Eating Prunes to Lose Weight

Many prune
Dried prunes for sale at a market. (Image: BZH22/iStock/Getty Images)

Prunes, or dried plums, are known for having a high content of dietary fiber and the ability to prevent or alleviate constipation. The benefits of these fruits include a rich supply of vitamin C and potassium, and they can be regular components of a weight-loss diet. Eat them at any time of the day, and keep the rest of your diet healthy to see weight-loss results.

Follow the Principles of Weight Loss

You need to consume fewer calories than you expend if you want to lose weight. Each cup of cooked prunes contains 265 calories, and simply adding prunes into your regular diet without compensating for the additional calories will not cause weight loss. To reduce your calorie intake, eat prunes instead of higher-calorie foods. For example, add two or three sliced prunes to sweeten oatmeal instead of brown sugar and butter.

Add Fiber Gradually to Your Diet

Prunes can help you lose weight because of their high fiber content. Each cup of cooked prunes contains 7.7 grams of dietary fiber, or 29 percent of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Eating high-fiber foods, such as prunes, can help you lose weight because fiber helps satisfy hunger before you eat as many calories, according to Clemson University. To prevent bloating and constipation, increase your fiber consumption only gradually.

Vary Your Use of Prunes

The simplest way to prepare dried prunes is to stew them in water and eat them plain. Experiment with other uses of prunes to prevent yourself from becoming tired of eating prunes from preparing them the same way every day. For breakfast, add stewed prunes to oatmeal or slice them over whole-grain pancakes. Add sliced prunes to a spinach salad with black beans for lunch, or, for dinner, use prunes to give turkey chili a slightly sweeter flavor. When you bake, use prune puree, which has 47 calories per tablespoon, instead of butter, which has 102 calories per tablespoon.

Other Considerations

Dried fruits, such as prunes, are higher in calories than their fresh counterparts. A cup of raw plums has only 76 calories, or less than one-third of the calories as in a cup of prunes. Pay particular attention to your serving sizes when eating prunes to lose weight because large portions can lead you to consume more calories than you need. Further limit your calories by choosing unsweetened packages of prunes.

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