In 2016, more than 13% of the world’s population struggled with obesity or being overweight, including both adult men and women. Even more concerning is the impact of obesity on young people. By 2020, a staggering 39 million children under the age of five will be struggling with obesity, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) web article. These statistics are truly alarming!
To effectively address this issue, we must develop strategies to reduce these numbers. Today’s typical diet consists largely of highly processed foods that are loaded with harmful fats and lack nutritional value, exacerbating the obesity problem. Obesity poses a significant health risk, leading many to seek solutions such as fat burning supplements for men, as the condition can drastically reduce life expectancy.
So, can choosing real food be one of the remedies, and how can we embark on a journey of weight loss with real food? We will explore eleven compelling reasons to embrace real food for weight loss. But before we delve into these reasons, let’s clarify what constitutes real food, shall we!
Does eating real food make weight loss easier? Our food choices fundamentally shape our well-being. So here are some very compelling arguments for the importance of real food in weight loss.
Does eating real food make weight loss easier?
Our food choices fundamentally shape our well-being. So here are some very compelling arguments for the importance of real food in weight loss.
Why is processed food so bad?
Processed foods are often considered harmful to our health for several reasons. First, many processed foods are loaded with added sugars, unhealthy fats, and excessive salt, which can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and various chronic diseases. In addition, the manufacturing process often strips away vital nutrients, leaving us with empty-calorie options that do not properly nourish our bodies.
Furthermore, the convenience of processed foods can lead to overconsumption because they are designed to be addictive and easily accessible. Finally, the long list of artificial additives and preservatives in these products raises concerns about their impact on our overall well-being. To maintain optimal health, it’s important to prioritize whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
What is real food?
Real foods are foods that come from a single source and are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. These foods are free of chemical additives and added sugars and are typically found in their natural, unprocessed state. Examples of real foods include fresh fruits such as apples, strawberries, oranges, and mangoes, and other whole foods such as whole grains and legumes.
In addition, vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and cabbage, among many others, fall into this category. This classification extends to various root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and even onions.
Spices and herbs can also be considered whole foods. Natural whole foods include meat and meat products from animals that have not undergone chemical treatments during the production process, such as whole eggs from poultry. In summary, whole foods include
- Fish products
- Dairy products
- Whole Grains
- Dried Beans
In essence, organic foods are consistent with the concept of real food.
How important are real food for weight loss?
Whole foods contain all the nutrients essential for good health
Real foods are naturally rich in essential nutrients, including healthy fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins – components that are often lacking in processed foods. Relying heavily on processed foods in your diet can potentially lead to nutritional deficiencies, which in turn can lead to various health problems and unwanted habits, such as cravings for sugary foods.
The presence of sugar cravings can significantly influence dietary choices and contribute to weight gain. However, when your dietary foundation consists of a balanced and wholesome array of real foods, it effectively addresses nutritional deficiencies and helps curb these persistent sugar cravings. This, in turn, promotes weight loss and overall well-being.
The purest source of protein
Protein is a fundamental nutrient in the context of weight loss. They are made up of amino acids that help the body repair and grow, especially during exercise. Proteins have a significant impact on fat loss by boosting metabolism, facilitating hormonal balance, and regulating appetite.
Choosing whole food proteins is beneficial because the body absorbs them more efficiently than processed alternatives. Whole food protein comes from lean meats, eggs, lentils, and nuts.
Real foods are rich in soluble fiber
When consumed, soluble fiber combines with water in the stomach to form a thick, gel-like substance that makes you feel full. This plays a crucial role in controlling body weight, aiding in weight loss, and curbing sugar cravings.
They also regulate the release of hormones responsible for appetite control. A real food diet rich in soluble fiber increases the production of hormones such as cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide-1, and peptide YY, which prolongs satiety. Real foods that are excellent sources of soluble fiber include flaxseed, sweet potatoes, oranges, and beans.
Real foods lack artificial trans fats
If your goal is to lose excess belly fat, it’s important to eliminate all artificial trans fats from your diet. Used primarily as preservatives in baked goods, these trans fats are created by introducing hydrogen molecules into vegetable oils, changing them from a liquid to a solid state.
The accumulation of this belly fat can lead to several health problems, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In contrast, real foods contain natural trans fats that are beneficial to health. Excellent sources of these fats are found in lean meats, lamb, and veal.
