The old saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away and while the advice seems to make sense, have you ever considered why apples are so beloved by doctors and mothers alike? Not only are they nutritious, they also of course happen to taste great, are easily portable and inexpensive.
In the past 6 months, more than any other time in my life, I’ve learned a ton about weight loss, foods and calories and apples are a part of my not-a-diet-lifetyle. February is Apple Month, and what better time to share some great ways I’ve found that apples can actually help achieve your weight loss goals!
1. Give Me All The Fiber!
Apples on average give you 4.4 grams of fiber per apple, and that’s an important number to note. Women, on an average diet of 2000 calories per day need about 25 grams of fiber daily. You’ve got about 1/5th taken care of in just one apple (yay!) and a bigger portion if your calories are less than 2000 per day due to a weight-loss plan. Why is fiber so important? Fiber helps fill our bellies and makes us feel full, which of course results in us eating less and not grabbing something else to snack on. An apple takes awhile to digest so it gives your body a steady stream of glucose.
2. Sauce Me Up!
Swapping apple sauce for other sweeteners can drastically cut calories in your recipes and in your everyday meals. Maple syrup on your oatmeal for example gives you a whopping 100 calories for just 1/8th of a cup (let’s not talk about how much we put on our waffles!) If you swap out 1/4 cup of apple sauce instead, you’re only getting 25 calories. Life is all about balance – certainly enjoy the waffles, but cut the calories in other places like your toppings.
3. Energize Me!
Beyond their fiber content, apples are a great source of simple carbohydrates (wait, carb-hating crowd! I don’t believe ANY food is a bad food and don’t eliminate any from my diet.) Simple carbs turn into energy quickly, making apples a good candidate for a pre-workout snack. Here’s how you can really punch up the power: combine your apple with a healthy yummy fat source like peanut butter or a handful of nuts and you’re off and running!
4. Give Me The Bread!
Banana bread and zuchinni muffins aren’t the only way to incorporate healthy fruit and veggies into your breads. We know by now that adding apple sauce in place of oil can help cut calories and fat in your bread and muffin recipes, but you can also add grated apples to your recipe for a great mixing agent and more healthy goodness. This recipe for (Gluten-free) Mini Cinnamon Apple Loaves sounds amazing and come in at only 167 calories per slice!
5. Yes To Dessert
When you’re cutting calories and trying to lose weight, it seems like dessert is something you have to say goodbye to for awhile. It’s not you, it’s me, right? Again, a healthy weight-loss plan is a lifestyle change and anything that you do has to be done with long-term thinking in my opinion. Dessert is a part of life, maybe not every night but certainly from time to time, and there are ways you can incorporate apples (remember, full of fiber and low cal!) to make your dessert a win. Instead of apple pie (oh my God apple pie is sooooo good!) sub it out for this Apple Pie in a Jar recipe (325 calories) or these Baked Apples (152 calories).