One of the simplest ways to reduce your calories and improve your health is to snack only on fruits and vegetables. It’s a trick I often share with my clients and one I use myself when I feel my eating has gotten a little off track.

Limiting snacks to raw fruits and vegetables can go a long way toward getting you to your recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies. Most of us fall short. If you’re unsure how much you should be eating, check out www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov. The site will tell you how many servings you should be eating based on your gender, age, and activity level. You’ll likely be surprised at how many servings you should be eating. (It’ll also tell you what counts as a serving.)

Limiting snacks to fruits and veggies also will probably reduce your overall calorie consumption as well, since most fresh produce is lower in calories than other typical snack foods.

Although fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t typical vending machine fare, they can be quite portable. Apples, bananas, grapes, celery, carrots, pea pods, and more can easily be brought to school or work.

The bonus of this trick is that it will help you determine whether you are truly hungry or reaching for a snack out of boredom, temptation, etc. If you aren’t hungry enough to eat fresh fruit or veggies, chances are you aren’t hungry.

Be well!

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