It’s often thought that fruit is a great food for weight loss. Whilst most fruits do have the benefits of containing vitamins and fibre, they may actually stop you from losing weight.
On Atkins, your body switches from using carbs for energy, to using fat. By having fruit, you’ll stop this process of ‘ketosis’ as fruit is naturally high in sugar (carbs) so you’ll burn the sugar before you tap into body fat stores. To switch to fat burning, most people have to consume fewer than 50g carbs per day. Yet fruit is high in sugar and just a couple of servings a day is roughly equivalent to the amount of sugar in a can of fizzy soda. One banana contains approximately 27 grams of carbs and an orange contains about 15g carbs so both would be a significant chunk from your carb intake, if you were reducing carbs to lose weight or improve your health.
In addition to this, the natural sweetness of fruit often increases hunger and can cause further carb cravings. The bottom line is that reducing fruit intake, and replacing with vegetables, may help you to lose weight. If you’re just starting to reduce your carb intake, and are having sugar cravings, then definitely avoid fruit for at least 2 weeks and then just add back small amounts of berries which are lower in carbs. As you get closer to your goal weight, you can try re-introducing fruit in small amounts. By then you’ll have a handle on sugar cravings and introducing fruit is a good way to get a greater variety of nutrients and is much healthier than eating processed foods.
An even better choice, which you can enjoy on Atkins from day one, are avocados. This fruit is loaded with healthy fats & fibre as well as other nutrients, such as potassium, vitamins K & C. Half an avocado contains has only 1.5g carbs but 3g fibre! So, instead of a fruit snack, how about whipping up some guacamole by mashing a ripe avocado and dip veg, such as cut up red pepper or celery? This is much more satisfying and will keep you fuller for longer.