That’s a bit of a bold statement I know, but it made you click 😉
First and foremost I want to tell you before you read any further that fruit is NOT ‘bad’ for you and it does not solely make you fat.
Too much of anything isn’t good for you, blah, blah, blah….but it’s true!
It is when we villify certain foods or food groups, that we build an unhealthy relationship with food in general. There are of course foods that are packed full of nutrients, and others that aren’t so much, but that doesn’t mean we should avoid certain foods completely. I am a firm believer in everything in moderation – because it works. It’s sustainable unlike fad diets that tell you what you can and can’t eat!
Also, some people don’t realise that you can gain weight by eating ‘clean’ foods just as easily as you can gain weight from eating junk food. It’s not the food itself, it’s the quantity of it and the calories it contains in relation to the individual’s calorie maintenance levels (over and above) that makes people gain weight.
Obviously, a good portion of your diet should be from wholesome, nutritious foods – somewhere around the 80% mark is realistic, and the other 20% can be from less nutritious foods, foods you enjoy and help you stay on track and prevent guilt or binging when trying to lose weight.
In order to know what your 80% and 20% are you should consider tracking your food and weight for a few weeks to see if you are gaining, maintaining or losing weight on your current food intake. If you are maintaining but you want to be losing weight, then simply have a look at the foods you are eating and see where you can cut a few calories. It might be as simple as having 1 banana instead of 2 per day for example. Then from that check to see if you’re living by the 80-20 rule. If you’re not, find ways you can reduce the junk food in your diet and introduce nutritious alternatives.
This video will help show you how too track your food using the app Myfitnesspal, or you can use the desktop version instead.
Now, back to fruit. Often people think they can have as much fruit as they like as it’s a healthy food and makes a great snack. What people don’t realise sometimes is that fruit is also a source of carbohydrates – see my post here for more on this – and contains calories of course. Whether you consistently eat 500kcals over your daily calorie maintenance from fruit or whether it’s from mars bars, you will still GAIN WEIGHT. Calories are calories, nutritional value of those calories of course counts towards your health, but for overall weight loss and gain, essentially it comes down to the number of calories in vs out, to keep things very simple.
The below is a little info graph to show you per 100g of some fruits, the amount of calories and carbohydrates they contain. I’ve added what 100g of some of the fruit looks like in person so you can see volume wise how this varies, and how it is easy to over consume fruit if we aren’t careful.
Again, I will just reiterate that eating fruit WILL NOT make you fat, just like eating chocolate WILL NOT make you fat….however, if the quantity of either of those foods, or any other food for that matter, exceeds your daily calories, then yes, you will gain weight.
Look at your overall food intake and volume of food you are eating daily before pin pointing the blame on 1 specific food or food group. Carbs don’t make you fat, fat doesn’t make you fat and protein most definitely does not make you fat.
Context is key as always!