I like sweets. Not too many because I start to feel sick, but at least once a day I crave something sugary. I’m sure it’s a bad habit I picked up somewhere, but I just can’t shake it. So what’s a girl to do when she is trying to stick strong to her NY resolution to get fit?
Eat some fruit!
I know you’re thinking that it has got too much sugar and will set you back, but you’re only half right. Although fruit is filled with natural sugar, it’s also got a lot of nutrients that are beneficial to your health and can help create satiety, which is infinitely better for you than many other choices. (And for me, is the trick to feeling happy!)
A proper diet usually falls back to the idea of balance, but it does pay to be cautious when you’re working on getting leaner to achieve your weight loss goals. SO! I’m going to give you my top 5 fruit picks for keeping that sugar craving at bay AND helping you lose weight.
Go to Berkeley Bowl in the summer and I swear you’ll be converted into eating healthy. That place is organic foodie heaven, with prices that won’t bust your budget and strawberries so sweet you won’t ever think about eating another chocolate bar again! A cup of strawberries only has 50 calories and 7 grams of sugar, yet provides 3 grams of fiber. Fiber is key to helping you control your hunger pains. It’s a win-win-win all around!
Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are packed full of nutrients and are lower in sugar than other types of fruit such as mangoes or bananas. That’s why berries are often lauded as great fat-burning foods. They are great frozen and for a special treat, I blend them into some seltzer and make my own fizzy drinks. When I’m feeling especially proud of myself. 🙂
An apple is only 100 calories, is easy to carry around, and makes a great pre-workout snack. Plus, apples are packed with fiber, are good alternatives in the winter months and pretty much rock with any meal. Want to get fancy? Make your own applesauce and put it on some pork chops! When in doubt, I go for an apple and we always have a steady supply of them at my house!
I didn’t say they’d all be sweet, did I? Well, okay maybe I did, but here in California the avocados are no joke! FANTASTIC in almost any dish, they are my exception. Delicious, velvety and added to a meal make it feel a little bit gourmet. (At least they to do my meals!) Per fruit, avocados have about 20 grams of healthy fats which over the course of a day is relatively low. Higher fat will not only increase metabolism but also increase testosterone levels which is one of the main hormones responsible in fat loss for both men and women.
For me, this is really only good during a certain time of year. Still, with only 50 calories per cup, it’s not damaging to your waistline and since it’s mostly water it adds to the feeling of fullness you need to keep those calories down. It also contains lycopene, a plant chemical found in studies to lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and vision loss.
None of this means you can go crazy and eat all the fruit you want. You do have to consider the sugar content, but what it does mean is that with a balanced diet and exercise plan, you can certainly indulge in your fruit cravings on a daily basis and not feel guilty.
Which brings us back to my all fruit smoothie. Whenever I’m craving something particularly satisfying, I whip up a smoothie and BAM! I’ve got my sugar, my fiber and a smiley face all within 5 minutes. I can freeze this batch and whenever I’m hungry, take it out and pour myself a cup. SO good, so healthy and so perfect any time of the year.