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Today’s free nutritionist tip is an easy way to get your food picks to help you lose weight and feel more satisfied:

Eat real food instead of fake food.

As certified nutrition coaches, we harp on this all the time. But this week it’s been a theme that has cropped up several times with some nutrition coaching clients.

So let’s reiterate this simple but important principle:

Whenever you can, always choose whole, unprocessed foods.

The fewer chemicals, the better.

Whole food has the natural nutrition that helps our bodies thrive.

Real food means organic fresh vegetables and fruits, and proteins raised without hormones, antibiotics, or chemical feeds.

Real food supplies us with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, proteins, and essential fats.

Processed food has much of this removed. And they replace it with processed fats, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, chemical colorings, and a host of other things that ruin the natural processes of our bodies.

It’s important that you eat real food, and to do your best to stay away from processed products and chemicals. (A Paris university study of over 100,000 people that showed that for every 10 percent increase in the consumption of processed food, you have a 12 percent increase in cancer risk!)

Processed foods are often loaded with sugar, preservatives, nitrites, artificial flavors and/or coloring, emulsifiers, and chemical sweeteners. They have fewer nutrients and less fiber than whole, unprocessed food. Many types of plastic packaging contaminate their contents with potentially harmful chemicals that disrupt your hormones and metabolism.

Watch out for “healthy” processed foods

I pulled a boxed dinner at random from the grocery freezer, and got a glazed chicken entrée from the most popular line of “healthy” frozen foods. You can probably guess which brand I’m talking about – it rhymes with “Mean Machine.”

It’s a low-calorie dinner, so I suppose you could call it “lean”, but it sure isn’t healthy.

Here are some of the problems with the ingredients:

  • The chicken undoubtedly comes from industrial feedlots — that means the animals are loaded with antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals.
  • The chicken is coated with high fructose corn syrup, multiple preservatives, salt, and artificial caramel color.
  • The rice accompanying the chicken is blanched, enriched rice – meaning that all the nutrients have been stripped away, leaving just the carbohydrate shell. It also contains partially hydrogenated oil (trans fats), sugar, maltodextrin (more sugar), and artificial caramel coloring.
  • To top it all off, the directions tell you to microwave the whole entree in the accompanying plastic tray. (When plastics get heated, toxic chemicals leak out. Don’t microwave plastic — reheat food in a glass or ceramic container instead.)

Today’s Nashville nutritionist tip is to try to minimize the amount of packaged food that you eat, and avoid anything that has ingredients that you can’t pronounce!

Real food

Real food instead of fake food is a foundation of healthy eating for weight loss.

  • Protein, like meats, fish, poultry, and eggs.
  • Any and all vegetables.
  • Some fruit.
  • Healthy fats, like olive oil, nuts, and avocado.
  • Healthy organic dairy (if you can tolerate it), like whey, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese

Eat less of this stuff that ISN’T real food:

  • Processed prepared meals, like Lean Cuisine.
  • Liquid calories, like soda, juice, or frappaccino drinks.
  • Low-nutrient starches like bread, white rice, pasta
  • Low-nutrient snacks like pretzels and chips
  • Sugary treats — candy, desserts, cookies, ice cream

You probably knew all that.

But if you want to lose weight, focus on the real food as the foundation of your “normal” diet. Then add any of the not-so-great stuff here and there as a treat (rather than a staple of your diet).

Look at all the artificial ingredients in this popular whey protein:

natural food

This popular whey protein supplement is loaded with chemicals and artificial sweeteners.

Benefits of Whole Foods

Sticking with real food:

  1. Gives you better nutrient content
  2. Avoids harmful chemicals and carcinogens
  3. Helps you feel fuller and more satisfied
  4. Diminishes cravings for sweets
  5. Keeps your appetite in check
  6. Aids proper digestion and *ahem* “regularity”

So do yourself and your family a favor, and choose Real Food over Fake Food whenever you can!

personal trainer in nashvilleAnd if you’re looking for a nutrition coach in Nashville (or anywhere you have internet access for online coaching), we’re busy but there’s a spot for you! Drop us a note and we’ll find a time to chat about how a solid nutrition program and accountability can help you.