5 Best Fruit Sources For A Flat Belly

best fruit for weight loss

best fruit for weight loss

Having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important for not only their anti-oxidant and fiber benefits but also for creating an alkaline environment in the body. Maintaining an alkaline environment is important for bone mass and muscle tissue. Acidic environments are noted in several diseases in the human body.

Are There Fruits That I Should Avoid?

All fresh whole foods have numerous benefits. They do vary slightly in glucose and fructose content. The ones to avoid are dried fruits, dehydrated fruits, canned and fruit juices due to their high sugar content and preservatives. Frozen fruits are good and fresh, organic fruit is best.

Are There Fruits That Are Better Than Others?

The darker the fruit the better it is for you. Dark fruits have thin skin, meaning they need to produce more antioxidants to protect themselves from the sun. This is also true for the glycemic load of dark fruit; the darker they are the lower the glycemic load.

Does Fruit Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

NO! Surprised? All food have an effect on blood sugar levels but not all have an effect on insulin levels. Fruit does not send your blood sugars sky-high but because it doesn’t effect your insulin levels the fruit is not getting into the muscle where it needs to be, to be used as a carb. It therefore is used to fill up your liver storage. If you eat too much, the extra fructose will be stored as fat.

What Is Fructose? And Is It Bad For You?

Fructose is a simple carbohydrate or sugar. In the liver, fructose is converted to glucose  and stored as liver glycogen. The liver can only use and store so much fructose as glycogen at one time. The remainder will be stored as fat.

Research shows that getting a large portion of carbohydrates from fructose results in visceral belly fat gain, reduced insulin sensitivity, more bad cholesterol, less fat burning and a lower metabolic rate…NOT GOOD!

Another reason fructose is often frowned upon is for the simple reason that the liver prefers to use fructose as energy over glucose. What that means is our body will use fructose (fruit) to first replenish our liver glycogen stores before replenishing our muscle glycogen stores. Fruit can replenish muscle glycogen, it just takes longer because the liver will fill itself up first.

That is the reason bodybuilders and fitness competitors will cut out fruits, as they want to replenish their muscle glycogen first rather than their liver, to ensure fast delivery of nutrients for growth and repair to muscle tissue. The liver will steal the fructose in the fruit and store it, rather than use it in the body for repair. What people fail to understand is you cannot be completely depleted of liver glycogen and ‘top-up’ just your muscle glycogen.

FACT: Too much fructose can be converted to triglycerides and is for this reason you should limit your daily fruit intake.

How Much Fruit Should I Eat In A Day?

Some experts say 5-20 grams of fructose, which is around 1-2 servings a day and 20 grams for a very active individual. I go by 2 servings of fruit a day and that seems to work for me and the females I have trained, keeping in mind we are very active!

My Top 5 Fruit Choices For A Flat Belly

Grapefruit - an excellent source of vitamins and phytochemicals, rich in vitamin c, antioxidants and fibre. The reason I love grapefruit and have it daily is the effect on regulating blood sugars and  it is theorized to help metabolize and burn fat.

Mixed Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) – another excellent source of vitamins (rich in vitamin c), anti-oxidants, phytochemicals and fibre. I love berries for their taste, low GI scale and few calories.

Apple - an apple a day…you know the rest. This is made true for their high vitamin B-complex, vitamin c, phytonutrients and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium.

Orange - like all citrus fruits, oranges are high in vitamin C and also contain a rich amount of vitamin A.  Oranges are high in fibre pectin which is known for it’s laxative-like quality that protects the colon and helps to lower cholesterol.

Cranberries – this fruit is wonderful as an anti-inflammatory and kidney protector; known for its protection against urinary tract infection.

FUN FACT: Tomato is a fruit but is often referred to as a vegetable. I do not include tomato as part of the 2 fruit rule because of its low sugar content.

FUN FACT: Avocado is also a fruit but I use it as a fat source rather than a fruit.

