The Perils of Unbridled Fruiting

Both Whole30 and Paleo say you can and should eat fruit. Whole30 says to eat as much fruit as you want because it’s healthy for you. So, I agree with them for the most part, however, much of what you learn on a Whole30 is how your body reacts and responds to different foods. My experience has been that fruits high in sugar slowed or halted any weight loss progress I was making and allowed the sugar cravings to linger longer. It is true that natural sugars are better for you than processed sugars. However, it’s still sugar, and eating them with abandon is still a bad idea.

The largest factor I’ve noticed between my results on my Whole30’s and after adopting the Paleo lifestyle and the results of others is that I eat very little in the way of fruits. It’s not because I don’t like them, but because I’m avoiding all the sugar. Like I said earlier, I’ve noticed a very distinct slowing of weight loss progress or even stopping my progress completely whenever I eat foods that have lots of sugar in them. I am not eating anything with added-sugar, processed sugar, or cane sugar, so it’s not that. Bananas will stop my weight loss for days.

Sweet potatoes has a lot of carbs, yet doesn’t stop my progress. Why is this? I don’t know. Part of the problem is that everyone’s body is different, and while I have heard of people who ate beans the entire time they lost a large amount of weight, I could never do that because my body strips every bit of sugar out of the beans and puts it right into my gut.

What’s good for the goose…

I have tried to hammer this point home on my blog since day one: my results are based on my experience with my body, genetic material, and environment. Your results will vary from mine. My wife, who has a different genetic makeup (but surprisingly similar, it turns out), has experienced many of the exact same successes and challenges I have with the same foods. So, for us at least, if it works for her, it’ll likely work for me and vice-versa. On the flip side, what stalls her weight loss typically stalls mine as well.

So, what about you? Can you eat a bunch of fruit and lose weight and have success on a Whole30 or Paleo diet? Possibly, but that’s because there are so many other factors involved. Like I wrote in this post, the amount of food and the type of food are both factors (along with sleep and physical activity) that will affect your progress toward a weight loss goal. If you eat a lot less meat and more fruit, it may work out for you. Remember, in both Whole30 and Paleo, you don’t count carbs, calories, or anything for that matter. You eat good, whole foods that you make yourself from natural ingredients that don’t include grains or dairy. If you get lots of sleep and get some physical activity, you will be healthier. If you eat in proportion to your activities and get solid rest, you will make progress and likely even lose weight.

But I’m kind of obsessive about losing weight right now, so I monitor many areas and watch my data points for trends so I can adjust the inputs to continue to lose weight. Why?

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

My body at 190 lbs is not the same body I had at 290 lbs. It works more efficiently now, has lower caloric needs, and because there is less damage the body is fighting, even the metabolic processes are working more efficiently. For me to make steady progress, I need to constantly evolve my inputs to ensure I continue to lose weight. This is where a lot of people fail on diets. They figure, “Well, I lost x number of lbs doing y, so if I stop losing weight, more y will make me lose more lbs!” This is flawed logic, but unfortunately, a natural conclusion to come to. If we are driving a car and we press the gas pedal and get to 35 mph but want to go 55 mph, we press on the pedal more. Makes sense to me, too.

Except it doesn’t work that way. That’s not how any of this works. Our bodies are complicated machines that are performing complex chemical reactions every second. These processes make up what we are as living beings: taking in fuel, processing it into energy, using that energy to get more fuel to process into more energy, etc.

Another thing I’ve noticed now that I am at a lower weight is that smaller inputs have a greater impact on my weight. This makes sense to me. When I weight 250 lbs, eating a banana may have only slowed my weight loss. At 190 lbs, it stops it for three days. This tells me if I want to eat bananas and continue to lose weight, I need to maybe have half of one. That is, if I really want bananas, which is rarely true. I love banana bread, and bananas are good and all, but I can’t say I’ve ever been a banana-hoarder. Now strawberries and blueberries are another story. I love those!

The point here is that for Sherry and I, fruit are a part of our diet, but we’ve limited them and eat more in the way of vegetables. On a Paleo diet, you’re supposed to have protein, fats, and carbs. The carbs we eat are supposed to be good carbs from fruits and vegetables. However, fruits are more dense in carbs, and ultimately, too many can throw your balance out of whack. If you’re into Paleo for healthy living and not for weight loss, this will be much less of an issue. I plan on incorporating far more fruits into my diet once I reach my final weight loss goal, but until then, I have to keep them limited to ensure a steady rate of progress.

4 thoughts on “The Perils of Unbridled Fruiting

  1. I’ve mentioned to you before that I experienced the same thing with fruits. We had a lot of watermelon one week and I also made a cucumber/pineapple salad the same week. So I don’t know if it was both or the combination or one of the two fruits, but that week I experience zero weightloss AND I think I even gained a pound. Don’t know if that is bloat or actual gains, but the scale went up.

    On another note, I have my first cheat, er sabotage yesterday. My mother made her wonderful baklava (though it Arabic we don’t say it like that at all, but I cannot spell it the right way to pronounce it! Ha ha!!) and I did have some. But then I read your post about not beating myself and just moving on, so while I am not dwelling on it I know it’ll set me back a little. It is the first refined sugar I’ve had since I started this journey (June 13th), so I don’t see it as a failure by any means. I will tell her not to bring them out around me, though! LOL

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    1. Way to keep the positive mindset! Yeah, it’s hard to turn down goodies made by Mom. My mom brings stuff by at the holidays, and I always eat it. My aunt sends me the most amazing marzipan candies she makes at Christmastime, and I eat those, too. lol. It’s a rare treat, so as long as you’re not allowing yourself every weekend, you’ll be fine. Great job!!!

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  2. So I am struggling with the fruit thing too. I was having a couple of servings a day and now trying to limit to one a day and hopefully not even every day. I also will work on eating less bananas and more berries (raspberries are my favorite) when I do. Not sure where the apple falls though on the fruit scale. I bought a bag of small Fuji apples last week that I am still working my way through. Same with potatoes. We don’t cook at home with potatoes but when I have eaten out, potatoes have been a side item.

    As for how it’s affecting my weight, I don’t have any data yet since you aren’t suppose to weight yourself while on Whole30. I won’t know how any of this affects my body for another 2 weeks! I understand why but at the same time I wish we were allowed one check-in so we can adjust how we are eating if need be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started like you; a few servings of fruit a day. Then, I cut it back until I wasn’t eating fruit but once every few days. It had to do with the amount of sugar I used to eat prior to my Whole30. Now, eating fruit a few times a week (I eat mostly veggies for carbs) isn’t a bit deal to me at all.

      I’m really proud of you and Kenny! Way to go!!!

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