The Secrets of Success: Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/5/2010 6:00 AM   :  109 comments   :  43,446 Views

While there are no magic pills or quick fixes when it comes to weight loss, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you commit to a healthy lifestyle. SparkPeople members know what works, so we reached out to our most successful members--those who reached their goal weight or lost more than 100 pounds using our program. We discovered 27 "secrets" of success, which we shared in The Spark. Now we're sharing them with you.



Secret #5: Eat more fruits and veggies.

Across all successful segments, whether it be 100-pound losers or those who had met their weight-loss goals in general, the number-one nutritional strategy was to eat more fruits and vegetables. Ninety percent of those who met their goals and reached their ideal weight now eat more fruits and veggies.

I'm a bit of an anomaly. Ever since I was a kid, I've always eaten my vegetables first. As an adult and now an editor at SparkPeople, I consider part of my job to be a vegetable ambassador, sharing my love of all things green, orange and red--and all shades in between--with the world. Eating vegetables and fruits is easy, as long as you know what you like and how to cook it.

Here are my best tips for veggie-philes and veggie-phobes alike!

Learn to Love Vegetables: 8 Tips

I DARE You to Learn to Love Veggies

How Cooking Affects Your Vegetables' Nutritional Value

The Magical Cooking Technique That Will Get You to Eat Your Veggies

Know someone who would like to learn more about the Secrets of Success? Spread the Spark by clicking the green "Share" button below.


Did you miss a secret? Find all the rest of the series of 15 here (a new one is posted every day). Find the rest of the secrets here.


How do you get in your fruit and veggies each day?



