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Eating Fruits and Veggies Alone Won't help You Lose Weight

Update Date: Dec 04, 2012 05:39 AM EST

Christmas and New Year are just around the corner and everyone wants to get the perfect body and look their best for the festive season. Obviously, the number of people hitting the gym and women following crash diets has gone up, and dieters are filling their plates with fruits and vegetables at meal times to avoid gobbling down calorie-laden fare later in the day.

However, a new study claims that filling one's stomach with veggies and fruits might not be the best solution for a long-term diet. Rather, one may want to try eating fresh and dried fruits before a meal, in order to ensure they feel full faster and eat lesser.

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According to American researchers, just being on a heavy full fruit and vegetable diet for months together did not make any long-term difference in the volunteers assessments of their own hunger and fullness, Mail Online reports.

In fact, it was found that for some volunteers, drinking fruit juice before a meal actually triggered hunger and in turn weight gain.

The researchers from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, reveal that when given fruit juice before meals, the volunteers were found to consume up to 100 additional calories over the meal.

According to researchers, this could happen because people can often mistake thirst for hunger and the juice does not actually make them full.

For the study, researchers conducted an experiment involving 34 participants. The participants included people who were obese or of normal weight. The findings revealed that people gained around 3.5 to 5 pounds when administered fruit juice along with their diet for 8 weeks.

Obese participants, in particular, gained weight when they were given extra fresh fruit and vegetables.

Richard Mattes from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and his colleagues found that the consumption of food also went up along with the fruit and vegetable intake.

It was found that food consumption in people was more when they took meals with fruit juice rather than solid fruits.

However, irrespective of giving fruits, vegetables or fruit juice, the participants reported no change in their rate of hunger or fullness at regular intervals during each test period.

This suggests that addition of fruits and veggies does not help a person feel full or lose weight, but in fact may make it more difficult for him/her to shed pounds, researchers said.

"If you tell people to add anything to their diet, you're going to potentially have no weight loss, or weight gain, even with fruits and vegetables," said Barbara Rolls, chair of nutritional sciences at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

"You need to be careful to make sure that you emphasize substitution, not just, 'Eat more of this or that,'" said Rolls, who was not involved in the new research.

The findings were published in the International Journal of Obesity.

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