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diet-like-a-vegetarian-and-lose-weightThese days, losing weight can be broken down into three of the same stories:  

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  2. Eat lean proteins with meals
  3. Drink low calorie beverages like water

But learning how to eat more fruits and vegetables and even leading to a vegetaran lifestyle can be life-changing, not to mention exhausting. But, dieting like a vegetarian doesn't have to be.

Here Are 9 Ways to Get More Fruits and Vegetables Into Your Diet  

  1. Think 3-2-1 and 1-2-3: Have at least three fruits at breakfast, two at lunch and one at dinner. Conversely, opt for one veggie at breakfast, two at lunch and three at dinner. That adds up to 12 servings a day and less than approximately 1200 calories!!!
  2. Pack it in your lunch: Fruit has a natural wrapper, making it easier to pack in your lunch (think grapes, pears, apples, bananas, etc.).
  3. Cut it up at home: Whether it's brocoli or carrot sticks, take a few minutes to cut it up and have it available. You'll find you reach for it more often when it's ready to eat.
  4. Buy in season to save money: Look for in season veggies and fruits where they will have the most flavor.
  5. Prep many at a time by blanching: Learn from the best chefs in the hottest restaurants! Chefs always have some blanched veggies on hand, and now, you can too. Just add them to a skillet with some salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil to heat. YUM!
  6. Color matters: Believe it or not, the colors in fruits and vegetables denote higher quantities of certain vitamins and minerals. So, to get a well-balanced approach, eat all the colors of the rainbows. Purple, red, yellow, orange, blue and green.
  7. Shred it: Especially with veggies, shredding them into pastas, soups and salads is a great way to boost the nutrient density and fill up. If you are cooking for your children, this is also a great way to hide them for picky eaters!
  8. Replace it: Replace fats and cheese with prunes, dates, mashed bananas and avocado to bump up the flavor and decrease the calorie intake.
  9. Lemon zest: Although you won't eat the entire lemon, zest one over veggies to bring out the natural flavors instead of salt.

Keep in mind that almost all fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in water content and have substantial amounts of antioxidants and good fiber.

You can't wrong being a vegetarian either! Vegetarians are 10% leaner than omnivores. Statistics show that vegetarians have a lower risk of cancers, high blood pressure and heart disease. Being a vegetarian can results in a reduction of problems with hypertension by almost half. If you were to stay on a vegetarian diet for a whole year, you could lower your cholesterol by 24.3% as stated by several vegetarian statistics.

So fill up your plate with some home-grown love!

What are you favorite ways to eat fruits and vegetables? I love a shredded brussel sprout salad with a bit of pancetta and raisins... YUM!

For more tips on dieting like a vegetarian, check out Andrea Metcalf.

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