Eating five-a-day can help you lose weight ‘quicker’ without other changes – diet plan

Eat Well for Less?: Kids are challenged to a 'fruit and veg race'

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New studies have shown that more than 25 million British adults (four in 10) aren’t getting their five-a-day; a message which has been tied to health benefits for years. Experts have found that by specifically eating more fruit and vegetables, people can decrease their risks of heart disease and cancer.

But according to the latest research conducted by Sainsbury’s, adults across the country only eat an average of 3.25 portions of fruit and veg each day, with the first piece typically not being eaten till 2pm.

When asked why, 25 percent admitted they “forget about it”, whilst 13 percent don’t know how to incorporate it within meals outside of dinner.

But for those wanting to shed some pounds, eating to the five-a-day rule can help speed it up.

The NHS states that as fruit and veg are low in calories and fat while high in fibre, these three “essential” ingredients are very successful weight loss.

Ruth Tongue, nutritionist at FOGA explained: “Some studies have even shown that the incredible phytochemicals found in fruit and vegetables may even help to fight off obesity, due to their effect on fat cells in the body.”

Fruit and veg are also notoriously low in calories, making for a good snack if a person is feeling peckish throughout the day.

She added: “Although they are significantly low in calories and a great convenience snack, fruit and veg are also a high source of carbohydrate.”

While people on a weight loss journey might believe cutting all carbs is the way forward, Ruth pointed out that they’re the body’s primary energy source.

“The fructose and glucose in fruits and vegetables are all natural, and do not require the work of digestive enzymes to break them down,” she explained.

“Therefore, they are a much quicker and healthier way to give your body energy, rather than reaching for a ‘healthy’ protein bar.”

She went on: “Research has also shown that eating just one extra portion of fruit and vegetables each day can boost mental wellbeing by the same amount as walking for an additional ten minutes a day.”

With people remaining hesitant around how to incorporate their five-a-day into their daily meals, experts at Eating Well put together a delicious 1,500 calories daily diet plan which, alongside daily exercise, can set people on track to lose a healthy one to two pounds a week.

Breakfast – 321 calories

Oatmeal with fruit and nuts

One serving old-fashioned oatmeal

Three quarters cup sliced strawberries

Two tablespoon of chopped walnuts

Two teaspoon brown sugar

Top oatmeal with strawberries, walnuts, brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.

Morning snack – 70 calories

Two clementines

Lunch – 419 calories

Green salad with chickpeas

Two cups mixed greens

One half cup cucumber slices

Eight cherry tomatoes, halved

One third cup canned chickpeas, rinsed

Two tablespoons of feta cheese

10 kalamata olives, chopped

Combine ingredients and dress salad with one tablespoon each olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

PM snack – 147 calories

Eight walnut halves

Five dried apricots

Dinner – 529 calories

One serving chipotle-lime cauliflower tacos

One serving tortilla chips

One quarter cup guacamole

Daily Total: 1,485 calories, 39g protein, 179g carbohydrates, 36g fibre, 74g fat, 1,870mg sodium

In order to get the nation to eat more fruit and veg and reach their five-a-day target with ease, Sainsbury’s is launching the Vegfast Van, which will be touring locations across the UK next week, offering customers inspiration and giving away hundreds of free and healthy breakfasts.

Sainsbury’s is also offering customers up to 750 bonus Nectar points this summer when they take part in the Great Fruit and Veg Challenge, from now until 2nd September on the Nectar mobile app.

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