I used to compete in fitness, and would have an apple every day, and maybe some other fruit if I was training twice daily. When I stopped competing, I stopped eating fruit out of fear of weight gain, and I figured I didn't need the carbs without the 1+ hours of daily training.
Now, I am struggling with severe fatigue. My work schedule is hectic and I am lucky to get in 6 30 minute workouts a week. Should I consider re-introducing fruit as a pre-workout snack to give me the get up and go I used to have?
Or should I focus on treating my apparent issues with stress and cortisol? If so, what are some of the best ways to do that?
Note* I work for a plant-based supplement company, to access to these types of things is usually quite easy.
I am no expert.................but I think that the question of fruit inhibiting weight loss is about the metabolic reaction of sugars (of which many fruits are high in)- namely insulin response.
Insulin, in a very oversimplified explanation, sends the signal for the body to store fat. If you reduce your blood sugar fluctuations and eat fewer things which set it off- then your body will become a more productive at burning fat for energy.
This is why fasting helps with fat loss. If you aren't giving the body any quick burn fuel like carbs then it needs to dip into its fat storage for energy. It doesn't do this unless it is sort of forced to..........like by restricting carbs so that that the only fuel around is well, FAT
I think I developed a fear of fruit because of many posts on paleo hacks bashing fructose. I had cut out fruit from my diet for a few months while ramping up my intake of sweet potatoes as my primary source of carbs but I felt lethargic and exhausted. I realized that I feel much better with fruit and am once again feeling better and loosing weight. I exercise 4 times a week and typically consume a banana or two with some berries first thing in the morning as my pre-workout snack. Experiment and see how you feel.
While I have read in sources ranging from Dr. Mercola to Tim Ferriss that fructose inhibits weight loss, my personal experience says otherwise.
When I first went "paleo" (Dr. Cordain/Robb Wolf version) I lost a significant amount of weight and my bodyfat % went into the single digits for the first time in many years. At this point, I was probably eating upwards of 5 servings of fruit per day (bananas, berries, tropical fruits, apples, etc.)
Subsequently, I discovered Mark Sisson's "Primal" approach and begin incorporating higher fat meats, dairy, and other such foods into my diet while restricting fruit and other carbohydrate sources.
My weight rapidly climbed (which I wasn't opposed to as I was also doing a lot of olympic/powerlifting and was getting much stronger), but I found that it kept increasing in spite of stricter and stricter carbohydrate control.
I finally cut out much of the extra fat, primarily butter and dairy, that I had been using liberally and started consuming more starch (potatoes primarily) and fruit (bananas, oranges, apples). The result has been in the past month or so, and even thought it has been the holidays, I have dropped about 5lbs.
I think that the bottom line is that we can't take the advice of this or that expert as dogma. Regardless of what we buy into or think, our body is going to respond in its own particular way, so self-experiment, self-experiment, self-experiment!
Fruit may inhibit weight loss, but similarly may inhibit weight gain as well. That's not the issue right now though. Trying to maintain daily workouts with a hectic work schedule is going to be tiring. I'm pretty sure you're going to need to take a week off every so often, in general make sure you're not undereating and try and spend time asleep.
Cordain would sanction fruit a couple of hours before the workout, or any natural sugar source immediately before the activity. It will almost certainly help. And if the concern is weight gain then just keep an eye on it, but the solution is most likely to eat less and exercise less so you can keep up.
I'm not a scientist so I won't make any bold statements that fruit does/doesn't inhibit weight loss.
As an older person, I will say that I need more recovery time to repair the effects of exercise and build stronger muscle tone. Without fruit, recovery is even slower and more difficult at least for me. I've tried it both ways and I do MUCH better with about 1.5 cups of fruit--such as a whole grapefruit or banana plus a fig or date--per day. Even at 2 cups per day, I still lose weight at a steady, sensible rate.
If I happen to go 2 or more days without fruit, I feel OLD again and instead of stalking around stores fast enough to have people give me surprised looks I'm shuffling around slowly and wishing I'd parked closer.
I'd put fruit second; meat is the main energizer, fruit is the repair/builder and vegetables are a nice complement to meat and fruit. I know the tuber crowd disagrees with that hierarchy but I wonder what they'll say when they get old.
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