How much thought do you put into what foods you eat?
If you want to get into great shape then you’ll be interested to know that 80% of your fitness results are attributed to your diet.
In our fast-paced society, eating is often done with little or no thought as to what exactly it is being ingested. Excess body fat is a direct outcome of this hurried, poor nutrition. Even if you have the best intentions with your diet, you are likely frustrated and fed up with extra pounds.
I don’t blame you for being confused about what you should eat. The media surely doesn’t help. One day the talking heads want you to give up all fats. The next day carbs are the culprit, and then acai berries become the holy grail of weight loss.
The food manufacturers increase confusion by printing misleading labels and bogus health claims.
Sometimes it seems like the whole system is set up to confuse and frustrate us into buying the latest and greatest packaged food.
The bottom line is that your physique is largely a result of what you eat, so the foods that you put into your body should be carefully selected.
It’s time to re-examine what you eat.
It all starts with reading nutritional labels. The nutritional content and ingredient list will give you everything you need to know about the quality of the food item.
I’ve outlined 5 ingredients that should raise a red flag when you turn over that package and find them listed:
Red Flagged Ingredient #1: White Sugar
White sugar comes from the juice of a sugar cane plant that has undergone an intensive refining process. In this process all of the enzymes, fiber, vitamins and minerals are destroyed, rendering it nutritionally void. White sugar is also extremely high in calories, which your body loves to store away in fat cells.
Refined sugar has been linked to a weakened immune system, hyperactivity, ADD, mental and emotional disorders, dental cavities, hypoglycemia, enlargement of the liver and kidneys, and an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. All that and it leads to weight gain.
Red Flagged Ingredient #2: Aspartame
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that was denied 8 times by the FDA before being approved in 1973. Many scientists objected the approval, claiming that aspartame hadn’t been proven safe for use as a food additive.
MIT neuroscientist, Richard Wurtman, researched the effects of aspartame and concluded that it promotes cravings for foods high in calories and carbohydrates. Though aspartame is calorie-free it still causes insulin to be released, which job is to stow away sugar – when this sugar is not available, the result is often hypoglycemia and severe hunger. Not exactly a recipe for weight loss.
Red Flagged Ingredient #3: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
HFCS is a manmade sugar, derived predominantly from genetically modified corn. The sweet concoction has been shown to promote binges and hysterical hunger, and wrecks havoc on your blood sugar levels, promoting fat storage.
The introduction of HFCS into our food supply directly paralleled a 47% spike in Type 2 Diabetes cases as well as an 80% increase in obesity. Food manufacturers use HFCS in many mainstream products, including the following:
- Sauces (including ketchup)
- Energy Bars
- Soft Drinks / Fruit Juices
- Processed baked goods
- Ice Cream
- Salad Dressing
- Most packaged snack foods
Red Flagged Ingredient #4: Hydrogenated Fat / Partially Hydrogenated Fat (Trans Fat)
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats have undergone such extensive processing that the chemical structure has changed from a “cis” shape, which the human body recognizes and utilizes, to a “trans” shape, which is foreign and destructive to human physiology.
Check each food label for the word ‘hydrogenated’ and avoid it diligently. Cutting out hydrogenated fats is a simple set towards looking and feeling your best.
Red Flagged Ingredient #5: White Flour
White flour comes from natural whole wheat that has been stripped of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. This results in a nutritionally void product that is packed with calories that release quickly into your system, creating a spike in blood sugar. As you know, this promotes fat storage and leads to hysterical hunger and cravings. You don’t need that.
Once you cut these 5 items out of your diet, you’ll be pleased with the results. Expect to lose weight, to have more energy and to feel better than you have in a long time.
If you’re serious about looking and feeling your best through purifying your diet, then focus on eating real food items. Real foods include lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Remember, while nutrition is vitally important for weight loss, true results are achieved through a combination of both nutrition and challenging, progressive exercise.