Updated: Aug 7, 2020
Ditch the processed foods!! Processed foods are LOADED with calories, but contain zero too little nutrients. So what is a processed food? A processed food usually comes in a bag or a box, and has more than one ingredient you can't pronounce. Processing food takes out all the good stuff like fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (special compounds found in plants that are disease protective) but adds in crap we don't need. Then all the important nutrients are lost through processing and refining, causing your body to naturally crave more food because it has not been satisfied with the nutrients it needs, making you eat more, and pile on more calories and fat.
Processing basically makes something no longer a real food while giving your body a massive load of calories to absorb at a fast rate.... this makes it much easier to turn into FAT!
For example, white bread, white pasta, white flour, all originate from a grain. These highly processed foods are metabolized and broken down in the body basically the same as sweets and candy. When you take a whole grain and turn it into while flour, the portion of the wheat kernel that has been removed, and that is what contains the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. True whole grain foods are good sources of carbohydrates and are much different than processed & refined carbohydrates (and are actually health promoting). True whole grain consumption is actually linked to better weight control.
Processing food supplies you with a large portion of empty calories. When you eat empty calories, your body is actually tricked into fat storing mode. Your body does not know it is full. If you're like me I am sure you have experienced this. For example, eating an entire bag of Cheetos, consuming a massive amount of calories, probably enough for a whole day or two, but then not feeling satisfied at all. So I eat more and more, as the day continues, still trying to fill that nutrient gap. You do this day by day, meal after meal, snack after snack, and you are on your way to obesity.
When you are eating foods high in micronutrients like fiber that comes from plant foods, receptors in your gut communicate and send messages to your brain saying I'm full. This does not happen when you fill your gut with processed foods.
Processed foods and ultra-processed foods are the foods most associated with addictive behaviors. Think about it... When is the last time you binged on broccoli? Manufactures actually make these ultra-processed foods hyper-palatable to stimulate your taste buds and the reward centers in your brain. There are literally additives in your food to make you addicted and FAT. Take a look at MSG for example, it's used in many processed foods, but it's used to fatten up mice in research studies. Yep, look it up. MSG is a flavor enhancer and food additive. Mice are not naturally fat, so to study obese mice, you have to make them fat, so they feed them MSG.
Processing increases the rate at which your body absorbs sugar and fat, thus making it easier for you body to store that fat. These processed foods are so hyper-palatable, which is why when you then try to cook without the added sugar, salt, fat, and oils, you at may at first think it doesn't taste as good. Good news though, your taste buds can change as you remove these poisons from your plate. The less you eat these foods, the less you actually crave them. The more we eat healthier foods, the better they taste. Natural foods from the earth that have not been manipulated can be just as delicious and tasteful, and much more filling and nourishing, and fat loss promoting.
Studies show that eating these processed and refined foods actually leads to the top chronic diseases of our world: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and premature death. Chronic meaning- acquired over a long period of time due to diet and lifestyle behaviors. Processed foods are very inflammatory, and obesity is strongly associated with high levels of inflammatory markers in the blood.
The obesity epidemic is not simply a result of eating too much processed foods that cause these high rates of obesity and disease, but more importantly a lack of nutrients supplied by plant foods on your plate. Plant foods have way over 10 times the amount of nutrients than processed foods. If you struggle with cutting out processed foods, just focus more importantly on crowding out your stomach with whole foods.
If you want to lose weight and overall fat, the most important thing to do is to eat MORE whole, plant foods that are not processed.The greater the quantity and variety of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes are consumed, the lower the incidence of obesity and chronic diseases.
Processed foods... Think: Did it come from the earth? Or was this artificially made? Was it altered and added with salt, sugar, and fat? Was the fiber, water, and nutrients taken out and refined into something different? Is it nutrient rich? Or is it full of CRAP? Ask yourself these questions when choosing what to fill your plate with.
If you'd like additional help with understanding processed foods and fat loss, please send me a message and I'd be happy to chat and offer further support. If you made it this far, thank you for reading❤️ and go ahead and grab a FREE copy of one of my favorite plant based meal plans here!