Evidence-Based Reasons Why The “Real Food Weight Loss” Idea Works

Evidence-Based Reasons Why The “Real Food Weight Loss” Idea Works

Have you ever heard the phrase “real food weight loss?”

It seems that eating natural foods helps with weight loss. It is no surprise that the rapid increase in obesity cases occurred when highly processed foods became more available.

Agreed, highly processed foods are convenient, but they are loaded with calories and can increase your risk of many diseases.

On the other hand, whole foods are healthy and can improve weight loss.

What are real foods?

Natural foods are single-ingredient foods that contain plenty of vitamins and minerals. These foods are not laced with chemical additives but are also unprocessed.

Examples of natural foods include:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Chia seeds
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Whole eggs
  • Unprocessed meat
  • Brown rice
  • Salmon
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes

Every food group has lots of natural foods. This means that you have many options to choose from.

Here is why we think “real food weight loss” isn’t just another crazy fad diet idea.

1.     Natural foods are loaded with nutrients

Whole, unprocessed animal and plant foods are loaded with minerals and vitamins that are good for your health.

On the other hand, processed foods are deficient in micronutrients and can increase your risk of health problems (1, 2).

Heavily processed foods can slow down weight loss in many ways. For example, a diet consisting of processed foods deficient in iron can affect your ability to exercise, considering that iron is needed to move oxygen around your muscles. This will prevent adequate burning of calories through exercise (3).

A deficient diet in nutrients may prevent weight loss by making you feel less complete after eating.

2.    Natural foods are packed with protein

Protein plays a crucial role in weight and fat loss. It increases your metabolism, reduces hunger, and influences the production of hormones that help in weight regulation (4, 5, 6).

Your protein sources are just as important as the quantity of food you eat. Natural foods are a healthier and more prosperous source of protein because they are not heavily processed.

Eating processed food makes it more difficult for your body to digest several essential amino acids. These include lysine, cysteine, methionine, and tryptophan.

Proteins react quickly with sugars and fats in processing to create a complex combination.

Natural protein sources typically contain more protein. As a result, they are also lower in calories, making them better for fat loss.

3.    Natural foods do not contain refined sugar

The natural sugars in vegetables and fruits are different from refined sugars.

Vegetables and fruits contain natural sugars and other nutrients like vitamins, fiber, and water, which are required as part of a balanced diet.

Refined sugars are essential ingredients in processed foods. The two common added sugars are table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

Foods with lots of refined sugars often contain more calories and provide few health benefits. Cakes, ice cream, candy, and cookies are some examples.

Eating these foods increases your risk of obesity, so if your goal is to lose weight, limit your intake of processed foods (7, 8).

Refined sugars contribute very little to satiety (the feeling of fullness). Studies have shown that eating refined sugar in large amounts can increase the production of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and dim your brain’s ability to make you feel full (8, 9).

Because real foods do not contain refined sugars, they are a better and healthier choice for weight loss.

4.    Natural foods contain more soluble fiber

Soluble fiber has many health benefits, one of them being that it enhances weight loss.

Soluble fiber combines with water in your gut to form a thick gel. Soluble fiber may also reduce appetite by slowing food movement through your gut (10).

Soluble fiber also reduces appetite by affecting the production of hunger hormones.

Several studies have found that soluble fiber can decrease the production of hunger hormones (11, 12).

It also increases the production of satiety hormones (hormones that keep you feeling full, such as peptide YY, glucagon-like peptide-1, and cholecystokinin).

Natural foods contain more soluble fiber than processed foods. Healthy sources of soluble fiber include flaxseeds, beans, oranges, and sweet potatoes.

5.    Natural foods are a great source of polyphenols

Polyphenols are plant molecules that contain antioxidant properties. As a result, they protect against diseases and help with weight loss (13, 14).

Polyphenols are divided into multiple categories: stilbenoids, lignans, and flavonoids.

One of the significant flavonoids that contribute immensely to weight loss is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It is typically found in green tea and provides many health benefits.

For example, EGCG extends the effects of norepinephrine and other hormones involved in weight loss and fat burning by inhibiting their breakdown.

Takeaway

A diet containing many natural foods improves your health and helps you lose weight.

Natural foods are rich in nutrients, contain fewer calories, and are more satisfying than processed foods.

You can take a giant leap towards healthy living by replacing the processed foods in your diet with natural foods.

Also, eating natural foods will make it easier to lose fat in the long term.

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