I often run into people I know at the gym drenched in sweat from a hard workout as they share their weight loss goals with me. The number one thing I always hear from these numerous stories is how everyone wants to target their stomach and how bad eating habits are their number one downfall. They hate it when I tell them that weightloss doesn't give us the luxury of picking an area to lose and the rest to keep. If your goal is to lose your stomach then your goal should be to lose weight and target the fat and what you eat plays a vital role in your weight loss journey.
You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. A diet filled with processed meals, preservatives, high in saturated fat, and excess sodium is detrimental to your health and weight loss success.
The weight gain and obesity is just as important of a concern as the toxins you are releasing into your body. Processed foods go beyond the drive through, restaraunt, and take out menus. Most of the foods in your grocery store from shelved items, to frozen meals and canned foods are all processed. Any food that is not in its natural state is processed.
Your body needs essential vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients in order for your (cells) to best function and for it to prevent or fight disease. The best way to combat eating processed foods is putting forth effort and cooking your own meals. Yes it requires more time but aren't you worth those extra few minutes of planning? The goal should be to mainly eat as clean as possible, eating more "living" foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Another option could be to simply minimize the consumption of processed foods. Try reducing the amount of processed meals you consume per week and see the difference it makes in your overall health. It is almost impossible to completely avoid eating processed foods, unless you opt for a diet consisting of raw fruits and vegetables only. Another thing I'd like to make clear is that NOT all packaged or processed foods are unhealthy for you. Organic peanut butter differs from non-organic because of the difference in ingredients and preservatives or none used but both are still processed. The same goes for frozen t.v. dinners vs. frozen fruits or vegetables, one is full of sodium and preservatives while the other isn't.
Use common sense and familiarize yourself with ingredients listed on labels. Of course fresh, in most cases, is better and if organic isn't practical for your budget then any fruits and vegetables is better than having none at all. There is a lot of researched information on this particular topic and if it truly interests you, I encourage you to read up on the effects of processed foods and educate yourself on the benefits of eating clean and the disadvantages of not doing so.
An important thing to remember is that you ALWAYS have a choice in what you feed your body. A heavily processed diet caused me to have ridiculous mood swings, hormonal imbalances and severe constipation and weight gain, which resulted in problematic skin and consistent headaches due to toxin build up. This is now my philosophy on health and what motivates me to stay healthy: I'd rather invest in my health now than to have to pay for it later with outrageous hospital bills and life threatening dis-eases that end my life prematurely.