Processed Foods : Stop Consuming Processed Foods and Lose Weight
Stop Consuming Processed Foods to Lose Weight
Though losing weight has topped everybody’s New-Year “To Do List," there hasn’t been a decline in the manufacture and consumption of processed food. If you look around in your supermarket, you will find a lot of food falling in this category that is loved by both - adults and children. To shed those extra pounds, you will have to ditch most of these food items and opt for more whole and unprocessed foods.
What are Processed Foods?
Processed food doesn't always mean ready-to-eat meals or microwaveable food. It refers to food that has been altered in any manner during its preparation like cutting, freezing, canning, drinking, or baking; for instance, packed broccoli florets or packed veggies for a salad. Also, it needs to be understood that not all processed foods are bad; some foods require processing to ensure they are safe for consumption, like milk. A few examples of processed foods bad for you are:
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Canned sauces
- Meat products like sausage, salami, ham, and bacon
- Canned beans
What is Ultra Processed Food (UPF)?
Ultra-processed foods are ready-to-eat food products that contain processed substances extracted from whole foods. They also contain added colours, flavours, cosmetic additives, etc., with barely any whole food in them. Some of these foods that top our list of processed foods to avoid are:
- Packaged snacks
- Breakfast cereals
- Flavoured dairy drinks
- Flavoured ice cream
- Instant soup and noodles
- Ready-made nuggets
All these products contain high amounts of sodium, free sugar, and saturated fat, and have a low amount of protein, micronutrients, phytochemicals, and dietary fibre.
Due to the high consumption of these unhealthy processed foods that are high in calories, added sugars, and unhealthy fats, children and adults could face numerous health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Processed foods can cause you to overeat meals, boost your blood sugar levels, and make you feel lazy or tired. According to research, in the United Kingdom (UK), 65% of calories consumed by children (primary and secondary school) come from UPF. Also, the majority of the children in the age group of 7 years consume UPF like white bread, fizzy drinks, biscuits, chips, and crisps.
Strategies to stop consuming processed foods to lose weight
The process of losing weight can be a task, as it involves getting rid of all the unhealthy, canned, and packaged food. We have a few simple strategies where you can substitute processed food with healthy foods that will help you lose weight.
- Healthy Snacks
If you snack all the time, you can substitute your packet of crisps or chips with a packet of mixed nuts, or have some fresh fruits. Additional snacks can be prepared during a free time like kale chips, hard-boiled eggs, etc. Overnight oats jars are a great option for breakfasts and snacks too. You can try Sweetcorn Fritters with Sweet Chilli Sauce which is low in sugar and a brilliant snack for your health and wellness.
- Creative Snacks
Rather than purchasing dips, chips, flavoured yoghurt, cookies, and similar products, you can recreate them by using healthy food to lose weight. For instance, you can create avocado dips, hummus, and veggie chips using carrots, zucchini, etc., and also make yoghurt at home and have it with fruits like strawberries. Try out the Ashwagandha Choc Chip Cookies that have amazing ingredients like ashwagandha and chia seeds that support good heart health, ensure control of blood sugar, keep you full, might support weight loss, and offer many other benefits.
- Opt for Whole grains
Include whole grains in your diet. You can opt for brown rice, whole-grain bread, and pasta instead of white rice, white bread, and pasta. Whole grains are rich in fibre and protect against diabetes, and heart disease, and will also help in bringing down weight. Seeded Omega and Millet Cracker is one such food item.
- Consume Water
Avoid consuming sugary beverages like colas, sodas, and fruit drinks, and have plain water instead. If you do not like having plain water, you can infuse it with herbs or fruits.
- Consume nuts, veggies, and fruits
There is no better way to stay healthy and lose weight than increasing your consumption of nuts, fruits, and vegetables which are foods to lose weight, as they reduce your snack cravings. Add spinach and cabbage to your meat dishes and wraps. Substitute your dessert with, Homemade Banana cake and Homemade Granola bars that are loaded with nutrients and a great snack!
- Reduce Processed Meat
If you love consuming meat or eat meat regularly, you must avoid processed meat. Replace your processed meat like bacon, sausage, etc., with eggs, fresh chicken or turkey, or fresh fish like salmon. Additionally, increase the number of lentils in your diet. You can also opt for plant-based protein foods like tofu. A simple dish like Fried Rice with Tofu, edamame, and sweet corn will take care of all your hunger pangs.
- Healthy food swaps
Generally processed foods manage to creep into your breakfast, lunch, or dinner menu. You can easily swap them for healthy food. For instance, instead of the breakfast cereal bowl, try overnight oats or fresh oatmeal with fruits. You can make your nut mix by combining various nuts and seeds at home rather than buying a packet at the store.
- Make slow changes
It is tough to get rid of all the processed food from your kitchen cabinets and your diet in a day. You could start with one of the above strategies and try implementing a few more when you are comfortable with consuming healthy food. You can enjoy meals at restaurants and cafes, however, limit it to once or twice a month.
To sum it up, processed foods have gradually become an important element of our modern diet, and their detrimental impacts on health are becoming more obvious. Reducing or getting rid of common processed foods from one's diet can be a successful technique for weight loss. Individuals may increase their intake of vitamins, boost their metabolism, and also lose extra pounds by substituting processed meals with full, and healthy unprocessed foods. However, making this adjustment can be difficult, especially in a society where processed meals are widely available and frequently cheaper than healthy alternatives. Foodhak makes this healthy switch possible by allowing you to eat a nutritious, fresh, low-calorie, and whole-food-based diet that will help you achieve weight reduction and good health in the long term.