I Ate 4 Pieces of Fruit Every Day For 2 Weeks, and No, I Didn't Gain Weight
After reading all about the nutritarian diet outlined in the book Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD, I embarked on the Six-Week Plan he outlines to get started on the nutritarian lifestyle. He believes in eating a diet that's nutrient dense, and fresh fruits are part of that. In fact, he recommends a minimum of four fruits a day.
Well, if I was going to do this little fruit experiment, now was the perfect time, as summer fruits were in season! I even have a farm stand down the road from me that I can bike to to go blueberry picking and buy fresh peaches. Keep reading to find out how I ate that much fruit, how I felt, what effect it had on my body, and if I'll keep it up.
I Ate 4 Pieces of Fruit a Day For 2 Weeks — and Sometimes More!
After researching for weeks about the nutritarian lifestyle, I dived into the plan and started eating four servings of fresh fruit a day. In the book, Dr. Furman says frozen is OK, but limit dried fruit and avoid fruit juice. "Isn't fruit high in sugar?," you ask, but Dr. Furman says fruit offers the nutrients and fiber your body needs, so don't be afraid to enjoy four fruits a day or more.
One way I got in my fruit was to add it to the ginormous salad I ate daily for lunch. Since oil is avoided on the nutritarian plan, fruit added vibrant flavor to my veggies, and after a few days, I didn't miss the oily dressing I used to use. Strawberries or fresh peaches tasted especially delicious paired with the balsamic vinegar I drizzled on top.
To get in the other servings of fruit, sometimes I'd pair my lunchtime salad with a bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit or a fruit smoothie. Or I'd just have a banana, melon, or a bowl of blackberries.
And although you're not supposed to snack between meals on the Six-Week Plan, on the days I ran six to eight miles a day, I'd nosh on a couple peaches, a banana, or an apple. One of my favorite ways to get in my last serving of fruit was to either eat a bowl of frozen mango or cherries, or to make this frozen fruit sugar-free nice cream. My family loved it, too!
How I Felt Eating 4 Pieces of Fruit a Day
I was shocked but I instantly felt amazing‚ even after that first day! Since I was snacking on fruit instead of protein bars, and spooning into frozen berry nice cream after dinner instead of vegan ice cream or chocolate, I felt physically lighter and more energetic, and my skin looked clearer and brighter. I also felt joyful because I had lived so long thinking I had to limit my fruit intake, and here I was enjoying every fruit imaginable.
I did find that certain fruits would make me feel a little more bloated than others, especially if I ate too much, like two bananas or too much watermelon. Pears also bothered my stomach, so I avoided those.
One thing that surprised me about eating this much fruit each day was that after the first week, my cravings for real sugar diminished. Even if I ate some dried fruit (two tablespoons max per day were permitted on the Six-Week Plan) like raisins, dates, or my fave dried baby bananas from Trader Joe's, they tasted too sweet and I didn't want them! And all the fresh fruit I was eating — kiwis, raspberries, oranges, and my absolute favorite, mango — they also tasted so fresh, vibrant, and satisfying, like my tastebuds were experiencing them for the first time.
And in case you wanted to know, my bathroom situation was also great. Let's just say constipation was not an issue, and we'll leave it at that!
Did Eating 4 Pieces of Fruit Make Me Gain Weight?
Nope! After steadily gaining weight since staying home in March, after two weeks, I had dropped almost five pounds. Since I'm only 5'2", it was definitely noticeable to me, especially in my face, arms, and belly, and not just from eating tons of fruit, but because I also wasn't eating sugar, oil, processed food, or flour.
To be clear, I didn't start this nutritarian lifestyle because I wanted to lose weight. I was drawn to this nutrient-dense diet to prevent disease, give me energy, and to help curb sugar cravings and my tendency to binge. I wanted to feel better and have definitely noticed so many benefits, and it's only been two weeks! Feeling less bloated, leaner, and more comfortable in my clothes, and feeling lighter on my runs is definitely a plus, but it wasn't the sole reason I started eating this way. Being as healthy as possible so I can enjoy my family and my life is what's important to me.
Will I Keep Eating 4 Pieces of Fruit a Day?
Yes! I plan to continue eating four pieces of fruit for the next month, until this Six-Week plan is finished; then after that, we'll see! I wasn't super adventurous with my daily fruit choices because I wanted to get a feel for how my body would react to me eating the basics like berries, peaches, and bananas. So the next month, I'll try to add in other fruits to benefit from the variety of nutrients and so I don't get bored. Sounds like a fun trip to the health food store is in my future!