In 2003, a 12-week Brazilian study divided dieting women into three groups, each one supplementing their daily diet with either three apples, three pears or three low-fat oat cookies. The study found that the women who consumed apples or pears were less likely to overeat and also lost more weight than the group that ate the oat cookies, according to Myrna Chandler Goldstein and Mark A. Goldstein, authors of “Healthy Foods: Fact Versus Fiction.” With high dietary fiber and water content, apples and pears can help fill you up while decreasing your total daily calorie intake.
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Eat an apple or pear, including the skin, before every meal. Doing so can help satisfy your hunger and prevent you from overeating, say Tammi Flynn and Jeanne Drury, authors of “The Three-Apple-a-Day Plan: Your Foundation for Permanent Weight Loss.” Before going to a restaurant or party, where you might be tempted to indulge in rich, calorie-laden food, eat an apple or pear, and take one with you, too.
Make smoothies from apples or pears and drink them at breakfast or as a snack. Mix plain yogurt, ice, mashed or diced apples or pears and 1 tsp. of honey for a low-calorie meal. Add a few scoops of protein powder to give yourself an energy boost if you’re drinking the smoothie for breakfast.
Consume an apple or pear before your workout session, especially if you want to build muscle and increase endurance, says Marilee Berry, author of “Sound Bites: The Best of the Low-Carb Lifestyle.” Fruits contain carbohydrates, which the body needs during high-intensity workouts. Any kind of carbohydrate will do, but fruits such as apples or pears are less addicting and healthier than other carbohydrate-rich foods, Berry says.
Snack on apples or pears to quell cravings. Keep them handy at home and at work. If you like to eat these fruits cold, store them in the refrigerator. Slice up apples and enjoy them with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter, or make a fruit salad with apples, pears, bananas, oranges or other fruits.
Incorporate apples and pears in low-fat, reduced-calorie desserts. Baked or grilled apples and pears, poached pears, apple compote, low-fat apple crisp made with rolled oats and apples or pears mixed with plain low-fat yogurt are all healthier options than many rich, calorie-laden desserts such as chocolate cake, cheesecake and ice cream.