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Comments

  • DIANNESEPT
    109
    Veggies are more or less mixed into my main meal but sometimes I do eat them raw...but I do have to eat more. - 3/18/2010   3:02:02 PM
  • EASTGIRL71
    108
    I generally don't like the stems of asparagus or broccoli, etc. so if I leftovers, I freeze them and if I'm cooking brown rice, couscous, or pilaf, I pop the frozen stems into a food processor, grind, and add to my grains! Most fruits and veggies I'll eat straight, though! Yum! - 3/16/2010   9:28:11 PM
  • 107
    Just a teaspoon of olive oil makes skillet or roasted vegetables taste better! Or olive oil and balsamic vinegar with any salad ingredients. Fuji apples and oranges rock as snacks anytime! Heated blueberries in oatmeal for breakfast and heated rasberries in pudding for dessert are delicious. I know buy frozen berries so they don't perish so quickly. Carrots with garlic hummus dip is my stress/anxiety buster! I love reading about new fruit and veggie ideas. I aim to make half my plate, be it a meal or snack, with a fruit or veggie! Veggies are the new pasta! - 3/14/2010   9:11:58 PM
  • 106
    Summer is a good time to grow your own veggies! Gardening is good exercise too. - 3/13/2010   3:42:37 PM
  • CRICKETSMOM515
    105
    When I had my gastric bypass, in the aftercare class, the instructor said no one gets to 275lbs by eating 5 or more servings of veggies a day. I don't know if that is true or not, but I know in my case I really had to struggle with eating fruits and specially veggies. NEVER loved or even liked them and I still struggle with it today. So I started eating vegetarian. Did know you can actually figure out how not to eat your veggies and still be a vegetarian? But since really buckling down and sticking to the spark diet, I've been trying and more often than not succeeding in getting my veggies in for the day. The different recipes I've found on this site are great and boy that definitely helps. Thanks SparkPeople! - 3/11/2010   9:18:43 PM
  • 104
    It amazed me to learn that once I quit smoking and began eating healthy that I actually DO like vegetables...to some extent at least. I can even handle some foods that before I would run from. It inspires me to try more that I didn't like before. :)
    - 3/11/2010   12:43:55 PM
  • 103
    I don't see how anyone could not like vegetables! I love the ones the most people hate the most! mmmmmmmmmm!! Brussel sprouts and raw mushrooms are my fave. - 3/11/2010   11:13:28 AM
  • GINA32
    102
    I really envy all you veggie lovers out there. I like fruit, but I honestly dislike the taste of most vegetables and really struggle with eating them. It gets a little discouraging sometimes trying to plan a healthy meal when you do not like vegetables. - 3/10/2010   10:06:26 PM
  • 101
    I am not a huge veggie lover and what fruit and veggies I eat must be extremely fresh. Thus causing me to walk to the store often. I try to eat a cup of fruit or veggies as finger food on my way to work in the early hours and try to have some cooked with each supper. If I have some veggies I think I need in my diet and really cannot stand to eat them I blend them up and put them with ground meat in meals like lazagne or such. - 3/9/2010   5:36:36 PM
  • 100
    If eating fruits and vegetables led to weight loss for me, I'd be super skinny! I've always ate these, grew up on a farm and as a kid, had fruit trees in the front yard. I was away from it for a few years due to ulcerative colitis but now that I'm in remission, I can eat most again - no citrus, lettuce or really high fibre veggies but most of the rest. Steamed, stir-fry and raw, yum. - 3/9/2010   4:55:03 PM
  • 99
    My husband and I love veggies; the 15 year old not so much. We keep offering and hoping! - 3/9/2010   1:13:16 PM
  • 98
    I have always loved veggies,growing up my mom had a garden; but it was the stable greens.Now since I am older I keep trying new veggies. - 3/9/2010   10:43:48 AM
  • 97
    I love my veggies now....when I first started SP I ate very few Veggies and now I haven't missed a 5+ day in over a year! Amazing! - 3/8/2010   6:10:17 PM
  • 96
    LOVE my veggies! Mostly like them raw, but some I like to steam lightly. Yum, yum! - 3/8/2010   2:34:01 PM
  • 95
    The pre-school I went to served us lunch everyday. In order to play at lunch time we had to eat ALL of our veggies. I learned to love veggies pretty early on in life and it's something I have definitely carried with me through life. - 3/8/2010   1:31:31 PM
  • SISTEREARTH31
    94
    After a visit to my doctors I am now on a more raw diet, raw meaning not packaged, frozen etc. and this included no breads. The salt intake was just too much for me. I love vegies and fruits and adore smoothies. I'd love ideas for meals that seem more like a main course than a side dish. - 3/8/2010   12:53:48 PM
  • 93
    When I have steamed veggies with dinner, I eat them FIRST -- they're best when hot. We eat lots of salad with chopped fresh vegetables. And fruit is no problem for me! Apples and bananas are a secret weapon for me on the road -- I always have one along -- so portable and ready-to-eat if there's a temptation to snack. - 3/8/2010   12:24:56 PM
  • MYRACCOON
    92
    I really learned to enjoy veggies. Where else does all the flavor come from anyway? - 3/8/2010   12:37:31 AM
  • 91
    I have no problem with my veggies,i love all types and lots are available down here in the caribbean,including plenty tropical fruits. Its a bounty. - 3/7/2010   9:28:17 PM
  • 90
    I'm going to start eating a banana at breakfast. when I started tracking I was surprised I'm not eating as much vegies as I thought I was. - 3/7/2010   7:59:11 PM
