How many times did you go on a diet? Probably too many! Did you enjoy while you were on a diet? Probably you didn’t! Did those diets work for you? Probably most of them didn’t!
The problem is that most diets are temporary and very restrictive, so at the end, you continue with your regular eating habits and you end up regaining the weight you lost (in case you lost any).
But, what if I told you that you don’t need diets to lose weight and be healthy? What if you find a way to maintain a healthy diet while you enjoy your meals and eat as much as you need?
Well, it exists and is called Realfooding
What is Realfooding?
Realfooding is a lifestyle based on eating real food and avoiding ultra-processed foods. It is a social movement that defends the right to a healthy diet for the population. It is a revolution that fights with knowledge and conscience against the dark side of the food industry.
What is ultra-processed food?
Ultra-processed food is the opposite of Real Food. They are edible products made from other food or synthetic substances with various processing techniques. They usually have five or more ingredients and among them we can find refined flours, refined vegetable oils, added sugars, additives and salt. These ingredients carry an industrial processing that gets durable products, ready to consume, attractive, ultra-palatable and also highly profitable for the manufacturers. For these reasons, they are sold and consumed more often than the rest of the food.
During the lasts decades, ultra-processed food has been massively produced and sold, and took the place of Real Food, damaging the health of the population.
What is the problem with ultra-processed food?
The main problems of ultra-processed food are:
- Made with unhealthy ingredients
- Super available and ready to eat in any moment
- Ultra-palatable and addictive
- Unreal commercial information
Due to the lack of time and the good flavor of ultra-processed food, Americans eat a great quantity of this unhealthy food every day. Also, due to the unreal commercial information that uses messages as “light”, “low calories” or “gluten free” a lot of people think that they are eating healthy food but they actually aren’t.
A lot of goverments also subsidize the unhealthy ingredients of processed food while they ask their population to eat healthy. In addition, companies in the food industry spend a lot money every year trying to build a healthy image. Something similar to what the tobacco industry did in the 50s.
Abuse of the processed food has dramatically increased the cases of diseases like cancer, heart attack, type 2 diabetes and of course obesity, but it also increases the risk of suffering an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia.
According to CDC, the rates of diabetes in America have increased by seven times over the past three decades.
A different CDC report, exposes that “the prevalence of obesity was 39.8% and affected about 93.3 million of US adults in 2015~2016”. And, according to HHS “obesity-related illness, including chronic disease, disability, and death, is estimated to carry an annual cost of $190.2 billion”
Then, how can I avoid ultra-processed food?
Well, first step is to realize that they exist and they are everywhere. After that, you should start ignoring the commercial messages about food (Light doesn’t mean healthy) and start reading the ingredient list, avoiding unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, refined oils and wheats as well as synthetics ingredients such as preservatives.
Probably, the first time you try to find healthy food it going to take time, but after a couple of time you will be a master detecting and avoiding ultra-processed food.
It’s going to be difficult because ultra-processed food is literally everywhere, is cheap, tasty and fast. But remember, a change in your lifestyle usually takes a time, literally you can’t avoid 100% of unhealthy food from one day to another.
The most important thing here is be conscious of what is actually healthy and what is not, don’t let the big food companies keep lying to you.
Most important advice: always enjoy the process and enjoy the Real Food, because, otherwise you’ll end up abandoning this new healthy lifestyle.
Will I lose weight eating Real Food?
The short answer is: Probably yes, you’ll lose weight eating Real Food, and most important you’ll be less likely to regain that weight.
However, Real Food is not about lose weight, it’s about being healthy, be conscious and free of what you and your loved ones eat every day. Of course, there will be changes in your body, and you will be able to lose weight or gain muscle without “being on a diet” and avoiding “miracle products” that don’t work and are not healthy.
Personally, when I started to be conscious about Real Food, I lost fat and gain muscle in the first weeks but I also noticed psychological changes as I started to feel more cheerful and energetic, because I started to be free to choose what I really wanted to eat so I enjoyed the food much more
Ok I want to be Realfooder. What should I do now?
Eating is a pleasure, so it’s important that you learn to enjoy the Real Food. Try to increase little by little the portion of non-processed aliments that you include in your groceries and in your meals and try to make that portion bigger every week.
To help you with the process, you can consult the following list of real aliments:
- Vegetables, fruits and vegetables
- Fish and seafood
- 100% whole grain or whole grain cereals
- Meats (Yeah! Most bacon & burgers are Real Food)
- Fresh milk
- Herbs, spices and seeds
- Coffee and infusions
- Extra virgin olive oil
- UHT milk, yoghurts and fermented milk products.
- Integral panels 100%.
- Dark chocolate or cocoa powder> 70%
- Canned legumes
- Canned fish
- Vegetable drinks without added sugars
- Real frozen food: fruits, vegetables, fish, etc.
- Real food vacuum packed
Does it mean that I will never eat ultra-processed food again?
Recommendations about ultra-processed food are simple: the less the better. However, as we said before, they are everywhere, so it’s almost impossible to totally avoid them, but once you become a Realfooder, ultra-processed foods are the exemption, not the rule. It means that your diet will have more than 90% real and natural food, and you’ll also enjoy when eating these 10% of ultra-processed food because you’ll be conscious that it’s a punctual exemption.
So you don’t have to feel blamed if one day you eat of ultra-processed aliments, just try to make it better the next day and remember that what matters is your diet in general, not what you eat on a particular day.