Fat Loss from the Farm

Eating fruits and vegetables helps with weight loss; not earth-shattering news, I know.  But some recent evidence goes a long way to back it up for everyone from adolescents to adults.

Two recently published studies looked at antioxidant levels derived from fruits and veggies in both adolescents and adults.  They found that individuals with higher levels had better body composition, among other positive factors.  The same results weren’t found in some previous investigations of single antioxidant vitamins like E and C, probably because the real foods contain so many other substances that work synergistically.

A different study of overweight, post-menopausal women tracked eating behaviors that were positively linked to weight loss.  In the short-term, things like cutting down on eating out, desserts, fried food and sugary beverages while eating more fish were linked with weight loss.  Kind of obvious, right?  But, after four years of tracking, eating more fruits and vegetables surfaced as an important factor in long-term weight loss, along with eating less meat and cheese.  Reducing desserts and sugary drinks was still important for weight loss, but increasing produce intake is obviously advantageous.

In that last study, researchers thought the introduction of more fruits and vegetables into the diet was a more sustainable strategy than trying to give up certain foods forever.  That makes a ton of sense because trying to go through life never eating another potato chip is kind of extreme!  Limiting “bad” foods and replacing them with fruits and veggies is a very effective long-term strategy.

The bottom line?  Eating more plant-based foods that haven’t been messed with should be a pillar of good nutrition habits for maintaining a healthy weight and good health in general.  Try gradually moving refined foods (especially carbohydrates) out of your diet and back fill with fruits and vegetables.  It’s a habit you can sustain for life, and it will pay off in many more ways than just helping to shrink your waistline.

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Michael Bento is an Advanced Trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park. He holds a Masters degree in Human Movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

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