The most overlooked fat loss eating secret is “it is possible to under-eat!”. Overly restrictive low-calorie diets make it much harder to lose weight and keep it off. Reduced caloric diets increase the production of cortisol by our bodies. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” responsible for belly fat. Cut your calories too much and you will gain a belly.
The best approach by far, is to eat a properly balanced, healthy diet of protein, natural vegetables and fruits, and lots of fiber. Avoid all processed foods as they have a lot of chemicals and preservatives. Read the labels of any ready-to-eat foods and you will see a laundry list of things your body doesn’t need.
Many things that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use today may be banned tomorrow after sufficient research into their reaction in the human body. Remember cyclamates? It was approved by the FDA as a sweetener in diet foods. Later research showed that it caused cancer in lab animals. It has since been banned.
A number of common food additives have also been approved by the FDA, but these are not healthy and should not be eaten on a regular basis.
- Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K) – A sweetener used in baked goods, chewing gum, gelatin desserts and diet soda. Studies have linked it to cancer in lab animals.
- Artificial Colorings – Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are used most often in candy, soft drinks and gelatin desserts.
- Aspartame – Another artificial sweetener linked to cancer.
- Bytylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) – Use in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips and vegetable oils as a preservative. US Dept. of Health and Human Services considers BHA as a human carcinogen, but the FDA still allows its use.
- Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils – Trans fats that are found in margarine, crackers and fried restaurant foods. Also in baked goods, icings and microwave popcorn. Trans fats are linked to heart disease.
- Olestra – A synthetic fat that is not absorbed as it passes through your system. It may cause severe side effects like diarrhea.
- Potassium Bromate – Used in bread and rolls, bromate has caused cancer in lab animals in some studies. It is banned in many countries, but not the USA or Japan.
- Propyl Gallate – A preservative used in vegetable oil, processed meat products, potato sticks, chicken soup base and chewing gum. Some studies have suggested that it may cause cancer.
- Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite – A preservative, coloring and flavoring agent in bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed foods. Can lead to the formation of cancer-causing chemicals.
- Saccharin – This artificial sweetener has been controversial for many years. It should be avoided, though it was removed from the list of cancer causing agents in 2000 by the Dept. of H&HS.
To lose weight and fat, eat an appropriate mix of proteins, vegetables and fruits, fats and fibers. Exercise with regularity and get lots of rest. Avoid white flour breads, pastas and desserts, stick to whole grains or sprouted grain products. Record everything you eat and drink as it will make you more aware of your consumption.