Eat Real Food to Lose Weight – And 3 Foods to Avoid

So you want to make the transition to eating healthier, “real” food – first of all, good for you! This is a very important decision you’ve made, and you’ve made the right one.

It can be hard to know where to start, though. You might be concerned about how you’re going to feed your family this way, and what they will think about it. You might have budgetary concerns, or children who are picky eaters. Furthermore, you may not be sure what foods to even begin with – do you throw everything out and start over?

Here are some tips to help you with all that, and you’re well on your way to transitioning into a healthful diet.

Research

First, it pays to take a little time to research. Look for consistencies in food information – this will help you avoid “fad diets.” Find out what really makes a food healthy, and decide what food groups you are going to keep or discard (some people decide not to include dairy in their diets, for example, or they will lean toward a primitive diet that does not include grains).

Replacements Chart

Once you are comfortable with what constitutes a healthy food, you can make a chart. This can be so helpful in making out grocery lists and planning meals, and in making the transition in general. To make the chart, you will need two basic columns (if you are into the details of nutrition, such as glycemic index and nutritive value, then you might want more columns).

On one side of the chart are the foods you normally eat. On the other side, put a replacement. For instance, you might have doughnuts on one side; you can put whole wheat cinnamon toast on the other side as a replacement.

If you aren’t sure what to replace with what, a good rule of thumb is: replace white with brown, artificial with natural, and processed for whole. For instance, traditional pasta can be replaced with whole grain pasta; fruit snacks can be replaced with natural dried fruit; and potato chips with a sack of organic potatoes.

You’ll want to make the transition gradually; health experts agree that this is less shocking to your system. This is where the chart comes in handy – you can choose one replacement a week or even month.

Increase How Much You Eat

That sounds ironic, doesn’t it? But sources say that the “crowding out” theory can really work for some. If you load up on healthy food, you may simply not want the unhealthy stuff. Making a point of eating lots of high-quality, whole foods will theoretically leave less room for the bad stuff – and this is true for your grocery budget as well. Some find this makes for an easier transition than cutting out unhealthy foods and feeling deprived.

Here are three foods to avoid if you want to lose weight.

Anything Microwavable

Anything that’s frozen or designed to be microwaved should be avoided.

Frozen foods are packed full of all kinds of unhealthy chemicals. Just take a look at the back of the box. How many of the ingredients can you actually read? How many of them sound like whole foods?

Also, the level of fats, sodium and sugars are extremely high. Many TV dinners that people eat in one meal on their own are actually three or more servings – meaning you’re getting much, much more fat than you think if you just skimmed the ingredients.

High Calorie Drinks

Drinks are one of the biggest sources of sugar and extraneous sugars in the standard American diet. A lot of people just don’t realize how much fat is in these various beverages.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and 7 Up, for example, all contain large amounts of both sugar and calories. People who drink Coke instead of water almost always end up overweight.

Another common offender is caffeine. Coffee itself has very few calories. However, once you add in the milk or cream plus the sugar, it suddenly becomes a high calorie drink.

Even worse are drinks like lattes, Americanos, cappuccinos and Frappuchinos. These extremely high calorie drinks don’t “feel” like eating a meal, but can often contain just as many calories.

Processed Meats

Finally, processed meats are also poor choices if you want to lose weight.

It’s no mystery if you look at what really goes into processed meats. It’s often the fattiest parts, blended skin, various body parts that couldn’t be sold separately, all mixed with copious amounts of fat.

In addition, these processed meats are usually full of preservatives, chemicals and sodium.

Eating a sausage might not seem that different than eating a lean cut of chicken on the surface. But below the surface, what that sausage is made of is often very different than what the chicken is made of.

Stick to lean, whole meats and avoid processed meats. You’ll consume fewer calories and you’ll be eating healthier overall as well.

These are three foods to avoid like the plague if you want to get your weight down. Though it may sound simple to just remove three kinds of foods from your diet, these changes alone could help you cut back on a lot of calorie consumption.

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