Real foods are rich in polyphenols
The abundant presence of polyphenols in plant-based foods provides the body with valuable weight loss support. A real food diet for weight management proves to be an excellent source of these polyphenols. Several types of polyphenols, including stilbenoids, lignans, and flavonoids, contribute to these benefits.
One notable flavonoid, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), found in green tea, is particularly promising for weight loss. EGCG may promote weight loss by inhibiting the breakdown of fat-burning hormones such as norepinephrine, potentially prolonging their effectiveness and helping individuals achieve their weight loss goals more effectively.
Natural sugars abound in real foods
A key difference between natural and refined sugars is their caloric content, with the latter typically containing more calories. Examples of refined sugars include table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Consuming refined sugar can increase the production of the hunger hormone ghrelin, while decreasing the brain’s ability to signal fullness.
This is detrimental to your weight loss efforts as it can lead to increased calorie consumption and interfere with your ability to effectively manage your weight. To counteract this and promote natural fat loss in your body, incorporate real foods into your meal planning.
Real foods could reduce sugar cravings
Individuals with a penchant for sugary indulgences often face challenges when trying to lose weight. However, replacing processed sugars with natural and organic alternatives such as berries and dates could help manage and reduce these persistent sugar cravings. Consuming more whole foods may allow your taste buds to adapt, which could lead to a gradual reduction or even elimination of sugar cravings over time.
Real foods facilitate a slow eating pacing
Did you know that eating at a leisurely pace can help you lose weight? In fact, it can. When you eat slowly, you give your brain a chance to register feelings of fullness. Real whole foods can help you slow down your eating process because of their naturally firm and fibrous texture, which requires more chewing. This direct approach can help you lose weight by promoting satiety with less food intake.
Real foods encourage lasting lifestyle changes
Many short-term diets promoted in the marketplace often rely on the strategy of eliminating or restricting specific food groups. While this approach may provide short-term benefits for some, it is not a sustainable practice in the long run. In contrast, a real food diet promotes sustainable and manageable eating habits.
This includes eating locally sourced foods from farmers’ markets rather than opting for expensive, premium alternatives. In addition to being cost-effective, real food supports a sustainable and lasting change in your eating habits and promotes a healthier lifestyle.
You can enjoy generous real food portions and still lose weight
Another fascinating aspect of a real food approach to weight loss is that portion size need not be a major concern. With real foods, you can consume larger portions without accumulating excess calories as you would with processed alternatives.
However, it is still important to be mindful of the specific real foods you choose to consume. Even within the realm of real foods, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet that includes all the essential components. Make sure your meals include protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to promote a well-rounded and effective approach to weight loss.
Real foods limit intake of chemicals that affect body chemistry
Let’s face it – most of the items on store shelves are ultra-processed foods that contain hidden additives such as sugar and preservatives, the full extent of which is not always disclosed to consumers. Yet these processed foods remain a regular part of our diets.
It’s undeniable that continuous consumption of these chemical-laden products can potentially disrupt our body’s chemistry, leading to hormonal imbalances or hindering the production and absorption of essential enzymes, thereby impeding weight loss progress. Real food, on the other hand, is unadulterated and retains its natural composition.
When you eat an apple, you know exactly what you’re getting. However, the same cannot be said when you indulge in a bottle of soda every day. Without a doubt, choosing real food as a means to lose weight is a viable solution to minimize exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and promote a healthier diet.
Where can I find good recipes using real food?
If you’re looking for delicious recipes made with healthy, real ingredients, you’re in luck! There’s a world of culinary inspiration waiting for you online. Popular food sites like Food Network, AllRecipes, and Epicurious are treasure troves of delicious recipes that emphasize real, fresh ingredients.
For a more personal touch, you can also explore food blogs run by passionate home cooks who share their tried-and-true recipes and culinary adventures. Whether you’re looking for a comforting family dinner or a decadent dessert made with real love, the Internet is your culinary playground for discovering recipes that celebrate the beauty of real food. Happy cooking!
The importance of real foods in achieving weight loss goals
Real foods are distinguished from their processed counterparts by fundamental differences, most notably a higher concentration of essential nutrients. Real foods include a comprehensive range of healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining optimal health. By eating a balanced diet that emphasizes whole foods, you can achieve and maintain healthy weight management.