Bottom line is fruit has many benefits but it is crucial to keep fruit to a MINIMUM!

 

Any questions? Ask below!

 

 







Comments

  1. Tanya says:

    Another great article Flavia. I’d like to add an observation to the fruit thing. I must say I’ve been guilty of this…..but I’ve seen it in others. This fear of eating too much fruit. Which, if you read your article, is a valid concern. But at the same time, I see people eating bread, cereals, biscuits, 5 lattes a day etc, and then being concerned with eating 2-3 pieces of fruit a day! Oooh, there’s lots of sugar in fruit, better be careful. What about the rest of the stuff you are eating!! I’ve taken the line of just trying to clean up my diet as much as I can, and if that means I eat a bit more fruit than usual instead of toast or morning bikkies, then I’ll take the fruit anyday.

  2. Heather says:

    My friend goes to a nutritionist who has her on some whacky diet plan. She is only allowed fruit in the morning as “fruit after lunch will turn to fat”. Yet, she eats pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, etc. for lunch and dinner ! I have to hold in my comments everytime she talks about it.

    • ella says:

      I only heard the reason for eating fruit in the morning because it would be easier on digestion and detox, not for the reason your friend states.

  3. Heather says:

    I forgot to ask, what about vegans who eat massive amounts of fruit and are very slim ? I work with a vegan lady who is extremely lean. I don’t think I could pinch an ounce of fat on any part of her body. She drinks green drinks everyday made with tons of veggies but also like, 2-3 bananas plus berries or pineapple. She told me she eats close to 3000 calories of raw fruit and veg. What’s up with that ?

    • Flavia says:

      I had someone email me stating her reasons for eating fruit and if you are ok with eating that much and you find you don’t gain weight, eat away I say. Vegan diets are really strict and without all the processing of foods, there is no way for them to gain weight, in my opinion. They usually eat all natural foods the way we were intended to eat them!

  4. Rumiana says:

    I have this explanation about fruits – you can’t gain weight eating fruit (up to 2 pounds per day) but you can’t lose weight too. Fruits are perfect food to maintain weight and this is the only dessert and sweet I eat. But when I want to become leaner I limit my fruit servings, and I am very active, working out 5-6 times per week.

  5. Rosalie says:

    Hi Flavia,
    I found your blog very informative and helpful. I was wondering why you didn;t include bananas, which is rich in minerals, and would like to know your take on persimmons, which are a dark orange and delicious! thanks, Rosalie

    • Flavia says:

      Ah…I was hoping I would have gotten questioned on bananas. I include them in my meal plans but more after workouts when you need the extra calories. Bananas are loaded with carbs, fructose and glucose, one of the highest of the fruits. They also don’t have as many benefits as say, berries! I have never tried persimmons but have wanted to. I have researched them much because they don’t seem too popular yet. From what I have read about them, they seem to have many healthy benefits. The Asian culture always seems to find the healthiest foods!

  6. Julia says:

    I found a brand of freeze dried cherries that don’t include any sugar. It’s just plain cherries, so are they still to be avoided because their dried?
    Same with cranberries; they’re so tart when fresh, but I love them dried.

  7. Pam says:

    I have puchased the skinnylicious nutrition program and just wondering if I weigh 159 pounds …

    do I follow the 1600 calorie plan or 1400? I don’t think I can eat that much at breakfast without gagging (1600plan), but I can do the 1400 one alright. Just don’t know what to do if I am in between the plans.

    Looking forward to losing some weight! Thanks so much for all of your hard work and wonderful insight. It is so nice to be able to get this information from a woman who has been there and done that! Love it…thanks Flavia

    • Flavia says:

      Thanks Pam! I would do 1600 calories. Don’t stuff yourself, eat what you can for the breakfast and if you eat 1400 for one meal, you shouldn’t have trouble with the 200 calorie difference!!

