Fruit Cause Weight Gain
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.

When I joined Weight Watchers (WW) with my Mom and Dad back in 2012, we learned that the WW program had some exciting 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 not gain 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, all the berries would be gone the next day. 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. However, there is something still so satisfying about having a plethora of fruit available at any 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. Still, in reality, our bodies metabolize those calories just fine. The calories in fruit 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 anything else 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. Still, it has mostly fructose and glucose in varying proportions depending on the type of fruit. There is nothing inherently wrong 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 valid contraindication for eating fruit is if you have insulin resistance or blood sugar control issues that are not managed by a doctor or medication. Before my PCOS was adequately managed with medication, I tried so hard to avoid fruit and carbs for months, 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, 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. It 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 very 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 somewhat hungry? A banana is a great way to fill up without going over my daily calorie goal. Having something sweet at the end of the day keeps me feeling happy and not deprived. It allows me to keep on going on my weight loss plan indefinitely; I never deprive myself. If you like fruit and have around 100 calories left, fruit is a great way to finish the day.

To Sum Up Everything You Need to Know About Fruits in Your Nutrition

Eating fruits and vegetables can do some amazing things for your body:

    ? Help staves off chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
    ? Keep your skin healthy and your brain sharp.
    ? Help you not gaining weight without feeling hungry.

But the sad fact is that three out of four people don’t get close to five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That is the minimum amount recommended by most health programs.

If you count yourself among that majority, here are some tips to help you fit more of these nutritional powerhouses into your life!

  • Buy bags of pre-washed greens so you can make a salad in no time.
  • Keep blueberries, grapes in the freezer and nibble on them while they’re still frozen.
  • Make an extra-large batch of vegetable soup. Freeze the leftovers in single-serving containers for easy, instant homemade lunches on busy days.
  • Keep the fruit in a basket — not only will you eat more, but you’ll enjoy how it looks!
  • For a satisfying snack, spread some peanut butter on apple slices or a banana.
  • Take a half-hour each week to cut up fresh fruits and veggies and store them in sealed containers. No one can resist a ready-to-eat fruit salad, and peppers, celery, and carrots are much more enticing when they are already washed and cut.
  • Visit your local farmers’ market. You’ll be amazed at the array of colorful, delicious produce you’ll find.

Make sure to eat at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day. Fruits are low-calorie, filling, and sweet. The trifecta! So enjoy those blueberries, strawberries, peaches, mangos, and kiwis! Enjoy your fruit! ?


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