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

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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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I'm liking veggies & fruits better each day. Report
The older I get the more veggies I like.
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
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
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. Report
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 Report
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!! Report
I actually like veggies and fruit. I like adding them into my pasta. It adds volumes to the plate and makes everything more delicious! Everytime I take a bite of a veggie I always think "huh, i forgot how good these were".... Report
Love me fruit and veggies! You know you are a veggie lover when you go to a steak house and fill up on veggies and have to take your steak home because you are full! Report
I try to eat a fruit with every meal as a "dessert"....Love veggies so that is NOT a problem. Report
I love fruits and veggies too. My husband never liked them, but like some have said here, it's all about how they're prepared. Now he'll eat zuchinni, asparagus, broccoli, the works! My 17 month old son eats asparagus like candy! I'll cut 5 spears up for him and turn my head and they're gone, and he's saying "mo pease" I guess it's just important to cook them right and incorporate them in interesting ways. Report
As a child, I hated veggies, but I love them and try to fit them in all day. Report
Gee, MES3639, your comment sounds an awful lot like an advertisement, particularly since the link goes to your particular page at that site.

I tend to view claims like "This is the most thoroughly researched nutritional product in the world" with a VERY skeptical eye.

Just out of curiosity, what is the SparkPeople policy regarding advertising in this kind of a setting? Report
I haven't always liked my veggies, but by the time I was a teenager I really started to like them more. And I've always liked fruit. The only problem is that I can't always afford to fill my cart with fresh fruit and veggies.... :-( Report
I love fresh fruits and veggies. I like to juice when I have the time. I also love veggie sandwiches. I try to have some type of salad for my family meals. I am always looking for new recipes to try. Luckily my family loves fruits and veggies too. Report
I love fruit and vegetable,I always eat both at lunch and dinner. Report
I like to roast veggies with a bit of olive oil and garlic, herbs, spices. Sometimes I add them to a cup of pasta or mix it with a cup of rice. I also like carrot juice and tomato juice. With fruits, I tend to eat anything that is easy access for when I'm on the go, like bananas, apples, oranges. LOVE A REALLY SWEET AND JUICY CALIFORNIA NAVEL! I do not have fruit juices (very fattening, actually). I also enjoy blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and mangos.

