Do you have a sweet tooth, but are trying to find diet plans that work and manage your weight? Dried and fresh fruit has lots of nutrients and can satisfy your cravings for sweets. It has healthier, natural type sugars, as opposed to candy and processed foods. Too much of any sugar is not healthy of course, but substituting processed sweets with dried and fresh fruit is a healthier alternative.

Step 1
The most important thing to do when it comes to diet plans that work and eating healthy is to make a commitment to shop healthy. Put fresh fruit on your shopping list so you have it always on hand. Make it a habit to do a "quick trip" to the grocery store just for fresh produce. Limiting yourself to the produce isle on the quick trip days will save you time, which will make you more likely to keep up this habit.  It will also help you reduce the temptation of buying more processed foods. 

Your list might include:
*Bananas (these are very filling, have less sugar than most fruits, and have important nutrients that are rare, so if you can stand them, eat them!)
*Figs (high fiber which makes you feel full, helps cleanse your body and lose weight)
*Berries (these also have less sugar than the fruits listed below)
*Peaches or nectarines
*Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, nectarines)

For the best value, and freshest foods, check which are in season in your area.

In addition to fresh fruit, try having dried fruits on hand. In a pinch, these fruits are denser, and therefore contain more fiber per ounce than fresh fruit. Just remember to eat these in moderation since the sugar content is the same.  If they don't fill you up enough, try drinking a glass or two of water with them, since your body needs this anyway. 

Some dried fruits to try are:
*dried cranberries
*dried mango
*dried banana
*dried cherries
*raisins, dates (especially high in fiber, and will help you feel more full)

Step 2
Choose fresh fruit to go with your breakfast for diet plans that work.  Along with cereal, have an apple, some grapes, peaches, nectarines, or a citrus fruit.  Or try sliced banana, figs, raisins, dates, or berries in your cereal.  Or make a fruit salad with any of the above fruits, and drizzle low fat yogurt over it.  If you like toast for breakfast, instead of butter or many jams, try Polaner All Fruit. This jam has 100% fruit and no added sweeteners and it tastes great!

Step 3
Pack any of the above dried or fresh fruit for a mid-morning snack for work.  Having them on hand keep you from cheating on diet plans that work.  Having a healthy snack will help you feel full and help you resist the temptation of those baked goods people leave in the lunchroom at work. 

Step 4
Bring any of the above dried or fresh fruit to work for dessert after your lunch. Substitute these for sweets you bring, or ones that are up for grabs in the lunchroom. If you come to work equipped with your healthy sweets in the form of fruit, cupcakes/cookies/brownies/candy are much easier to pass up and let you stick with diet plans that work.

Step 5
Use fresh fruit to add variety to dinner!  This will help you maintain diet plans that work without giving up taste.  Some chicken recipes call for mango, orange, cherries, or pineapple. Instead of frying your food, for added taste and variety, try cooking with fruit. Many recipes are available online. Or, as a side salad, apples, pears and dried cranberries can be added for variety.  Also, some exciting rice dishes include raisins.  Eating healthy doesn't mean you can't experiment with different ethnic foods and flavors in your meals. 

Step 6
Have fresh fruit for dessert. Any of the above fresh fruits and berries can provide the sweetness you crave after a meal.  If you are feeling ambitious, you can research recipes online for desserts that include fruit online, such as fruit salads and applesauce. Just be wary of added ingredients like butter, sugar, and white flour that add fat, sugar and extra empty carbs, add on the calories and aren’t part of diet plans that work.

Step 7
Keep up these healthy habits by shopping for fresh fruit next week.  Remember, maintaining diet plans that work and managing your weight can be difficult. A lot of times our instinct is to eat LESS, but this can leave us feeling hungry.  In addition, starvation diets tend to slow down your metabolism, making it more difficult to burn calories.  So while portion control is certainly important, the SUBSTITUTION of healthy foods, i.e. fruit for sweets, is also important. If you eat more more fruit and fewer sweets, your blood sugar will be more stable and you will be less hungry. So happy munching!

 Tips & Warnings

•  Be wary of fruit juices that contain added sweeteners. These are not a healthy option.  Before buying any fruit juices, check the labels to make sure that it is 100% juice, with no added sugar.  This will help you avoid extra calories in your diet.
•  Even 100% juices such as apple can have fewer nutrients than eating a sliced apple, since the skin contains nutrients, and makes you feel more full.  Whenever possible, eat your fruit and have water to drink, since your body needs it anyway.
•    You might notice that I did not mention canned fruit. A lot of times the canning process involves adding chemicals and sweeteners. Canned fruits may also loose some of their nutrients. I recommend dried or fresh fruit instead of canned.  Some frozen fruits have no sugar added, but are usually only suitable for cooking, not eating "raw."  So if you want frozen berries for a recipie, be sure to check the label to make sure there's not added sugar.