  8. Anna says:

    Thanks for the article Flavia :) I usually have a scoop of whey protein and some fruit (usually some grapes and mango) post workout. I am trying to gain muscle now, so is this not the optimum choice? what would be the best carb to have with my whey protein? Thanks!

    • Flavia says:

      A banana would be better than grapes because it has more carbs, fuctose and glucose, but what I usually have is my protien shake with water (sometimes a banana when I train hard). After I come home is when I have my meat and carb…sweet potato or brown rice etc. WITHIN 1 HOUR of training have a meal! The shake should be consumed within 10 minutes of the workout if you are serious about gaining muscle. Best of luck girl!

  9. Anna says:

    ok I’ll do that, thank you so much! I have gained some weight, my goal weight is 115, I was 103 and have gotten up to 108, I’m not sure how much is muscle or fat but I can still see my abs :) Thanks for all your help!

  10. Joletta Belton says:

    First, let me say I love your website and I’m stoked to see a strong, fit female with such an excellent blog and web site.
    I do want to throw in my two-cents on this issue because I have a friend that told me yesterday she won’t eat bananas because of belly fat, yet she has “small cheat snacks” every day that include Starbucks frozen drinks and scones, ice cream, pop and cookies. I think this is pertinent information but may be confusing to the average population. Fresh fruit is a much better choice then a granola bar, cereal, pre-packaged or store bought protein shakes/smoothies/bars, etc (all common after workout snacks for women) and contains much less fructose than these other sources. The studies that show excessive fructose consumption leading to belly fat had 25% of daily calories coming from fructose, a very high number and more likely to be obtained by consuming added fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup, syrup, sucrose, etc. in processed foods and drinks. On a 1500 calorie a day diet, that would be nearly 100 grams of fructose a day. With a banana having just under 6 grams of fructose per medium fruit you would have to eat over 16 bananas a day to get the same quantity of fructose from fruit alone. With a soda having around 25 grams per can it would only take four to hit that number each day (or a couple Vitamin waters, frappucinos, or Jamba Juice smoothies).
    While avoiding added fructose to foods is incredibly important, eating fresh whole foods should never be discouraged, in my opinion. We have to remember that while the people we tend to associate with have the same views on eating clean and working out, the vast majority of Americans are lost in terms of what they should and should not be eating and eat and drink diets consisting of primarily processed foods. They should be encouraged to pick up an apple or banana, not a doughnut or candy bar (or granola bar or cereal bar or any processed junk). I highly doubt any of them would overeat fruit or consume any where near 16 bananas a day but I can see many drinking a soda, Starbucks, or smoothie and having processed baked goods.
    Sorry for the overly long post. I just hate to see women that are trying to get healthy misunderstand what they’re reading. Eat fruit with some protein or fat. Put down the grains, sugar-laden drinks and froyo!

  11. Amber says:

    For dehydrated fruits. I know they are not good if they come packaged, but what if they are dried with your own personal dehydrator?

  12. Heidi says:

    Flavia,
    When should I drink a protein shake?? I like to drink them in the morning with my eggs or something, but mostly because its something healthy, especialy when I add veggies to it,…but do I really need to have one after I workout too?
    They dont seem to help me feel fuller or anything so I dont use them as replacement shakes, only as a supplement.

  13. Trudi says:

    Dr Mercola has an list on his web-site of the amount of fructose in fruits. He reckons you must stay under 15 grams a day to lose weight. There are plenty of fruits that are under that limit which allow you to have 2-3 pieces a day.

    I love his web-site. He is THE guy to listen to for natural health and nutrition in my opinion.

    Oh and he also states that you should not eat fruit (or anything else) higher than 5-6gms of fructose after doing HIIT to avoid the disruption of HGH! So fruits and high carbs after weights seem to be the way to go but not after HIIT.

    Another thing on his site he says is that post workout meals for HIIT ideally is consumed 45-60 mins after but for resistance the ideal time is 15-30 mins to repair muscles.

    I’d like to hear your thoughts on this!!