  • MONABROAD
    89
    I used to have a hard time eating all servings of fruits and vegetables. But now when I go to lunch (most often at our local cafeteria), I load up on vegetables and some fruits before I add the meats and carbs. Works great for me and makes it easier to control my hunger pangs between meals. - 3/7/2010   6:50:48 PM
  • SUNNYDAYZ4ME
    88
    I don't usually have a problem getting my servings of fruits and veg. I add fruit to my oatmeal every morning, I have fruit as a snack (most times), I have salad or vegetable soup with my lunch, and lots of salad and cooked veg with my dinner. - 3/7/2010   6:05:31 PM
  • 87
    I have a hard time getting my fruit and veggies in. Fruit seems to to easier for me. I'll have 1/2 a grapefruit for breakfast or put some blueberries in my cereal. Snack on an apple or grapes. I'm working on the veggies. but its slow going - 3/7/2010   5:01:50 PM
  • 86
    I eat a banana with breakfast each day, & snack on fruits throughout the day. I eat plenty of vegetables with dinner, & often have a salad. - 3/7/2010   3:14:23 PM
  • 85
    actually, it feels weird not to eat fruit and veggies everyday! They have always been part of my diet. - 3/7/2010   2:30:35 PM
  • 84
    Ive always loved veggies, but hated fruits, Since trying to eat healthier Ive actually started to learn to love fruits. I do think that in its self has helped with my weight loss the last 2 months - 3/7/2010   1:03:14 PM
  • 83
    god there are so many different ways to get your vegetables in for the day. try slicing up some sweet potato and brushing it with olive oil and baking it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.. it tastes really good.. you can also pan fry eggplant with a little olive oil and this is delicious...another idea is to make some fresh salsa with tomatoes and onion and whatever else you decide to add (cilantro is also a good addition) and eat it with pita chips. - 3/7/2010   12:50:50 PM
  • NURSENANCY7
    82
    I always have veggies clean and ready to eat in my frige I can just grab a bag and eat. - 3/7/2010   9:29:25 AM
  • 81
    I love fruits and vegetables. I have never had any trouble eating them. My husband however is a different story, but we are working on it. - 3/7/2010   2:30:25 AM
  • 1TOYSRUSKID
    80
    I grew up in a family where potatoes and meat were the staples. Never ate veggies, I am trying to hit those aisles first at the grocery store so my cart fills up faster. Also hitting organic stores and checking labels for nutritional value and stocking up on frozen veggies and meals made with veggies. No complaints from my teenagers yet! - 3/7/2010   12:18:41 AM
  • LOWLAKELADY
    79
    I love to try new kinds of fruits and vegetables - ugli fruit, bitter melons, chayote squash. The farmers market makes it easy in the summer time - have to seek new ones out in the winter. - 3/6/2010   10:44:07 PM
  • ORGANICCHICK
    78
    My new thing is eating vegetables with breakfast. Most of the time it is sauteed spinach under my egg over easy and a side of a small sweet potato, but sometimes I have mushrooms, or avocado, or tomatoes. I love veggies so this wasn't much of a sacrifice for me! - 3/6/2010   7:54:39 PM
  • 77
    I, too, eat my veggies first. I love their taste and texture. When we go on cruises the first thing I tell our dining steward is that I want steamed vegetables with my dinner. You can't image the smile that always elicits.
    - 3/6/2010   7:08:16 PM
  • 76
    I eat an apple a day - Pink Lady if you please.
    I have learned to roast veggies - and they can't be beat - that's my new weekend activity - roasting enough for the week! - 3/6/2010   6:17:14 PM
  • 75
    I love my leafy green veggies ! How do I get my veggies in ? By eating them at every meal if I can. I usually load up at breakfast and lunch. Yes, I eat spinach for breakfast. yum.... I try to eat more fruits as snacks too. - 3/6/2010   2:30:36 PM
  • 74
    I've never had any trouble eating lots of veggies... I like them! But, I have never been much of a fruit eater. Over the past two months, I've made a point to eat a piece of fruit with breakfast, with lunch, and as an afternoon snack. I've noticed that I don't feel run down and sleepy by 2 p.m., and I don't have my usual craving for carbs (chips, crackers, bread, etc.) before dinner. I suspect that the natural sugar in the fruit keeps my energy up and the natural carbs keep me away from the bread basket. - 3/6/2010   12:42:14 PM
  • CINDA-G
    73
    Another way to get veggies into your diet, is by using frozen stir fry vegetables. I love the ones with green, yellow and red peppers, snaps pea, broccoli, water chestnuts, mushrooms or cauliflower and then I add chicken, or shrimp to make it into a meal! - 3/6/2010   12:23:59 PM
  • MBENNETT2009
    72
    I try to make sure at least half my plate is full of fruits and vegetables at every meal. - 3/6/2010   11:49:42 AM
  • 71
    Fruits are in my snacks and desserts. Veggies are a part of each meal. Yum! - 3/6/2010   11:09:00 AM
  • PRESHA911
    70
    For me, it's quite easy to sneak in my fruits and veggies. The serving size is typically so small that I just double it. For example, an 8 inch banana is actually 2 servings of fruit! - 3/6/2010   10:38:31 AM
  • SWEETIEGIRL2
    69
    I love this tip because I have found it to be so true! I agree it is one of the secrets of success. I also eat at least one large fresh salad a day and after eating this way for awhile, I actually began to *crave* salads. Read "Eat for Health" to learn about the benefits to your body of all the micronutrients they have in them. Great book w/lots of great recipes too!

