Does Eating Whole Foods Help to Lose Weight?
For a lot of people the desire to lose weight is thwarted by eating convenience and packaged foods. These foods, while easy to prepare and serve, are not as healthy as consuming a diet that consists of whole foods. In fact, people who are trying to lose weight usually have much better success when they replace convenience and fast foods in their diet with healthy, whole foods that they cook themselves. There are delicious choices from each food group that you can incorporate into your diet to achieve your weight loss goals. Read on to find out more about why eating these types of foods is so important.
High Level of Soluble Fiber
A whole foods diet plan will consist of a lot of fruits and vegetables. These foods are packed with soluble fiber, which, as most people know, is great for keeping your colon and intestines working regularly, but also has the additional benefit of aiding people with weight loss. When soluble fiber is consumed as part of a whole food diet, it will mix with water in your gut. This creates the thick gel that is so important for regularity. It slows the movement of food through your digestive system and allows your body to extract all of the nutrients possible from the food. This keeps you feeling full longer, and makes you less likely to munch on junk food. Soluble fiber also decreases the hunger hormones that make you feel hungry while increasing production of hormones that express your satiety. Some great ways to eat more soluble fiber are beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
No Refined Sugar in Whole Foods
Eating whole foods means cutting out added sugar. While sugar is naturally occurring in most foods, it is not the same as processed sugar. The naturally occurring sugar in a whole food diet is offset by fiber and other nutrients. This means that it doesn’t have the same effect on your body as eating refined sugar will. Eating foods that have a lot of added sugar means that you will be adding a lot of extra calories to your diet. If your goal is to lose weight, adding these calories can put you off track to meet your goal quickly. Refined sugars can actually increase your hunger hormone, causing you to not feel as full as you really are, and pushing you to reach for something else to eat. Cutting the empty calories in refined sugar will help you lose weight. If you’re just starting to eat more healthy food and are missing the sweetness of sugar, try some berries or watermelon. These foods are sweet enough to curb your sugar craving but won’t add have the calories that a cookie or piece of cake would.
You Can Fill Your Plate and Still Lose Weight
It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you’re eating a whole foods diet, you can actually eat more food and still lose the weight that you want to lose. Non processed foods are higher in air, water, fiber, and nutrients, and much lower in calories than their processed counterparts. This means that the higher volume of food will make you full faster. Real foods, like cucumbers, berries, and oatmeal, are generally lower in calories and higher in volume than some unhealthy foods like pie, cake, and ice cream. You’ll be able to eat more of the real foods and still not consume nearly as many calories as you would otherwise!
You’ll Do a Better Job Keeping the Weight Off
Everyone knows that a crash diet will take the weight off, but keeping it off will be a huge challenge. Going on a juice fast or only eating vegetables will make you lose weight, but it’s not sustainable. Learning instead how to eat real foods, cook them to make them delicious, and replace some of your unhealthier favorites with them, will help you lose weight in a safe and sustainable way. Combining a whole foods diet with exercise and mental health care may take longer than losing weight through a starvation diet, but the weight loss will be safer and can be permanent.
Your Body Craves the Nutrients
At first, when switching to a whole foods diet, you may experience some problems adjusting to the new foods you’re eating. GI upset due to the high level of soluble fiber as long as missing your old favorites can be difficult, but soon you’ll experience some positive changes. As your body beings to use all of the new nutrients that you’re consuming, you’ll experience fewer hunger swings. Your body will be able to handle hunger without you becoming angry. You’ll also have more energy and may find that you want to exercise and do more during the day. At night you’ll sleep better. Your body needs to eat real food, and giving it the nutrients it needs will make you as healthy as possible.
Changing the Next Generation
Teaching children from a young age to eat and enjoy whole, healthy food will have a positive impact on their lives. While sugary foods can be eaten as treats, if children mostly eat healthy foods then they will learn to take care of their bodies, will have fewer health problems in the future, and will learn to love all of the delicious foods that this world has to offer.
If you’re looking to lose weight and aren’t sure about how to add more healthy foods to your diet, try this: the next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable and try it with dinner. Instead of buying white bread, pick up a loaf of whole grain bread that is packed with fiber and other nutrients. Buying fresh fish instead of fish sticks is another easy substitute, as is packing an apple instead of chips for lunch. These all seem like easy swaps, and they are, but they’ll add up and will aid you in your weight loss goals and make you the healthiest you’ve ever been!