Great blog! Report
I live in Mexico where fresh produce is available year round. Every week I stock up on fresh organic lettuce, tomatoes, papaya, mangoes, carrots. You name it they have it here fresh out of the ground. I love my fruits and vegetables even more. Report
mesagirl3, juicing is great but it's not a substitute for whole fruits and veggies because you're concentrating the sugars while missing out on the fiber and the nutrients left in the discarded pulp. On the other hand, if you have a Vitamix or other pulverizing machine that makes juice out of the whole food instead of just squeezing out the juice, that's a perfect way to get your veggies and fruit. i love fresh veggies (grew up hating canned ones) but my kids still hate them. my trick was adding some - not too much - to things they already liked. finely-diced veggies or spinach in the spaghetti sauce, chicken soup and chili, chopped broccoli in the mac and cheese, zucchini and carrots in the homemade hummus, cauliflower in the garlic mashed potatoes. my older boy never found any veggie he liked other than tomatoes, green beans and corn, but the younger one learned that he actually enjoyed yams, steamed broccoli with lemon pepper and could tolerate spinach quite nicely when cooked with spaghetti or sausage and brown rice. maybe some of these ideas will help you find some you like. Report
Eating some raw snap green beans as I am reading this! Report
The "Magical Cooking Technique...." blog entry is one of my all-time favorites, and has revolutionized the way my family and I eat vegetables. If I roast a big panfull of whatever is left in the veggie bin on Sunday, I have tasty, nutritious lunches for the week. So good! Report
Love my veggies, tolerate my fruit. I love your term, "vegetable ambassador!" Report
I love my fruits and vegetables!! I eat them with every meal and they are my favorite part! Sauteed zucchini with breakfast, salad at lunch, banana after I work out, and a smorgasbord of veggies at dinner. YUM VEGETABLES!! Report
I wish I could just grab that pan of veggies! It looks soo good! Report
I'm an anomaly too. I've always eaten my veggies first. I just love'em. Too often, those of us that are trying to lose weight think we have to cut out fruit, but we don't. Report
I love fruits and vegetables, I just forget to eat them sometimes. It's all about preparation and planning. Report
I am new to Spark. Is juicing fruits and vegetables allowed? You can pack a lot of servings into a glass of juice. We are fortunate to have citrus trees in our yard, and it makes it easy for me, if I can juice. Report
Great article and I love fruits & vegies! Report
I've been slowly learning how to prepare fruits and veggies so that I'll eat them. For instance, yesterday I made a slow-cooker stew with lentils, chick peas, carrots and onions, spiced with soy sauce, honey, and ginger. Mmmmmmmm, so good. But it definitely takes advance planning--if I buy veggies not knowing exactly how I'll prepare them, they rot in the fridge! Report
WANT2BHEALTHY60--How do you track your vitamins and minerals? Is there a way to do that with Spark? Report
WANT2BHEALTHY60--How do you track your vitamins and minerals? Is there a way to do that with Spark? Report
HELP!!! I'm new to spark people and have yet to start eating healthy right now I'm more calorie counting than anything. I don't like fruits and vegtables!!! how can this program work for someone like me? : ( Report
Veggies are fun. Eat them raw, grill them, add them to soup, pizza etc. The list is endless and try new ones too. Report
I've lost 98 pounds and can say that I now eat A LOT more fruit and veggies than when I was overweight. I eat fruit with breakfast, lunch is a big salad with lean meat, and dinner always has two veggies as a side. Sandwiches are always packed with lettuce and tomatoes, and if I'm hungry I reach for a nectarine, apple or orange! I LOVE FRUITS AND VEGGIES! Report
My family found out about a whole food called Juice Plus+. We get the nutrition from 17 different fruits, vegetables, and grains. How is it made? Starts with fresh, high quality fruits and veggies. Then carefully tested to ensure no pesticides or other contaminants affect the natural purity. The fruits and veggies are juiced, then concentrated into powders using a propriety, low temperature process. I send my kids to school knowing that they had 17 fruits and veggies like kale, beets, carrot, cabbage, spinach, cranberry, Acerola cherry, papaya. I saw a real difference in our immune systems this winter. Check out the website. Juice Plus is also the most thoroughly researched nutritional product in the world. Report
I started eating dried fruit again. I found a package at Costco with apples, peaches, plums and rhubarb. I was afraid I wouldn't like it but it is really good. I don't do very well with veggies though. Report
I love veggies and fruit which helps. I almost always have a piece of fruit (or a serving of berries) with breakfast. I will often have a snack that includes a fruit or a veggie. I try to have veggies with lunch and always at dinner. I find it easier to fit in all my servings (then some) when I have a big salad at lunch and dinner. I also eat less of the higher calorie main dish when I do that. Sometimes I even have a veggies only lunch with squash soup and a salad. Report
Fruits help to keep my sweet tooth in check. I enjoy all vegetables, with the exception of lima beans (are they vegetables?). Bring on the asparagus, artichokes, zucchini.. love 'em! Report
I have had success at losing weight when I focus on eating NINE servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It makes me so full that I don't have room to eat much else! Report
I love vegtables!!! Growing your own is an amazing rewarding experience not to mention lots of excercise. Theres nothing like eating vegtables you grew yourself in the middle of winter. Report
I enjoy fruits and vegetables and make it a point to have both everyday. Fruits are a great need for sweet replacement and now, that they come in the handy cups in the grocery stores which include the fork, makes it transportable. Other than breakfast, which I can or cannot do without a vegetable every lunch and dinner meal includes a green vegetable as dictacted by my mom and her mom before. Good going! Report
I loooove fruit and vegetables. But after having been to horticulture college, and tasted what RIPE fruit tastes like, I have a hard time buying in the grocery store. Hopefully that will change once we move into our own home and I can grow what my heart desires. :o) Report
I love fruit and am constantly eating it. Veggies are more of a challenge. I eat salads with vinegrette. I have been roasting veggies and experiment with trying new veggies. Who knew I'd like asparagus. Report
I've found that many people I know don't like vegetables because they've never had them COOKED THE RIGHT WAY! Overcooked, soggy vegetables are nasty, rightfully so, but fresh vegetables steamed or lightly stir-fried are a hugely different thing! My steamer basket is one of the most used parts of my kitchen!

My husband grew up on soggy overcooked vegetables with cream or cheese sauces poured over them (no doubt to make them palatable), but now prefers steamed with just a hint of butter or freshly grated parmesan cheese sprinkled over them.

Having them lightly cooked provides more resistance for my teeth, too, and makes me feel fuller. Report
Vegetable ambassador! I'm using that from now on :D Report
I've always loved fruits and vegetables, even as a kid. When I was 10 I *asked* my mother to make brussel sprouts, much to her combined amusement and dismay (my parents both hate them). Okra is one notable exception, but thankfully I'm up north in Boston, where I don't encounter okra very often if at all. OTOH I recently discovered collard greens and love them! Report
This is probably my number one strategy. When I am not paying attention to my diet, I end up eating far too much sugar and grains. Even though the grains are almost always whole, I need to balance it out with fresh fruit & veggies. Every time I eat fruit I think there's nothing better and wonder why I bother with processed sweets when natural ones are so delicious. Report
I've been drinking V8 for some of my vegetable servings. I'm not a big fan of the taste, but it definitely helps get my veggies in. Report