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Low calorie nutritious fresh fruit

Fresh Fruit

Eating fresh fruit is a brilliant way to stave off hunger pangs when you are trying to lose weight. The great thing is that it is good for you!
Guilt-free eating whilst on a calorie controlled diet doesn't come along very often.

We are all aware of how we should be eating at least five-a-day fruits and vegetables to maintain our health. The World Health Organization recommends eating at least 400g of fruit and vegetables daily in order to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Other health benefits of eating plenty of fruit include improving bowel function, reducing asthma and delaying cataract development.

Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is important during a diet, as they help fill you up.

Figures have shown that if you eat at least five-a-day you are far more likely to maintain a healthy weight.

One of the most common changes successful slimmers make to their diet is to increase eating fruit and vegetables.

Fresh fruit is delicious and a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium and folate. Fruit is full of fibre and generally low in fat and calories.

It is lovely to enjoy fruit in its natural state, but it can be nice to ring the changes and bring some variety to your diet, especially when you are sticking to a weight-loss plan. Here are some quick and easy suggestions to vary your fruit eating:

Apple - just coring and slicing your dessert apple into bite-sized pieces (if you are not eating straight away then a sprinkling of lemon juice will stop the apple going brown) can make it more appealing.

A cooking apple stewed or a baked apple with some added raisins and cinnamon can stop you reaching for a high calorie pudding.

A delicious Apple Oatie is a nutritious and low calorie dessert.
eating fresh apple

Banana - sliced and sprinkled with a touch of ground ginger, or drinking chocolate powder and topped with a tablespoon of low-fat vanilla yoghurt. You could add a few juicy raisins, or a finely chopped date.

If you fancy a tasty low-calorie dessert try a Baked Banana. Preheat the oven 200C/400F/Gas 6 and place a banana, unskinned, on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until soft and black. To serve, split the banana open along its length and add a spoonful of low-fat/ 0% creme fraiche or vanilla low-fat yoghurt.

A low calorie banana smoothie can be a nice treat.

blackberries, raspberries and  blueberries
Blackberries - gently heat blackberries with a little water and just enough sugar to take the bitterness away for about 5 minutes. Add a drop of vanilla essence. Then blend to a purée, rub through a sieve and you've got an intense coulis.
Redcurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries are as good. Stir into low-fat yoghurt or creme fraiche and add some whole berries.

Add juicy blackberries to slices of crisp green apple and top with a tsp of toasted rolled oats or chopped almonds (toasting intensifies the taste). Serve with a spoonful of 0% creme fraiche. Stewed apple and blackberries goes really well together too.

Fruit Fool - try yummy fruit fools by blending fruit with 0% fat-free fromage frais - about 125 calories per 150ml/ 1/4 pint. Try using cooked rhubarb, gooseberries, plums ( add sugar to taste) or raw strawberries, raspberries, blueberries,etc.

Fruit Salad - it takes a bit of time and effort, but it is well worth it. Squeeze a couple of fresh oranges and a lemon, and place juice in a large bowl. Chop whatever fruits you favour into bite-sized pieces - pineapple, orange(remove pith and pips), satsuma (just separate the segments), apple (leave the skin on - a mix of red and green is nice), peach or nectarine (remove stone), plum, melon, pear, kiwi fruit, grapes, etc. Place fruit pieces into the juice and then add soft fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries. If you are planning on using slices of banana add them just before you serve your fruit salad or they become slimy.

Peach - grilled peaches . Peel a juicy peach, slice and add fresh raspberry coulis (see above under Blackberries)

Plums - try this delicious Plum Bake: Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F /gas mark 6. Place 1 lb/450g plum halves skin-side down in a baking dish and sprinkle with a tbsp lemon juice. Cook until the plums are tender ( around 30 minutes). Stir in a dessertspoon of brandy and the zest of half a lemon. Serve with zero fat creme fraiche.

Pomegranate - this superfood is delicious when the lucious juicy seeds are mixed with a sprinkling of lemon juice, rosewater and then chilled. Add a little sugar to taste.

satsuma and oranges recipes Satsuma - sweet delicious little oranges, like tangerines, clementines, etc - they make a lovely refreshing dessert if you mix juicy satsuma segments with seedless grapes and a handful of tasty pomegranate seeds.
Strawberries - a dusting of freshly ground black pepper really brings out the taste. Try blending ripe strawberries to make a thick sauce you can add to other fruit, such as melon, banana or peaches and nectarines. Or stir the puree into low fat yoghurt.

Slimming Strawberry Sorbet - blend 1 lb/ 450g fresh ripe strawberries with juice 1 orange, freeze mixture for 1 hour, then beat and return to freezer for 4-5 hours. You will need to soften the sorbet 20 minutes before serving.

Summer Fruit Sorbet - lightly poach a mix of fresh berries, such as raspberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, blueberries. Add a small amount of sugar or honey if tart. When cool place in the freezer, and remove just before the mixture freezes and add to a pot of low fat vanilla yoghurt. Blend and return to the freezer for a short while.

If you use canned or frozen fruit choose varieties with no added fat or sugar - look for fruit in their own juice.

Be careful with dried fruit, fruit juices or smoothies as they can be much higher in calories than fresh fruit.

Before trying a new diet you should always consult your doctor to discuss whether you are healthy enough to restrict your calorie intake.

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