Someone recently told me that they didn’t know how to lose weight. My response: “Stop eating processed foods.” Plain and simply, this is the perfect solution to a weight loss dilemma. Let me explain further how to lose weight by eating fewer processed foods…
Processed foods are defined as any food that has been changed from its natural state. These foods provide a convenience factor that can be hard to beat in our fast-paced society. Beware, though. These dangerous foods can easily put on the pounds.
These foods are calorie-dense, making them extremely dangerous for any weight conscious person. Being calorie-dense means they contain more calories per serving than unprocessed foods.
You can start gaining weight without realizing it. You may be eating smaller amounts of food, but consuming more calories.
- Packaging is another dangerous side of processed foods. Products may contain unsubstantiated health claims. Important details may be hard to decipher. Containers, in particular, can be very misleading.
It is quite easy to believe that a serving size is the entire container, when in fact, it is only one-half the container size. This can easily lead to excessive calorie consumption.
* High fructose corn syrup. Processed foods usually contain high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is linked to obesity. Even in foods that are not sweet, this ingredient can be used by manufacturers to increase bulk. It is found in foods such as bread, ketchup, bottled and canned pasta sauces, boxed puddings and a variety of other prepared foods.
High fructose corn syrup is especially harmful if you are trying to lose weight, since upon ingestion, it turns to fat. Unlike real sugar which fills you up, this additive has a reputation for not satiating the appetite. It fools your body into believing you need to eat more.
- Eat out less. You can lower your consumption of processed foods by eating out less. Eateries can be extremely dangerous places for people trying to lose weight. Portion sizes are huge, which makes overeating too easy. Even if a menu item is listed as healthy, you do not know how it is prepared or what is added into the final product.
Eateries are notorious for using a variety of commercially-prepared bases and mixes that contain added sugars, fats, additives and other items. These can play havoc on any weight loss program.
The key to losing weight is having control over your food. This does not happen when eating out. To best avoid processed foods, order fresh foods without sauces, gravies and cream-bases.
Instead, lower your calorie consumption by choosing salsas, fresh fruit compotes and have all condiments served on the side. Make certain your meals are made with the freshest of ingredients.
- Avoid products made with refined flour. White flour, sometimes known as refined or enriched wheat flour, is a common ingredient in processed foods.
Read the ingredient label on commercially prepared breads, crackers, cookies and baked items, boxed cereals, boxed cake mixes or other foods that are mass-manufactured.
White flour is a processed food. White flour results from the processing of whole grain into a powdery substance void of any substantive nutrients.
Consuming products made with refined white flour can be especially harmful if you are trying to lose weight since the foods contain zero fiber, making it too easy to consume larger quantities. This packs on the calories.
* Zero fiber. Since refined flour has all the fiber removed, you will not receive that health benefit. The flour is especially dangerous since it is quickly digested, resulting in quick and easy weight gain.
You will feel like you need to eat more, instead of less. It is a studied fact that processed foods promote binge eating.
* In comparison, the natural fiber found in whole grains provides you with a low-calorie appetite suppressant that fills you up. There are no side effects, either.
The fiber is slowly digested by your body. This results in your appetite being quenched. You feel satisfied after eating whole grain foods.
- Retrain your mind. Lose weight by retraining your mind and changing your buying habits. Eating less processed foods is easier than you may think. It just takes self-discipline, knowledge, and time.
- When in a grocery store, buy your food from the store’s perimeter. This is where the produce, meats and seafood, dairy and other natural foods will be found.
- Visit your farmer’s market and buy fresh foods. Talk to the farmers who grow the foods, the food’s source, to learn about your food.
Learning about your food source is exciting, educating, and empowering.
- Realize food industry porn. Become a better informed consumer by realizing that the food industry is deceptive. Do not fall for their claims about processed foods being healthy for you.
- Some of those claims are completely unsubstantiated. Always remember that the industry spends millions of advertising dollars to sway consumer eating habits. Profits are the final answer, not health.
Getting back to the basics by eating fresh foods cooked in a healthy manner, exercising regularly and developing lifelong healthy habits will help you lose weight and keep it off.
Hope this helps others dealing with a weight loss dilemma.
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