By Shani Petroff
I was at work the other day and had a container of watermelon and another one of pineapple sitting at my desk. A friend who knows I’m trying to lose weight told me, “You really shouldn’t be eating that if you want to lose weight. Too much sugar.”
For the briefest of moments, I actually thought she may be right. Maybe I needed to cut the fruit from my diet.
But then I remembered something very important: It wasn’t fruit that made me fat.
In fact, I cringe when I think how I would often forego a banana (because some people told me it had too many carbs) to later eat a box of cookies. If only I had gone for the fruit instead.
I can easily down a pint of ice cream (and have on more occasions that I like to admit) and then still binge on other sweets and fattening foods. Curbing my sweet tooth and learning to stay within my SmartPoints® budget is something I’m working very hard at, but I still struggle. When I do succeed, one of the main reasons is fruit.
Fruit is not the enemy.
I am 100% positive that the pounds I packed on didn’t come from the strawberries, grapes, bananas, mangos, and more that I ate over the years.
Sure, if over the course of the day I used all my daily and weekly SmartPoints values on greasy fast food and sugary snacks and the rest of the days were all junk supplemented with boatloads of bananas I probably wouldn’t have the best week. But it’s not the fruits’ fault — it’s my choices. (And truthfully, when I’m on a junk-food kick, I usually go over my points and gain, which again, has nothing to do with my intake of fruit.)
Like with anything, moderation is key. If I were eating an unusually high number of bananas and not losing weight, maybe it would be wise to scale back or count some of my SmartPoints toward them. But to this day, that has not been a problem for me.
If anything, eating fruit keeps me from making unwise choices. My blended frozen bananas to create “nice cream” keep me from sitting down with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, the pineapple and watermelon help fill me up so I don’t go seeking something else — something high in SmartPoints, and the berries let me have something I can pop in my mouth, so I don’t go reaching for a bag of chips. When I try to avoid fruit and deprive myself, that’s when I slip up.
Fruit did not make me fat. In fact, it’s going to help me get exactly where I want to be! I’m going to get to my goal weight, and I’m going to do it by enjoying my fruit.
You can find me on Connect at Shani! – I’d love to hear from you!
Read more Shani Weighs In.