Cherries and Weight Loss

Eating nutrient-rich cherries can aid in weight loss when used as part of a reduced-calorie meal plan. Cherries are fiber-rich, which helps boost satiety for overall calorie control. Adding cherries to your meal plan, however, isn't a guarantee you'll lose weight, especially if you're eating too many calories over the course of the day.

Two red cherries with stems and a leaf. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Calories in Cherries

One cherry contains about 5 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA also notes that a cup of cherries without pits contains 97 calories. Although cherries are not high-calorie foods, other fruits contain fewer calories per cup. For example, a cup of diced cantaloupe contains 53 calories, 1 cup of sliced apples provides 57 calories and sliced strawberries contain 53 calories per cup.

Fiber Benefits

The fiber in cherries aids in weight loss and healthy weight management because fiber calories aren't fully digested or absorbed in the human body. Fiber also helps fill up your stomach so you potentially eat less of other higher-calorie foods. A 2009 article published in "Nutrition Reviews" reports that fiber-rich diets enhance weight loss in obese individuals. Authors of this review suggest consuming 14 grams of dietary fiber for each 1,000 calories you eat. A cup of cherries without pits provides about 3 grams of fiber, notes the USDA.

Weight-Loss Calorie Needs

Your weight-loss energy needs are 500 to 1,000 fewer calories than your usual daily intake, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This type of calorie reduction often leads to a 1- to 2-pound weekly weight loss. Unless under medical supervision, however, women should eat at least 1,200 calories daily, and men should consume a minimum of 1,500 calories per day, recommends Harvard Health Publications.

Recommended Portions

Keeping portion sizes small is the key to effective weight loss. When eating 1,200 calories daily, aim to consume just 1 cup of fruits, including cherries, suggests the publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010." These guidelines also recommend limiting yourself to 1.5 cups of fruits daily when following 1,400- to 1,600-calorie meal plans. A 1-cup equivalent from the fruits group equals 1 cup of fresh cherries, 1 cup of 100-percent cherry juice or 1/2 cup of dried cherries, notes ChooseMyPlate.gov.

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