The widespread consumption of processed food, which has quickly replaced real, unprocessed food on people’s meal plates, is a significant factor contributing to the rise of the obesity pandemic in India and around the world in recent years. Processed and ultra-processed food is often convenient and requires little to no preparation, making it appealing to those who lead busy lifestyles or have limited time for cooking. High in calories, preservatives, and artificial ingredients, such type of food also acts as a trigger for many diseases including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. A significant study published in 2017 by Wahl and others, suggests that incorporating “healthy” food choices, such as increasing the consumption of vegetables and fruits on a daily basis, can yield both physical and mental health benefits, making it a worthwhile long-term investment in one’s future well-being. Coming back to the main topic, in this article, we delve into the details to understand the extent of the impact that real food has on weight loss.
What are Real Foods?
Mostly single ingredients, minimally processed, do not contain preservatives or artificial flavour or ingredients. Real food typically provides a more balanced profile of macronutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, compared to processed foods. A balanced macronutrient intake can help regulate blood sugar levels, promote satiety, and support overall weight loss efforts. Fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, nuts, seeds, all come under the “real food” category.
How Real Foods Help with Weight Loss?
1. You Get All Your Nutrients From Them: Real food, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and nuts, are full of nutrients that your body needs to grow, repair, reset, basically do everything! And that includes vitamins, protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy fats. These nutrients are not only important for overall health, they keep you full and prevent overeating by regulating appetite, and thus supporting weight loss. Did you know, our body sends out hunger cues whenever it needs nutrients and if you are eating junk food instead of nutrient-dense real food, your body will send out hunger signals too soon and too frequently (not something you would appreciate while trying to lose weight) while the extra calories from the junk food would get stored as fat! Want to know what real foods help you lose weight, check out the diet plans on the Rati Beauty app, and you can lose weight like a boss by eating normal khana.
2. Low in Calories: Real food have fewer calories compared to processed foods. Calorie density refers to the number of calories in a given volume of food. Foods that are high in water, fiber, protein, and other nutrients but low in calories at the same time, for example, vegetables and fruits, can help you fill up on fewer calories, thus supporting weight loss. Also read: “10 Ultra-Processed Foods you Should Avoid Buying To Lose Weight.”
3. No Added Sugar and Artificial Ingredients: Processed foods often contain high amount of added sugars, unhealthy fats, sodium, and other artificial ingredients, which can contribute to weight gain and other health issues. Real food, on the other hand, is typically free from these harmful additives, and can help you reduce your overall intake of added sugars and unhealthy fats, which can support weight loss efforts.
4. Real Food More Filling Than Processed Food: Real food is often more satiating than processed foods, thanks to its nutrient-rich composition. When real food contains protein, fiber, or healthy fats, it can be particularly conducive to weight loss, as it helps the body burn excess fat. High-fiber and high-protein foods can promote prolonged feelings of fullness, while healthy fats can reduce inflammation and boost the likelihood of fat burning, all contributing to effective weight loss.
5. Improved Digestion: Eating real food can support healthy digestion due to its higher fiber content. Fiber helps to regulate bowel movements, promote satiety, and maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which can all contribute to weight management. Processed food, on the other hand, lacks fiber, and would cause digestive issues, disrupting gut microbiome and raising inflammation – and weight gain is a common outcome from these issues. Also read: “5 Wrong Food Choices That Lead To Weight Gain.”
6. Better Food Quality: Real food is often sourced locally, which retains higher-quality ingredients. Such ingredients help to fight free radicals, lower inflammation, and with their higher nutrient profile, contribute to weight loss.
Summing up, eating real food is not only beneficial for weight loss, but also for long-term health. Studies have found that a diet rich in real, whole foods lowers the risk of chronic diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, which can improve your overall health and well-being in the long run, and at the same time, accelerate your weight loss efforts. And if weight loss is right now on your mind, but you do not know where to start, subscribe to the Rati Beauty app for your weight loss diet plans.
10 Ultra-Processed Foods you Should Avoid Buying To Lose Weight
5 Wrong Food Choices That Lead To Weight Gain