Fruits and Vegetables
Your Vegetable Choices
Vegetables are foods you can eat in large amounts. They fill your stomach and fuel you with the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that you need to stay in a muscle-feeding/ fat-shrinking frenzy. I categorize veggie choices by volume: The more water and fiber a vegetable has, the higher its volume. (See chart, page 63.) High-volume vegetables supply the most food with the fewest calories, so you can eat more without risking a calorie overload. Raw leafy greens like broccoli, cabbage, and salad greens are high-volume veggies, whereas parsnips, peas, and cooked beets are low volume. Keep an assortment of veggies in your freezer at all times. That way you can always add them as a quick side dish to any dinner you prepare.
If you want more food, opt for more high-volume vegetables first. This will allow you to satisfy that urge to chew without overindulging in calories. Aim to have two servings of vegetables at every meal, but don’t be afraid to load up on high volume veggies. It is hard to overeat in this category because you will fill up fast. You can mix and match. A salad can be a mixture of spring greens with a handful of diced carrots, mushrooms, celery, diced tomatoes, and sweet peppers.
Your Fruit Choices
Fruits also have a volume component, but they are listed farther down the column (starting with grapefruit) because they have higher concentrations of sugar—and thus calories. While lots of diets restrict daily fruit servings, on the Feed Muscle, Shrink Fat program you should really worry only about limiting fruits that are high in sugar. Your best bet is to find a middle ground where you eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables.
Choose freely from this list (page 63) but aim to fill up on the higher-volume fruits, such as whole apples, berries, and grapefruit, that are also higher in fiber. Any fruits with edible skins are excellent choices; think of them as vitamin C bombs wrapped with fiber. I recommend that you have two servings of fruit a day and then adjust your intake to your activity level. If, for example, you find that as you increase your activity level your hunger also goes up, you can safely add another serving or two of fruit a day. Grains are another category that you can adjust to help satisfy your body’s calorie needs to keep you going.
These foods are listed in order from high volume to low volume. Eat more of the highvolume
foods to fill you up without adding a lot of calories.
Raw leafy vegetables
Cooked asparagus, green beans, broccoli, red or green cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kale,
sauerkraut, summer squash, zucchini
Cooked Brussels sprouts, carrots, spinach, tomato, canned mushrooms,
water chestnuts, sugar snap peas; raw radishes
Cooked collards, onions, pumpkin, rutabaga, mashed acorn squash, turnips
Frozen mixed vegetables, mustard greens, parsnips, peas, cooked beets or beet greens
The reason I do not impose strict limits on fruits is because studies show that when you crave sugar or sweets, fruit is an excellent solution. Eating fruit is much healthier than bingeing on a high-fat, high-processed-sugar product that will sabotage your weight loss goals.
When you crave a food that is more likely to feed fat cells, like a doughnut, reach for a muscle-feeding food instead, like a green apple with cottage cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It is not the end of the world if you splurge on fruit. Fruit is considered a muscle-feeding friend compared with its junk food counterparts. In time you will be able to manage your consumption in this category and choose smartly among your vegetable and fruit options.
One small restriction: It should come as no surprise that sugary fruit juices are not the same as whole fruits. During this weight loss phase, you should avoid sugary fruit juices in addition to dried fruit (including raisins) and packaged dried fruit concoctions that contain added sugars.