Why Eating Real Food is the Best Weight-Loss Strategy
Prior to losing weight with SlimGenics, many of our clients already encountered the common weight-loss and weight-regain cycle: you try a new fad diet, lose some pounds, then when you absolutely cannot stomach one more ounce of cabbage or cayenne water, you return to old eating habits…and the pounds come right back.
This yo-yo dieting is not only unhealthy for your body, it’s bad for your overall well-being. A weight-loss plan built on real food is the best way to change your whole lifestyle, not just your pant size for a season. Healthy eating plans for weight loss should be based on a balanced food plan that focuses on fresh, whole foods instead and not prepackaged meals for a number of reasons:
“If you’re trying to eat a healthier, relying on whole foods is a great place to start,” says Lucia L. Kaiser, PhD, a nutrition specialist at the University of California, Davis.
A diet high in real foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains is associated with reduced risks for many serious diseases including cancer, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Whole foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals include groups of beneficial antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids and lycopene.
The problems with processed food is that many of the healthy nutrients are stripped out during the manufacturing process. Some may be added back in (leading to the “enriched” label) however, the end product simply isn’t as nutritious as whole foods. While we have an advanced understanding of nutrition today, researchers are still exploring and discovering how different compounds work together. Eating whole foods gives you the natural synergy of nutrients working together to fuel your body.
Processed Food’s Hidden Weight-Loss Sabotages
Processed food often contains additional salt, sugar and trans fats to make it more appealing. Processed food companies choose flavor enhancers like sodium and sugar because they are relatively inexpensive and highly addictive.
For example, you know a double cheeseburger has a lot of fat, but did you know it also contains a third of your recommended daily sugar intake? Sugar lurks in everything from white bread to salad dressings to those “healthy” energy smoothies.
Overly salty snacks can also trip up your healthy lifestyle. The added sodium in processed foods contributes to high blood pressure and many other health issues. Then there’s the temptation to follow up a salty snack with a sugary beverage, leading to further empty calories.
Whole grains and unprocessed fruits and vegetables not only taste great, they also keep you full longer. The fiber in a small bowl of steel cut oats or in fruit will keep you satisfied much longer than a large bowl of sugary processed cereal. This means you can feel more satisfied on smaller servings. Choosing food with natural fiber also has many gastrointestinal benefits.
Following a food plan that incorporates real food can help you lose weight for all of these reasons. An added benefit is that eating whole foods can lower your grocery bills. In general, whole foods cost less than processed, packaged foods because you’re not paying for all of the factory labor, packaging products and marketing. Also, many people who cut out processed foods find their sense of taste sharpens. Without all the added fat, salt and sugar you can better appreciate the taste and appreciate the rich creaminess of avocado or the bright tang of a perfectly ripened strawberry.
Enjoying the health benefits of real food allows you to create long-term healthy nutritional habits instead of relying on eating frozen, prepackaged meals to lose weight. Be adventurous and add a variety of healthy foods to your weekly grocery list so you never get bored of healthy eating!