If you're struggling to lose those extra pounds for bikini season, you may be eating too many fruits and vegetables.
At first, it may sound absurdly counterintuitive. But a registered dietitian reminds consumers that not all fruits and vegetables are created equal, and that sometimes too much of a good thing can sabotage weight loss efforts.
At its core, weight gain fluctuates on a basic concept, explains registered dietitian Brooke Schantz of the Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Illinois: energy in versus energy out. Weight loss depends on the number of calories consumed, versus the number of calories burned off throughout the day.
And while fruit may be nutritious and full of fiber, even a healthy food can lead to weight gain when eaten in large quantities and laden with sugars, natural though they may be.
"I have had many patients tell me that they don't know why they are not losing weight," Schantz said in a statement released this week. "Then they report that they eat fruit all day long. They are almost always shocked when I advise them to watch the quantity of food they eat even if it is healthy."
Her advice comes at the height of summer, when the harvest is lining the produce aisle with ripe, seasonal berries, melons, peaches and other stone fruits.
Perhaps the only exception to her rule are nonstarchy vegetables like cucumber, broccoli and mushrooms, which are given the carte blanche for unlimited consumption.
Starchy vegetables to limit include peas, corn, and potatoes.