Look again at the biggest section of the weight loss food pyramid.
It's no coincidence that a standard weight loss food pyramid and a standard healthy food pyramid, have similarities. At least, it's not a coincidence if you want to lose weight in a healthy and maintainable way, while also developing and maintaining optimum health.
One of these commonalities is that fruit and vegetables occupy one of the biggest areas of both pyramids...that is, the area that tells you what you should eat the most from!(Note: Most pyramids have carbohydrates as the biggest food group, watch this space, because that's going to change. The recommendation for the servings of carbs will decrease on both the healthy and weight loss pyramids. The current is between 6-11 serves. The current fruit and vegetable is 5-7 serves...The current pyramid is a good guide...the new one will be better.)
The weight loss pyramid doesn't tell you how to eat them...just how much!
The thing about the weight loss pyramid isn't that you have to eat
the way described. Firstly that would be just a little boring, and secondly some fruits and vegetables raw are just downright horrible!
But raw or cooked, fresh or frozen, fruit and vegetables should make up the majority of your food intake.
Now, one of the reasons I think we don't eat as many of them as is recommended is because they've been abused in our diet so far.
How many of you have bad memories of the overcooked, tasteless, color-sapped vegetables that your parents or grandparents served up to you?
I do, it's a put off. How many of you only think of preparing fruit and vegetables in one way? I recently learned that winter salad leaves actually taste very nice slightly steamed and wilted with a little rock salt and lime juice...go figure...cooking salad leaves.
But this is the point, for many of us, we've had fruits and vegetables prepared in only certain ways, and if those ways are not nice to our particular tastes, it tends to put us off.
So, start trying those things at the bottom of the weight loss food pyramid (and the healthy food pyramid), in different ways. Don't stick to the one or two ways you've eaten them up till now, search for some new ideas and recipes to prepare them differently...why bother? Because if you find ways that you like to eat fruit and vegetables, you'll eat more...now and permanently, and you'll see the weight come off, stay off and your health levels go up.
What is so important about fruit and vegetables that they are so highly respected both in the weight loss food pyramid and the healthy food pyramid?
While some of this group can be relatively high in fat, most of this group are either very low in fat, or contain none at all. And just a quick aside on the health issue...no plant food contains cholesterol!
Some of this group do have high carbohydrate levels too. Don't see this as a bad thing, getting your carbohydrates, your energy, from foods in which they are in their most natural form, often means the body has to work harder to use them, this boosts the metabolism and not only gets the body working, but makes it harder for the body to turn these carbs into fat.v
The other thing about the bottom, and largest area, of the weight loss food pyramid, is that these foods contain a lot of fibre and water, both necessary to weight loss.
Water and fibre help not only our digestive systems work, but also our cleaning systems work properly. Both necessary to weight loss and a healthy life.
The more efficiently and effectively your body works, the better for losing weight and for health. But to get it to work properly it needs all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids necessary to process everything that comes in (and goes out). Fruits and vegetables supply a great deal of these nutrients.
The weigh loss food pyramid...the taste test.
Because many of you have bad memories of yucky fruit and vegetables served up to you (I know I do...spinach, brussell sprouts, overcooked lifeless wimpy broccoli), we've developed an aversion to many of this group.
But I'm here to tell you that it's all in the preparation, not in the food itself. Yes, you will probably never like every fruit and vegetable that occupies the exalted spot on the weight loss food pyramid, but you can find a great many of them that you will like in a variety of ways.
Think back to your childhood, or even your adulthood, how many fruits and vegetables have you stopped, or never started, eating, because of some bad memory?
Don't give up on these foods...in fact work hard to add more into your diet. They are amazing. Frozen berries blended with low fat, low sugar frozen yoghurt, fantastic on a hot day! Minestrone soup with tomatoes, beans, carrots, zucchini, onions, garlic, barley and celery on cold winter nights...divine!
There are great tastes in the fruit and vegetable world...with little or no fat, no cholesterol, high water and fibre content, full of nutrients and downright delicious!
What better food could you ask for...come on, give them another chance! Bananas on skewers frozen overnight...better than an icypole...dutch carrots lightly steamed with a honey and mustard dressing...the list goes on. How are you going to try your vegetables and fruits today?
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