Fruit causes all kinds of controversy within the wellness industry, and for years and years I was genuinely scared of it. An ex-personal trainer once told me the fruit I was eating was what was prohibiting me from losing weight, and that I should only be eating berries, if anything. That was almost 5 years ago, and it’s only been in the last few months that I’ve finally felt confident enough to bring fruit back into my diet. I’m here to tell you that I not only feel amazing, I’m looking more toned than ever too. Below, I’ve outlined a few pieces of advice that helped to encourage me to incorporate fruit back into my diet, along with a few common misconceptions on fruit and weight management.
1. People think fruit makes you gain weight because it contains sugar. To some extent, this is a valid theory, but the sugar in fruit is not the same as processed or isolated sugars. Fruits contain sugars, sure, but they also contain fibre and all kinds of vitamins and minerals, in balanced and natural amounts; not to mention all the water they also contain. Fruits are created in naturally appropriate proportions, meaning one portion of fruit provides a balanced amount of sugars and other macronutrients. So when you eat fruit, you’re not eating pure sugar like you would be with most processed snacks and sweets.
2. Fruits contain around 60-95% water, and so are some of the most hydrating foods. I truly value hydrating foods, for general wellbeing but also to aid digestion and to reduce fatigue. Staying hydrated fuels most of your internal processes, and also reduces the risk of headaches, stomach aches, constipation and other internal side effects. Whenever I’m abroad in a hot climate, fruit for breakfast is not only one of the most common options, but also the one I naturally crave too. Getting fruits in in the morning will help to keep you hydrated, and will also kick start your digestion not just due to the water content but also the fibre.
Staying hydrated also helps to manage water retention. Eating hydrating fruits alongside drinking plenty of water, I’ve noticed, reduces inflammation and puffiness that I sometimes notice from water retention. I notice within about 1-2 weeks, alongside working out consistently, I feel more toned and have more noticeable definition in my muscles.
The water in fruit also helps to assist the body’s detoxification process, flushing the system and also keeping cells fully functional.
3. Fruits are also super easy to digest, and whist some people think this is a bad thing, it simply means you get the nutrients and goodness in pretty quickly, and it isn’t too taxing on the digestive system. This means you won’t feel sluggish or heavy, or tired, since the energy it takes to digest is saved and can be used elsewhere.
4. Fruits are also low in calories, and previously you’ll have noticed I don’t like to count calories too much, and enjoy high calorie foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados. However, if losing weight is your main goal, thats a different story. You cannot lose weight unless you have a calorie deficiency - meaning you consume less calories than you expend. Fruits are low in calories and so when I have a big job coming up or want to tone up and slim down, I love eating loads of fruits as they keep me full, keep my digestion active, keep my energy levels high and don’t rack up the calories.
5. Pretty much every cell in our body’s run on glucose, which is ultimately sugar. Eating healthy, whole carbohydrates like fruits & vegetables means you’ll likely notice higher energy levels. There’s a few arguments on this matter, as some people like to eat low-carb diets in order to trigger a fat-burning state (when there is no glucose to use for energy, the body turns to fat cells to convert them to energy). This sounds good in theory as people like the thought of our body’s automatically burning fat without us having to think too much about it, but it also takes a lot of consistency (and energy) in order to reach this state. It’s much easier (and more sustainable) to use glucose from healthy carbohydrates for immediate energy.
6. Fruits are full of life, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These are essential in order for us to thrive, and the wider variety of vitamins and minerals, the less your body will lack in certain things and subsequently, the less random cravings you will experience. Getting enough vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is crucial in order to keep digestion smooth and to keep skin, hair and nails healthy. Not to mention energy levels high and cellular activity operating as it should. When you cut things like fruit out of your diet, you are cutting out so many vital components. Existing solely on fats and proteins will not give your body what it needs, and will not be sustainable over time.
7. Beyond fruit being food and fuel, is is also healing. It is not just a means to and end of hunger, but it can actually prevent and cure disease and discomfort. It is like medicine. Natural, cheap medicine.
I love this article by the Medical Medium, if you want to learn a little more. It discusses when we lost our way in diet, when we began being fed propaganda about food, and when we became scared of it. It also discusses the main benefits of fruit and why it should be such a vital part of our diets.
I hope this has inspired you to rekindle your relationship with fruit. I know it can be intimidating, but after 6 months of unlimited fruits, I am actually slimmer, lighter and more energetic than ever.