    Cheers!!

  14. michelle says:

    Flavia,

    I am following your curvolicious program and i just have one question. In the program it said that i can substitute 2 of my daily servings of veggies with fruit. This week I am following the meal plan for an evening work out and for the second meal which is a curve meal I have decided to eat greek yogart and mix berries my question is: since i am eating the fruit as my carb should i eat a veggi too and or could i just double the fruit amount to replace the veggie..

  15. Jacquie says:

    where in your diet is the fruit – do you have a piece with breakfast? or is this counting as your carb??

  16. ella says:

    I find the info on fruit confusing, it doesn’t spike my blood sugar yet I shouldn’t eat too much. What exactly is two servings? Like one apple , one orange a day?

    Another thing I heard is to eat fruit together with a protein but that is too difficult for me to digest.

    In the book Fit for Life not Fat for Life the writer recommends to eat fruit in the morning and nothing else and not combine fruit with other foods, Now I eat fruit in the morning ( 4 fruits) and sometimes as a snack either afternoon of evening (mostly because it is light) but I think the recommendation is to eat protein as the late snack.

    Any comment, advice?

  17. lalitha says:

    wat bout watermelon???

    • Anna says:

      Watermelon is considered a fruit and should be counted into your daily carbohydrate, 2 fruits per day intake. 1 cup of watermelon would be 1 serving.
      All the best!
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

  18. Jabeen says:

    It’s embarassing to admit that the first time i read this blog i scrolled right down to your list of five but i actually took the time to read the WHOLE blog today and i just wanted to take the time to thank you not only for this informative blog but for everything you’ve been doing on this website. You have really opened my eyes to the importance of nutrition and have deepened by appreciation of it’s importance. Before ff I always but emphasis on training and overlooked nutrition and I’ve lost 2″ off my waist from just cutting my fruit intake alone! YAY!
    So again thank you Flavia and apologies for my essay lol :)

  19. Eeling says:

    Hi flavia, I bumped into ur site 2 days ago and am so inspired by it. I have been on my own meal plans and have tried to lose fat since march, have lost 3 kg and is keen to lose more around thighs and the dreaded “muffin top”. My meal plan consists of a glass of water, rolled oats and water and a small or 1/2 banana, but this morning had a kiwi fruit after porridge. Was wondering if kiwi fruit is fine if I want to lose fat and was it find to have it in the morning? I am still trying to get my head around how ur Explaining eating the right foods to assist in losing weight and getting muscles…I have yet to try ur meal plans and maybe understand it more.

    Thank you for the wealth of info from ur site, definitely bookmarked for future reference.

    Best regards
    Ealing

  20. Eeling says:

    Stupid spell text spelled my name wrong :p Eeling

  21. Joanne says:

    Hi Flavia,

    Very good article- thank you :O) I am 2 months into my wieghts program and i am seeing some minor changes, i still have around 5 kilos of flat left before i can truely see my muscles. My question is about post workout shakes which contain corn syrup. I get very concerned about consuming them. In fact i feel guilty. My trainer has given me a diet plan which consiists of a whey protien shake containg some frustose and half a cup of strawberries, creatine and glutamine. Is this OK to consume? It feels too indulgent! At present i only consume it after a heavy weights session (3 times a week) and i omit the strawberries. This last 5 kilos of fat is very stubborn and i would like to lose it :O) Oh i eat completely clean, eat no dairy, wheat, rice, potatoes, pasta or beans, sugar or caffeine. Only fresh foods. for my moring snack i eat 10 almonds and my afternoon snack 80gms tuna. I would love your advice- thank you :O)

    • Anna says:

      Hi Joanne,
      whey protein shakes are great to have post workout. I would recommend buying a higher quality protein shake like Bio trust or Prograde which does not contain corn syrup. Strawberries are great to have and you should not feel guilty eating them. Your body needs carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown rice and oatmeal post workout to replenish your glycogen stores.
      All the best!
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

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