Good weight loss programs avoid fast food and focus on healthy food. Food selection makes a big difference in how you feel and how your brain and body perform. Good weight loss programs are not be driven solely by calorie reduction. Food selection is equally important. De-emphasize fast foods and re-emphasize nutritious foods.



Why Good Weight Loss Programs Emphasize Better Food Selection



As a holistic nutritionist, I subscribe to Hippocrates’ sage advice that “food is medicine.” When you eat nutritious food, then your body and brain can function at peak performance. I’ve always wondered how people think their bodies can continue to do all the miraculous things that bodies do when we pour science project lab-created “foods” into them.



Why Good Weight Loss Programs Avoid Fast Food



Good weight loss programs avoid fast food for good reason. Here are a few of the most persuasive reasons to skip the drive-thru:


It’s no secret that fast food is typically high in fat, sodium and sugar, and low in fiber. But it’s convenient and inexpensive. The downside, however, is more than just an unbalanced, unhealthy meal. Especially with long-term consumption, fast food can negatively affect you physically and emotionally.



Fast Food Leads to Weight Gain



The average fast food meal contains way too many calories. A 2007 survey from the journal “Obesity” found that the average fast food lunch in New York totaled 827 calories. One-third of lunch meals topped 1,000 calories. The average adult woman generally needs between 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day, depending on size and activity level. Men need between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day. Consuming excess calories puts you at risk of weight gain and weight-related health conditions. In fact, a May 2012 study in “Obesity Surgery” found that fast food consumption had the most influence on the growing rate of severe obesity in America.


Fast Food Can Lead to Type 2 Diabetes



Regularly eating fast food over an extended period may increase your chances of type 2 diabetes.


A 15-year study compared weight and insulin resistance of people who ate fast food at least three times a week to those who ate fast food less than once a week. It found that the fast food eaters gained an extra 9.9 pounds and had a two-fold increase in insulin resistance when compared to those who ate fast food only occasionally. Insulin resistance occurs when the hormone insulin does not properly regulate blood glucose levels. Hypertension, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease are also linked to insulin resistance.



The High Fat Content of Fast Food Can Lead to Cardiac Events


Fast food meals are high in fat. They typically don’t contain fruits or vegetables. Studies show that eating fruits and vegetables can actually balance out a high-fat meal. This healthy addition reduces, but does not eliminate, the adverse effects on the blood vessels. According to a study by Dr. Gary Plotnick, a cardiologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, within three to five hours after eating a high-fat meal, the blood vessels function abnormally. For a healthy person, this is usually a minor, temporary event. But, for someone with coronary disease, this could cause a cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke.



Fast Food Diets Can Cause Depression and Addiction



Researchers have linked fast food to depression. Compared to people who eat little or no fast food, people who regularly eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression. The study found that the more fast food you eat, the greater your risk of suffering episodes of depression.


According to a September 2011 article in Current Drug Abuse Reviews, research even suggests that fast food may be addictive.


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