    I like to start with a raw salad and add some cooked veggies (hot or cold) . Yum. Experiment and try new thing until you find what works for you. Vegetables and fruits can also be one of the easiest items to prepare, easy to shop for, they last several days and many don't require refrigeration, and when you travel you can always find a store that has them.

    Buy organic whenever possible. And check out the dirty dozen, which is a list of veggies and fruits you should avoid unless they are organic because they have a high level of pesticides. - 3/6/2010   10:31:41 AM
  • GMAGEE
    68
    Hooray for veggies! I too have always eaten my veggies first at dinner - but mostly because they don't stay as hot as the other things on my plate. But, we often plan our meals 'around' the vegetable, rather than 'around' the protein, and especially opt for what's in season. - 3/6/2010   9:43:51 AM
  • 67
    I'm liking veggies & fruits better each day. - 3/6/2010   7:45:50 AM
  • 66
    The older I get the more veggies I like.
    - 3/6/2010   4:29:18 AM
  • 65
    I love fruits and vegetables. I like yogurt smoothies for a snack between meals. I really like tomato juice, apple juice, pineapple juice and just love to eat fruit. My favorite breakfast includes some kind of berries and milk. - 3/5/2010   9:51:24 PM
  • 64
    I always try to get my 5 -6 a day of fruits and veggies. When I was a kid didn't care for them much (veggies)but learned to eat them first when they were still hot. If they got cold they tasted awful. So I still eat the veggies first and now I like most of them. I have learned that my mother did not know how to cook most veggies and over did them to the point of being really grossl. - 3/5/2010   9:35:55 PM
  • NGAIBRUCE
    63
    I just love the crunch and the taste of raw veggies! I've also an acquired taste for exotic fruits, including things like jackfruit and durian (yes, I could draw a huge crowd in most any Malay market square by eating them in public!) Some of these may not be the healthiest of fruits either. I believe durian raises ones blood pressure considerably and is not recommended for anyone with a heart condition. I'd have to say that the mangosteen is just the greatest fruit on the planet although a fresh Georgia peach has gotta be right up there close! - 3/5/2010   9:21:54 PM
  • 62
    I enjoy eating fruits and veggies, but I do find it at times a little effort so I pay more sometimes and buy the bags that are prewashed and pre cut. My secret to fight munching on junk as soon as I get back from the grocery store is, as I am putting ffod away I open a bag of pre cut veggies and dip or some fruit and munch while I put groceries away. This makes the tedious task easier for me and keeps me from over eating when I finally get to sit down and eat a meal. - 3/5/2010   9:11:51 PM
  • 61
    I never met a vege I didn't like. I try to get at least 2 servings with
    every meal. Also eat at least 2 servings of fruit a day - 3/5/2010   7:49:43 PM
  • 60
    I LOVE getting my fruits and veggies every day -- I've been streaking getting my 5-a-day for a few months now, and it's so motivating! I start every day with a banana pre-gym and berries with yogurt for my post-workout breakfasts. By 8am, I'm already two servings in!! I keep veggies the star of the dinner show, whether it's spinach salads, steamed broccoli, braised brussels sprouts, Asian stir-fries, or veggie-loaded pastas and pizzas. Yum yum!! - 3/5/2010   6:55:40 PM

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