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How To Lose Weight Without A Diet Tip 7 - What Is Processed Food And Why Is It Bad For You?

How To Lose Weight Without a Diet: Tip 1 | Tip 2 | Tip 3
Tip 4 | Tip 5 | Tip 6 | Tip 7 | Tip 8 | Tip 9 | Tip 10a | Tip 10b

Note from Rika: For more healthy eating ideas for your family check out this simple, step-by-step system for shopping, cooking and eating the world's healthiest foods.

Welcome to Tip 7 in my 'How To Lose Weight Without A Diet' series. This may be a tough one for some folks!

Let's try to find out what is processed food and why it is bad for us, especially if we are trying to lose weight.

Our lives have become so rushed that it has become easy to stock up on the not-so-good stuff that cooks in a jiffy.

What Is Processed Food? Do You Have These In Your Kitchen?

  • Crunchy breakfast cereals with lots of added sugar

  • Canned foods with added salt and/or preservatives

  • Oven-ready frozen meals with a long list of ingredients on the label

  • Snack foods in packages and boxes with preservatives, colorants, added sugars, added salt and unpronounceable ingredients on the package label

  • All kinds of processed deli meats

  • Ready-made mixes in packages or boxes

Why Is Eating Processed Foods Bad For You, Especially If You Want To Lose Weight?

We have been almost brainwashed into believing that processed foods taste good. Many of us are on what can easily be called The Processed Food Diet! How has this happened?

Well, the right mix of added flavorings, salt, sugar, fat and other additives help to create taste. We have been exposed to this range of ready-made tastes for long enough to believe that this is what 'good' food tastes like! All that added stuff in those enticing boxes and packages create energy-dense (meaning high in calories) products, often sadly lacking in the vital vitamin department. What is processed food? It is mostly artificial 'food', nowhere near the 'real' wholesome food our bodies crave for health and vitality.

What Are In Processed Foods That Are Bad For You?

  • Unhealthy kinds of fat and processed vegetable oils. These include corn oil, palm oil (very often found in biscuits). Processed foods are often high in trans fats - truly bad news when it comes to heart health. Why not teach your kids how to look for words such as trans fats, hydrogenated fat or partially hydrogenated fat.

  • Sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup (look for label ingredients such as corn syrup or corn sweetener). Artificial sweeteners should also be a no-no in most instances.

  • High salt or sodium levels. Watch for this in canned products, deli meats, etc.

  • Refined grains, such as white flour.

  • Artificial colorants and flavorings such as MSG. These have been linked to allergies and many other health issues.

  • Benzoate preservatives and other preservatives.

How To Switch From Processed Foods To Real Food

  • Go through your kitchen and pantry and remove all the so-called foods in boxes and packages. Get your kids and turn this into a game on a Saturday. If you can't comprehend the label, the item probably doesn't belong in a healthy kitchen. Once you check out the labels, you will be astounded to see that every single label comes with a long list of difficult-to-understand ingredients. The same is true with the list of scary ingredients on soft drink containers.

  • Aim to stock your kitchen with real, wholesome single ingredient foods. This is the most important tip. This refers to different kinds of nuts, fruits, colorful vegetables, free range eggs, seeds, grains, grass-fed meat, berries, various varieties of beans, etc. If you keep the mantra 'single ingredient items' in mind when you shop, you are unlikely to go wrong. You can then mix and match these in healthy recipes. But the base ingredients should be 1 ingredient choices. If you make this the number one rule in your kitchen, healthy nutrition becomes super simple and doable. Veggies and fruits should cover the whole color spectrum.

  • Learn to recognize the healthy fats. Your body does need fat, but the right kinds. These include olive oil, grape seed oil, the fat in nuts and eggs, seeds such as flaxseed, avocados, coconut milk, etc.

  • Make your own dressings for salads and veggies. It's not that difficult. Search the internet for healthy, easy to prepare recipes.

  • What, no treats? No, not at all! That won't work either. Here's the deal: Be good to your body for roughly six days a week. Eat out or get take-aways on one day a week (say over the weekend) and enjoy that fully. That will help you to feel that you are not depriving yourself. And it is good to allow yourself to 'cheat' on and off. Your kids will get into the same good habit, if you set the example.

  • By making sure you don't have processed temptations in your home, you will find that it is much easier to opt for healthy foods.

  • Start early to teach your kids about making smart choices when it comes to food. They will soon learn to say 'yuck' when they see the MSG, or other strange chemicals listed on unhealthy products.

How Will Not Eating Processed Foods Help You To Lose Weight?

You will be getting far fewer fat calories in your diet. You will also find that you retain less water, as you will be eating less salt. Another benefit of not eating processed food, is that you should have less of a problem with food cravings. This will happen when your body gets nutrient-dense foods, rather than just the empty calories of artificial energy-dense foods.

Now that you know what is processed food and why eating it is bad for you and your kids, you can begin to make new choices when grocery shopping.

The great thing is that, once you have made this mind shift and once you taste 'real' food on a daily basis, you will begin to detest the processed stuff. This will make it easy to head for the fresh, wholesome goods in the store. Have fun shopping!

How To Lose Weight Without a Diet: Tip 1 | Tip 2 | Tip 3
Tip 4 | Tip 5 | Tip 6 | Tip 7 | Tip 8 | Tip 9 | Tip 10a | Tip 10b

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