Gaining or losing weight becomes a manageable task when you follow this approach. Adjusting your meal plans is key. For example, you can reduce your intake of sugary carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, and replace them with leafy greens and healthier grains, such as brown rice, which is more nutritious than white rice.
You can also reduce your intake of red meat and opt for lean white meats like fish. Another option is to cook with vegetable or olive oils as healthier alternatives. Transitioning to a diet based on low-fat, low-calorie animal and plant-based foods empowers you to make healthy food choices. You can achieve weight loss while still enjoying the nutritional benefits of whole foods.
Such a dietary approach allows all of your body systems to function optimally, promoting overall health. It reduces the risk of diet-related health problems such as diabetes and obesity. In summary, real food plays a central role in your weight loss journey because of its inherent nutrient richness and its ability to support a sustainable and healthy diet.
Where is the best place to buy real food?
When it comes to sourcing real, healthy food, the best place to go often depends on your location and preferences. Local farmers’ markets are a treasure trove of fresh, locally grown produce and offer a direct connection to the people who grow your food. Food co-ops and community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs offer a way to support sustainable agriculture while accessing quality ingredients.
For a wide selection, health food stores and specialty grocers prioritize organic and minimally processed options. Online grocery shopping can also be convenient, with many platforms now offering organic and natural products delivered to your doorstep. Ultimately, the best place to shop is where you feel connected to the food and the values it represents.
What exercises support weight loss with real food?
Effective weight loss is a combination of a balanced diet of real, nutritious foods and regular exercise. When it comes to exercise, a mix of cardio and strength training is key. Activities such as brisk walking, running, biking, or dancing help burn calories and improve cardiovascular health.
Strength training, such as lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises like squats and push-ups, builds lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism. Incorporating activities you enjoy makes it easier to stay consistent. Remember that real food not only fuels your workouts, but also supports your overall health and weight loss journey, making the combination of nutrition and exercise a winning formula.
Losing weight without going to the gym is not a far-fetched dream, but a tangible reality. You can achieve this goal by paying close attention to your dietary choices and making a conscious switch to whole foods. Processed meals may offer taste and convenience, but they fall short when it comes to providing your body with the essential nutrients it needs.
This can result in an excess of calories to burn, making the weight loss process more difficult. There are no shortcuts to weight loss; it comes down to making informed dietary choices or facing the consequences of falling short of your weight loss goals. Choosing real food as a means of shedding pounds offers a reliable path to success. Give it a try and see the difference it can make.
Frequently asked questions
Can real foods help control cravings for sugary or processed snacks?
Yes, real foods that are high in fiber and nutrients can help reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks by promoting satiety and stabilizing blood sugar levels. These qualities make them an excellent choice for curbing cravings for sugary snacks.
Can I eat real food on a budget?
Yes, you can eat a real food diet on a budget. Foods such as beans, oats, and frozen vegetables are budget-friendly options. By planning your meals wisely and incorporating affordable whole foods, you can prioritize nutrition while saving money.
Are there specific whole foods that can boost metabolism for weight loss?
Yes, certain real foods, such as lean protein sources, green tea, and hot peppers, can have a mild metabolism-boosting effect. When incorporated into a balanced diet and combined with regular exercise, these foods can contribute to weight loss by increasing calorie burning.
How quickly can I expect to see weight loss results with a real food-based diet?
Weight loss results vary from person to person, but many people experience positive changes within a few weeks of following a Real Food-based diet. These changes often include increased energy levels and gradual progress toward weight loss goals.
Is it necessary to count calories when focusing on real food for weight loss?
Counting calories isn’t mandatory with a real food approach, but practicing portion control and mindful eating can be valuable strategies to support weight loss while enjoying whole, nutritious foods. These approaches help you maintain a balance between food intake and your weight loss goals.
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Jayson Peterson is an experienced pharmacist, naturopathic physician, medical examiner, and minister. After earning his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, Jayson Peterson completed clinical rotations at several prestigious healthcare institutions and has been affiliated with several pharmacy chains throughout his career. His main passion and zeal is focused on providing world-class patient care by giving precise details and thorough instructions to those who need it most.