At, the official site of the American Dietetic Association, fellow dietitians remind us that there is more to losing weight than just counting calories. There are a number of ways I could expand on this thought. In keeping with ADA’s National Nutrition Month Theme “Eat Right with Color”, I will address the importance of variety and color when trying to lose weight.

My favorite part of my Transform Your Grocery Cart supermarket tour is the time we spend in the produce aisle.  Here, I explain how choosing a variety of fruits and veggies, including a wide spectrum of colors, can not only help you meet your daily vitamin and mineral needs, these colorful foods are loaded with health-promoting phyto-chemicals. Phyto-chemical is a fancy word for components in plants that may confer health benefits. Some of these phyto-chemicals are powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from aging & free-radical damage.

Additionally, most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and are good source of fiber. In a recent tweet, I mentioned Zima orange cherry tomatoes as a great snack. They’re as sweet as candy! What a great choice that would be to combat the 2 PM doldrums. These tasty little tomatoes fit into almost every weight loss plan and they are far less likely to lead to overeating or cravings than sugar, salt and/or fat-laden junk foods.

Plant-based foods, especially colorful produce, provide satiety and nutrients to not only help you lose weight, but also keep you healthy. And there is so much variety to choose from. Be creative, try something different and enjoy the various tastes and textures.

A key behavior that I have observed in my most successful clients is  they consume five or more servings of veggies and fruits per day. Research shows this as well; eating plenty of fruits and vegetables reduces your risk of obesity, cancer, and hypertension and heart disease.

In my next blog, I will share ideas of how to boost your daily fruit and veggie intake.