The quest to lose weight consumes many; whether it be fitting into that wedding dress, the trip to Mexico, for general weight loss or for just feeling better. The simple concept of eating less does make a difference if you are trying to lose weight by burning more calories than you are consuming or eating. However, it is often much more complicated and many often feel overwhelmed and to be in a hopeless situation.
When the food we eat is not processed, for example fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, our body can easily process it, absorb its vitamins and eliminate what it doesn’t want. However, when the food is processed, different things happen, especially when artificial ingredients such as hydrogenated oils (trans fats) are added. Trans fats are much more difficult for the body to eliminate and therefore make weight maintenance or weight loss a much more difficult task. Interestingly, it is easier for me to get my kids to eat most vegetables raw than it is to get them to eat them when they are cooked or processed.
What further complicates this is that most of us live busy lives and do not make time to cook every night. Processed food is faster and much less time consuming. What we need to remember is that the benefits of cooking our food or eating raw food is attainable and within our control. Taking the time to cook or prepare fresh fruit and vegetables as well as lean meat or fish (if desired) is well worth it when you consider the health benefits in regard to weight management and general energy level.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is not just what you eat but when to eat. Trying to avoid eating for the last few hours before you go to bed makes a huge difference. Some people often feel that that is their only chance to eat due to their work schedule however, if it is that close to bed time, you are unlikely to need the energy from the food for any activities you have left to do.
Sleep is also of importance in this area as well. Studies have found that if you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t self-regulate itself like it normally does and craves more food than it needs. This then can cause you to overeat and consequently gain more weight or at least prevent you from losing weight.