Hi! Welcome to Fit, Food, and Fun Fridays! Today we’ll talk about the best fruits and veggies for weight loss. The more veggies and fruits you eat, the better. We also know how important it is to include lots of greens in our diet. A study published in The BMJ revealed that deep red produce such as apples, peppers, berries, grapes, and cherries help the most when it comes to weight loss. They believe that this may be partially due to the plant compounds called flavonoids found in the produce.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia and Harvard University investigated data accumulated over 24 years from 124,000 people in the United States between 27 and 65 years old. The results revealed a link between reduced weight gain and diets with a high amount of flavonoids. The anthocyanins type of flavonoids that strawberries and blueberries contain was associated with the greatest amount of weight loss. They also discovered that flavonoid polymers, which can be found in apples and teas, were beneficial too.
Every extra serving of flavonoids each day reduced weight by one-quarter of a pound over four years. This means that five portions of flavonoids daily could help one reduce 1.2 pounds over four years. While it may not seem like a huge weight loss achievement, one portion of a fruit often provided more than one typical deviation of a type of flavonoid. For instance, half a cup of blueberries can provide around twelve average deviations of anthocyanins. This means that you don’t need to eat one whole bucket of blueberries every day to benefit from the flavonoids.
According to Professor Aedin Cassidy from the Norwich Medical School of the University of East Anglia, most adults gain weight as they get older, but even a small increase in weight can greatly increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. As such, it is important that individuals develop strategies to maintain a healthy weight as they age. Preventing weight gain or losing even a small amount of weight can help improve one’s health. One serving of some of these fruits every day would have a great effect on your health. Here are some of the foods that contain high amounts of flavonoids.
- Bell Peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Chili peppers
Don’t forget to include these foods in your list the next time you are out shopping for groceries. Frozen and fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products, and lean meats are found at the outer edges of grocery stores. The inside aisles usually contain all the pre-packaged and processed foods. Grocery stores arrange their products this way because, in order for you to find the healthy foods, you need to walk through the center and middle aisles where you’re tempted by pre-packaged and processed foods covered in shiny wrappers. Create a list of the foods you have to buy and stick to it.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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