Can I Lose Weight by Eating Only Fruit?
You've seen celebrities try all sorts of crash diets to lose weight, including eating nothing but fruit for weeks at a time. Because fruit is low in calories, it probably will cause weight loss, but this is unsustainable, unhealthy weight loss that is not recommended by doctors or dietitians. Talk to your doctor before making any changes in your diet.
Nutritional Value of Fruit
Fruit is sweet, nutritious and filling, so it may seem like a healthy way to curb your appetite while you're trying to lose weight. It is -- as long as fruit isn't all you're eating. Fruit is low in calories and fat but high in fiber. One cup of strawberries, for example, contains 77 calories, .2 g of fat and 4.6 g of fiber. Fruit has a high water content, so 1 cup of strawberries will make your body feel fuller than eating 1 cup of ground beef -- a relatively energy-dense food that is higher in calories.
Any diet that involves eating nothing but one food or food group is considered a fad diet. Fad diets are popular because they may provide quick weight-loss results -- the fewer calories you consume, the more weight you will lose, but this does not mean the weight loss is healthy or sustainable. Fad diets are dangerous because they do not provide adequate nutrients to the body. For example, fruit contains no protein, and your body needs protein to build strong muscles and bones, and to function properly. Fad diets, like eating only fruit, may cause malnutrition, dizziness, fatigue, dehydration and nausea.
Sustainable and Unsustainable Weight Loss
Fad diets are unsustainable because you can only stay on them for short periods of time. Because you can't eat only fruit for the rest of your life, you will eventually have to discontinue the diet and eat other foods. As soon as you eat something other than fruit, the weight will return. A sustainable diet is one that you can stick with for the rest of your life -- this is the only effective way to lose weight and keep it off.
Instead of cutting everything but fruit out of your diet, eat balanced meals containing lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Between meals, snack on fruits and veggies to curb your appetite and keep you feeling full and satisfied. During meals, however, eat a variety of nutritious foods to ensure that you are getting adequate nutrition from the foods you eat. Complement your new diet plan with a regular exercise routine to burn calories. Your doctor may recommend a specific diet and exercise plan based on your current weight-loss needs.
- fruit image by Edvin selimovic from Fotolia.com