Simply glancing at food labels while doing your weekly shop can dramatically help you lose weight and I’m not talking studying the calories, the amount of fat or even the percentage of sugar per portion – I’m taking about taking just a few second to glance at EXACTLY WHAT is in your food!
The majority of product’s on our shelves these days are mass produced, highly processed and nutritionally void. What I mean by nutritionally void is that they provide very little benefit to your body and can often be filled with what we call ‘empty calories’ which are of no use to your body in helping your systems to function properly and to their maximum capability. This includes your metabolism, hormonal and digestive system which all play a key part in losing substantial amounts of weight. In essence the more you deviate from nature, the more you progress towards mal nourishment. Now, I don’t mean just your regular microwave meals when I’m taking about processed, I’m including items such as smoothies, soups, pre packed stir frys & salads and cooking sauces among other products. All may appear to be made of purely natural ingredients, but it’s how they have been made which will impact their ability to help you on your journey for a better body.
Added ingredients are the main culprit that are going to hinder your results and I will use a pasta bolognaise cooking source as a prime example (next time you’re in the shops check the packet for what I’m about to tell you). Ingredients lists on packets always list what the item contains the most of first, in this case tomatoes – great good start, they are natural, all good. Why is it then when I get to the next ingredient I see sugar as the second most added product? Mmm surely you could make your own sauce at home without tipping in a few tablespoons of the white stuff?
I know I can and all my members know they can; tinned tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, garlic, mixed peppers, chopped onions and you have more or less exactly the same product? Well here’s the reason … money! Sugar is used as a bulking agent, to make production go further while retaining the taste. For you … its going to send up your blood sugars, cause your fat storage hormone insulin to be released and unless your burning it off, that sauce along with your pasta is going to be stored. Added sugar create the optimum fat storing environment in you body!
The second Additive I often see in my pasta sauce is acidy regulators or ‘E numbers.’ If the product you are about to consume is ‘all natural’ then why does it need these E’s? The answer is to prolong shelf life by controlling the pH value (acidity) of the food so it does not decay. There has been a lot of debate about E numbers in the past. E number don’t just come in the form of acidy regulators, they can be colours, flavourings, preservatives, sweeteners, added antioxidants, stabilisers and thickeners. The majority of these additives are made in a lab and it is debatable that some of these products COULD upset and imbalance your digestive and hormonal systems. Most have been declared safe by the FDA (food standards agency) but very little long term research has been conducted on many of them to detail the affects over a long period of time.
One thing is for sure however … as more additives have been added to food over the years the rate of obesity has increased. Recent research shows that as a nation we are not consuming more calories or more sugar as a whole on a daily basis, yet as a nation we are getting fatter. Research also shows that people on average are actually more active than they were 10 years ago, so what has changed? We can’t say for sure, but in my opinion it could be something to do with what’s in our food. Why not be safe and eliminate as much of the so called ‘toxic’ stuff as you can – I know I do with my clients and I see some great results. Your task this week – glance at your food labels, if there is something on there you don’t know what it is, leave it and go for an alternative and see if you feel different at the end of the week.
I specialise in one to one training and lifestyle coaching for weight loss & diabetes. I am an expert in all aspects of training and nutrition for Individuals who are looking to lose anything between 1-10 stone. I have worked in the fitness industry for 8 years, including work for SKY TV featuring as a trainer on TV series FAT: The Fight Of My Life (2013) in which my contributer Darren lost 10 Stone in 8 months.