Diet Advice for Picky (Grown-up!) Eaters


Here’s a question that a reader, Michele, left in a comment on an earlier post: “How can someone like me lose weight when I am a really picky eater? I don’t eat fruit; if I do it is an apple or a banana. I don’t eat vegetables; if I do it is yellow green beans with breadcrumbs and corn. I don’t eat steaks, fish, tomatoes, mayonnaise, ketchup, etc. Can someone give me some advice on this?”

Losing weight without fruit and vegetables as a low-cal way to fill up is going to be challenging, but not impossible. I’m more concerned about your ability to get the nourishment you need, whether you’re dieting or not. Talk to your doc or a registered dietitian (find one at about taking vitamin supplements to make up for nutrients you’re missing. Just be aware that there is recent research that raises questions about whether vitamins work. And, let’s face it: your body was made to digest food, not supplements. Here are some ways to help change your picky ways.


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Start with the foods you do like. If the only fruits you like are apples and bananas, eat apples and bananas—they’re full of heart-healthy fiber. You’re doing better than most Americans if you eat one of each every day. Dietary guidelines recommend you get up to nine servings of fruit and vegetables a day. It sounds overwhelming, but take it slow: each week, try adding one serving to your daily intake.

Look for diet plans that let you choose what you’ll eat. You’ll have to do more calorie-counting than you would on plans that give you a set menu. But, you’ll have a better chance of sticking to a diet if you get to eat foods you like. I suggest you pick two plans—start on one, and use the other as a backup diet if the first one doesn’t fit your lifestyle. Diets like Weight Watchers allow you to select your own foods. Compare over 40 diets here.

Next: Go on a food adventure


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