The Secrets of Success: Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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

MUSICNUT 5/23/2018
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
ANHELIC 2/9/2018
Great suggestions Report
BONDMANUS2002 12/8/2017
good to know Report
DIANNESEPT
Veggies are more or less mixed into my main meal but sometimes I do eat them raw...but I do have to eat more. Report
EASTGIRL71
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! Report
CUTENHEALTHY
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! Report
Summer is a good time to grow your own veggies! Gardening is good exercise too. Report
CRICKETSMOM515
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! Report
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. :)
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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. Report
GINA32
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
My husband and I love veggies; the 15 year old not so much. We keep offering and hoping! Report
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. Report
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! Report
LOVE my veggies! Mostly like them raw, but some I like to steam lightly. Yum, yum! Report
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. Report
SISTEREARTH31
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. Report
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. Report
MYRACCOON
I really learned to enjoy veggies. Where else does all the flavor come from anyway? Report
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. Report
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. Report
MONABROAD
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. Report
SUNNYDAYZ4ME
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. Report
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 Report
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. Report
actually, it feels weird not to eat fruit and veggies everyday! They have always been part of my diet. Report
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 Report
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. Report
NURSENANCY7
I always have veggies clean and ready to eat in my frige I can just grab a bag and eat. Report
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. Report
1TOYSRUSKID
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! Report
LOWLAKELADY
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. Report
ORGANICCHICK
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! Report
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.
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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! Report
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. Report
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. Report
CINDA-G
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! Report
MBENNETT2009
I try to make sure at least half my plate is full of fruits and vegetables at every meal. Report
Fruits are in my snacks and desserts. Veggies are a part of each meal. Yum! Report
PRESHA911
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! Report
SWEETIEGIRL2
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. Report
GMAGEE
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. Report
I'm liking veggies & fruits better each day. Report
The older I get the more veggies I like.
Report
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. Report
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. Report
NGAIBRUCE
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! Report
 
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