If your typical habit before a meal includes changing into elastic-waist pants so you can eat excessively, don't bother with a premeal apple. But if you spend the moments before each meal carefully deciding how much to serve yourself to avoid overeating, making time to enjoy an apple could contribute to weight loss. Eating apples won't automatically result in weight loss, but it can positively impact your health.
Caloric Deficit and Apples
Successful weight loss comes from putting your body in a caloric deficit by consuming fewer calories than you burn. The loss of a pound of fat requires a total caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. By eating an apple before a meal, you're actually increasing your caloric intake; depending on the size of the apple, it might contain 53 to 116 calories. Despite the apple contributing to your caloric intake, its benefits might help you lose weight.
Helpful Role of Fiber
Your premeal apple can help you lose weight if it results in you eating a smaller meal and consuming fewer calories than you would without the apple. Apples are high in fiber, and one weight-loss benefit of fiber is its ability to make you feel full. The apple's fiber also prevents a rapid rise in your blood sugar. Blood sugar that rises quickly also falls quickly, which results in feelings of hunger and a heightened chance that you'll overeat.
Eat for Weight Loss
If you decide to eat an apple before your meals, carefully evaluate how full you feel and how you eat during the meal. If your apple hasn't curtailed your appetite, all it's doing is increasing your caloric intake. A healthy approach to eating for weight loss is to decrease the size of your plate or take smaller servings. Covering half the plate with vegetables also provides a source of fiber to help you feel full.
Combine Exercise With Diet
Beyond using apples to help you potentially lose weight, breaking a sweat can also play a positive role. Statistics from the National Weight Control Registry show that those who have success with long-term weight loss do so through regular exercise in addition to healthy diet choices. A basic fitness routine for weight loss includes 300 minutes of moderate cardio and two or more resistance-training workouts per week.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Balancing Calories
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Apples, Raw, With Skin
- University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital: Why Fiber Is So Good for You
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: What's on Your Plate?
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Long-Term Weight Loss Maintenance
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?