Fit & Lean Lesson 18 - Diligent Fitness

Fit & Lean Lesson 18

Your challenge for the week: Eat 5 Servings of Veggies Each Day

Today’s lesson covers one of the most agreed upon habits in the nutrition world. We all know we need to eat more veggies, right? So this weeks focus is on making it happen.

Why eat more veggies?

Not only is the fibre from the veg going to keep you satisfied, but stroke, cancer and heart disease risks are dramatically reduced (20-30%) in those with a high intake of fruit and veg.

Veggies also play a key role in something called dietary displacement. Simply put, when you fill up on veggies first, there’s less room (and desire) to reach for the things that won’t help you reach your goal.

So this week we’re going to get you a regular dose of immune boosting, disease fighting, fat loss promoting vitamins, minerals and phytonutritents that you may have been missing out on.

How much?

Most people get through the day with a token piece of fruit or two followed by a couple of veggies with dinner. With the average consumption being less than three servings of fruit and veg per day then if you’re eating three or more servings congratulations! You’re already one step ahead of the rest of the UK.

But we’re going to aim for 5 servings of veggies each day. Maybe that sounds like a lot, but when you’re eating 4-5 meals each day (and you are doing this already… right?) then we simply eat a serving or two with each meal.

What about fruit?

Fruit’s cool, and has plenty of benefits. But it tends to be more calorie dense and provide more carbohydrate per gram than the more nutrient dense veggies.

We’ve found a ratio of 4 servings of veg : 1 serving of fruit or 5:1 veg to fruit works best for fat loss. So while a piece of fruit through the day works fine, for best results I’d recommend focusing on getting your five servings of veggies.

What does 5 servings of veggies look like?

5 Servings = 1 handful spinach, 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, 1 handful of red peppers,  1 handful of courgette, 1 handful broccoli florets

How to work 5 (or more) veggies into your day

  • throw a handful of spinach into your morning supershake (1 serving)
  • snack on sliced peppers, carrot and cucumber with your mid morning snack (2 servings)
  • have a handful of cherry tomatoes and a handful of leaves with your lunchtime salad (2 servings)
  • have courgetti  (courgette ‘noodles’ made with a spiralizer) with a home-made bolognaise for dinner (1 serving)

So that’s 6 servings of veg without even really trying. So I’m confident you can get to 5 servings per day without too much of a problem.

Be warned!

When you do this habit right your shopping trolley is going to be pretty vibrant with all the different colours of your veggie packed shopping. And when you get to the checkout the assistant will more than likely comment on how healthy your shopping looks.

When you’re getting comments from the supermarket staff you know you’re not following the norm – which means you’re on the right track!

What we’ve learned

Today we switched focus to adding more veggies into your daily diet. And how eating 5 servings of veggies each day will help with your body transformation goals while staving off degenerative disease.

By eating at least 5 servings of veg each day you’ll have more energy, better digestion, look fab and you’ll probably have longer to enjoy it all too!