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I’m sure you’ve heard that you should eat fruits and vegetables throughout the day. It’s a simple message, but rarely accomplished.

The minimal recommendations are 1-2 cups of fruits and 2-3 cups of vegetables. That’s a medium apple and about 7-8 broccoli florets and a handful of green beans.

Even though it’s not very much, as few as 1 in 10 adults eat a diet that meets these basic recommendations.

We know that these foods contain important vitamins and minerals, but that’s not why I’m writing about fruits and vegetables. I want you to eat more fruits and vegetables to control hunger.

Us humans can’t sense the calories that we’ve eaten. Infants can actually do this, and they stop once they consume a certain number of calories. But, we lose this superpower as we get older.

Instead, our bodies sense the weight of the food that we eat.

  • Fruits and vegetables have a large internal water content.
  • This means they are heavier in weight, but lighter in calories than many foods, especially ultra-processed foods.

For example: 1 Le Big Mac as the french would say, contains 550 calories and weighs just under half a pound.

One large apple weighs about the same, but contains only about 150 calories.

They have a similar weight and that’s what the body is sensing. However, the apple only delivers a fraction of the calories.

Here is another example – 1 cup of grapes or 4 Ritz crackers.

  • Both are about 70 calories, but the grapes weigh 150 grams(5.2oz) and the Ritz weigh only 13 grams(.45oz)
  • The grapes are going to satisfy hunger far longer because of their weight.

This is called Energy Density – Think of it as the number of calories per bite of food. Each cracker could be 1 bite (4 total) and 70 calories of grapes would be about 12 grapes. That’s 12 bites.

Eating fruits and vegetables at each meal stacks the deck in our favor to be fuller on fewer calories. Research has shown that the more vegetables that are eaten at a meal, the fewer calories are consumed.

So, every time that you sit down to eat, ask yourself, “where are the vegetables or serving of fruit?”

Start by getting them on your plate more often and then try and make them fill up half your plate.

Keep moving,

Coach Dom


At Breakthrough Fitness, we help busy people across Oviedo become STRONGER. HEALTHIER.

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