Does the weekend make it hard for you to stick with your healthy habits? 7 tips for a healthier weekend
Let’s talk about processed foods!
“Processed food” describes any food that has been altered from its natural state for safety or convenience. They aren’t necessarily “unhealthy” but they usually contain added salt, sugar, and fat. In large quantities that can become unhealthy. If it’s been monkeyed with and artificial substances have been added, it’s processed.
Why are processed foods less healthy?
They are low in nutrients. Low in Fiber. Hyper Rewarding.
One of my mantras has become — if it has no nutritious value, and it does not HELP my body, DON’T eat it. There is no point. There are exceptions to this rule— having a treat with your family- like Cone Zone on Sundays! Or going out to dinner for a special meal for example. But for the greater purpose, this is what I try to think about!
Most people get a vast amount of their sugar and salt from processed foods, and not from adding it manually to whole foods. And the food is often packed with chemicals that aren’t FOOD at all.
When you eat highly processed foods, they tend to be what are called hyper-palatable and hyper-rewarding. This leads to over-consumption, addictive-like behaviors, obesity, and inflammation, among other things
Processed foods contain all sorts of unidentifiable artificial junk!
✓Preservatives: Chemicals that make that stuff last FOREVER.
✓ Colorants: Chemicals that make it pretty.
✓ Flavor: Chemicals that enhance flavor and trigger your brain‘s reward centers.
✓ Texturants: Chemicals that alter or create a certain “feel”
So a really great first step to hitting your nutrition goals is to start little and start by --Cutting the processed foods!— You might hear this one a lot! But this is no lie. Processed food is junk.
Items like Breakfast cereal. Drinks including juice, and soft drinks.. Convenience foods like microwave meals and ready-to-go meals. Packaged cookies, ice cream, candy, and other grocery store sweets.
So I challenge you, starting tomorrow — pick the easy targets in your diet and take the day off from eating them. Put away the Cheese Nips, the Oreos, or the microwave popcorn. Drink water and skip the pop. Look at some labels and start to think about what you’re actually ingesting. Think of your body as a luxury sports car. You want top performance? Then you gotta fuel it right.
My husband always tells me “You can’t put unleaded in a Ferrari!”
Remember these steps and you will be on your way: Choose higher-quality foods more often, provide adequate nutrients, move often and well!