Avoid processed food if you want to lose weight. This seems simple in principle, but many people don’t. Processed food is unhealthy food that has gone through numerous modifications in their natural state. They often are not regarded as being as healthy as their raw counterparts simply because they tend to include added fats, sugars, or salt as part of the packaging. However, even though processed food is full of empty calories and can contribute to weight gain, it’s important to understand that the foods we have available to us can be replaced with healthier choices, such as fresh produce and lean meats.
First of all, a diet that avoids processed food is going to be one that is largely based on whole foods. It is strongly recommended that most of your meals be complete with vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. All of these lower the number of calories you end up consuming because they are absorbed more slowly throughout the digestive process and do not rise to the level of fullness as fast as extra calories do. The best thing to do is eat them in small portions at regular intervals so you always have a balanced diet.
Because fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals, they are recommended by most doctors as the best source of dietary fiber. If you are interested in cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates you consume, whole grain foods are your best option as they will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, which helps to reduce both cholesterol and blood pressure. Lean protein sources include lean cuts of beef and chicken, as well as fish and beans.
Next, it’s important to avoid processed foods if you want to lose weight. Unprocessed grains are loaded with trans fats, which contribute to the accumulation of fat in your body. Trans fats can lead to a variety of serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and other health issues. In addition, refined grains are highly processed, as there is little or no processing involved. Therefore, refined grains are actually high in calories and nothing but bad for you!
Instead, opt for whole-grain breads and cereals, and snack on nuts, seeds, granola bars and dried fruits. Instead of eating white rice, try brown rice. Instead of eating white pasta, choose wheat pasta. You should be able to identify highly processed foods easily, so you can limit the amount you consume.
It’s easy to say “no” to certain foods if you don’t like them, but you should also be selective about what you allow into your diet. For instance, you should only allow yourself to take a single serving of any type of macadamia nut oil, for example, because of the extremely high fats and calories it contains. So while your focus should be on choosing healthy alternatives that will provide the nutrients you need, you should also focus on the healthy alternative foods (such as whole grain breads and cereals) that also provide high nutritional value. If you simply count calorie intake and ignore nutrition, you can wind up with nutrient depleted food that does not have one bit of nutritional value!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that all healthy alternative foods are necessarily better than unhealthy processed alternatives. But you should pay attention to how you’re eating. For instance, you shouldn’t be eating junk food all of the time if you want to stay fit and healthy. Also, even though most of the processed foods in stores are higher in fat and lower in nutrients than their “healthy” alternatives, you can still eat a variety of low fat and low calorie “good” foods. So don’t feel limited by diet when you shop at your local market or grocery store!
In addition to this, another way to ensure that you are getting as many nutrients as possible is to avoid packaged foods. Packaged foods tend to be higher in preservatives and sodium than their natural counterparts, so pay special attention to the food labels. You should also pay attention to what salt you’re using. If you read the nutrition facts on the back of the packaging, you can be sure that the salt content is listed and that the salt is natural (no additives). And if you cook at home, instead of using table salt, look for salt that is not made from refined white sugar.