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Old 10-24-2012, 09:43 PM   #1  
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Red face Do you still eat processed/packaged foods?

I find when I don't have some kind of snack food that aren't fruits or vegetables in the house, I go crazy. So I keep wheat thins, cheezits, teddy grams, cereal, etc to keep me sane, and I eat them in moderation.

I know there are tons of people who'd be horrified to hear this, because it's a classic lesson that you should stop eating those things regularly if you are trying to lose weight. But I don't know, it hasn't really stopped my weight loss.

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:48 PM   #2  
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I do, and probably always will. I don't see any reason to completely cut out any food, personally. Now, I wouldn't have cookies or cake or ice cream in the house constantly because those are foods that I have very little control with.

But I always have pretzels, popcorn, graham crackers, cereals, various processed cheeses, chicken nuggets, white rice, instant potatoes. I'm sure there are many more. I try to eat as many whole foods as possible, but I won't cut out any foods long term.

Last edited by LockItUp; 10-24-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:00 PM   #3  
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Rather than eliminating processed foods entirely, I've just been making a concious effort to eat more whole and raw foods. I'm a calorie counter, so if I "spend" more calories on unprocessed foods, I have less to spend on processed ones.

I find that "real" food fills me up more, but I still have my snacks and sweets (just much, much less of them).
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:05 PM   #4  
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I also believe there is nothing wrong with eating processed foods in moderation. We all want this to last forever, so if you can't see yourself living the rest of your life eating only home cooked fresh veggies/pulses/meats and whatever then I personally don't think it's all that helpful to do so when you 'diet'. For me this diet is a time where I'm reeducating myself on a way of eating, forever. So, as I try to make good choices, I also have to be realistic.

Anyone who does choose to eat fresh wholefoods as their life choice though has nothing but my highest admiration.

Good luck on your journey
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:32 PM   #5  
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For the most part, I've been consistently trying to eat a more paleo diet (with fewer and fewer processed foods including most grains).

I like eating that way, and I really don't miss most processed foods. I do use sugar substitutes and sugar free jello and Crystal Light drink mixes and diet soda (definitely not paleo, but sanity savers for me).

I don't care about most junk food one way or the other, and if I could afford a private chef to do all the work, I wouldn't mind a 99% whole-food, even paleo diet (though I do want the occasional serving of quinoa, wild rice or other high-protein grain and the occasional sweet potato - and I'm not giving up my artificial sweetened drinks and jello)...

but I don't have a personal chef, and a tasty whole-food diet is very time consuming. In the summer, I don't mind because I have the time and the energy. However, in fall, winter, and early spring I usually have a lot of high-pain days (due to fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other health issues), and I get very lazy.

I've already started experiencing the "bad days" and I've decided to try something new (The Simple Diet, based on the book of the same name. It relies heavily on processed foods: 3 shakes, 2 frozen meals, and 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies).

I am making some of the meals myself, and use unflavored, undenatured whey protein (from a local dairy), and homemade yogurt for the shakes - but it's still a lot more processed foods than I'd eat in an ideal world.

Most of the processed foods I do eat, I choose for convenience rather than taste preference. There are only a few "junk" treats that I like, and most of them I like TOO much to keep in the house (kettle chips as an example. When I do buy them, I buy them in a single serving package - because otherwise no matter what size I buy it ends up being a single serving package).

Going back to eating more processed foods (in The Simple Diet) does seem like "backsliding" to me in so,me ways, but I figure that life always ends up being about compromises - and right now, I'm willing to sacrifice freshness and "wholeness" for convenience and almost no food prep.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:41 PM   #6  
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Definitely not. I dont remember the last time I bought packaged cookies, chips, this or that. Ive learned that the most nutrition comes from things that are as least processed as possible.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:48 PM   #7  
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you know what? i thought about this recently. towards my lowest weight (but not size) about 9 lbs lower then where i am right now, i was eating almost 99% clean, excluding "calorie freebies" such as hot sauce, coke zero, splenda, jello, etc. i was eating about 1-2 servings of "high protein grains" - ex quinoa, buckwheat etc. i was eating almost NO bread, no cookies, no snack foods, and maybe 2 servings of dairy a week (outside of the skim milk in my 3x -5x daily coffees lol). i was also eating VERY few healthy fats (ex avocados, nuts, coconut oil/reg oil), no cheese.

the thing is? i caved and developed a little binging issue. irony? i developed a almost bi-weekly fixation with eating a pint of ice cream. ben and jerrys. unmentionable flavours. then i moved home after living alone for 5 years, where bread, butter, deli cheeses, deli meats, and other delicious things were in abundance. there i developed a large binging issue. on those exact items i was not eating.

now, i have actually began to incorporate some bread, some grains, some cheese/dairy protein like babybells, ff cottage cheese, chobani yogurts, etc. slow digesting (non meaty) proteins. i have also been eating 2-3-4 rice cakes a day. these give me my carb-load, slow digesting protein, little bit of fat, and they stop my desire to go for the high fatty foods.

maybe it's a personal lack of balance, but it could also be an issue of going too far, and needing far more self control that i have, or that i am willing to exert.

i think eating processed foods in moderation is perfectly fine. it's impossible to be perfect all of the time, and lets face it, knowing that you can have just that little bit is exceptionally satisfying!
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:50 PM   #8  
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Just had a bowl of Cheerios. I rarely eat processed foods because they don't seem to fill me up, but I do eat them.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:25 PM   #9  
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ALL food is processed. Most food is packaged. Even the stuff in the outer perimeter of your grocery store. Produce is picked, cleaned, waxed, shined, packaged into boxes and shipped. It doesn't come off the tree with a little Dole sticker on it. I live in a very rural area and not a lot of our stores even have butchers anymore. Tyson, Perdue, JennyO and workers in grocery warehouses or meat packing plants process our meat and put it in little styrofoam packages or bags or worse yet plastic chubs. Milk is homogenized, pasteurized, fortified with vitamins. Not real sure about the eggs...but before they are packaged I think they expose it to a bright light for purification??? Point being...unless you are going to buy a farm and raise/grow/butcher your own plants and animals it is pretty much unavoidable. I guess you could go full out Doomsday Prepper; but not the kind that fills a room with 30 years worth of Campbell's vegetable soup and Hormel chili.

Ok...not really trying to be a smart mouth. I don't have a food budget that is as big as the national deficit. Sometimes I have to buy food that comes in bags, boxes, aluminum cans, the freezer section, etc. I have 3 kids (two are teenagers) I can't afford to buy several gallons of $8 raw, organic milk each week. For that matter, I can't afford a lot of special diet foods that are just for me and not for family meals. Fresh produce is pretty much limited to whatever is in season AND on sale in the ad. That and whatever green leafy stuff I can find that isn't $5 per pound. We have to have some of that "filler" stuff. I really make an effort to buy ingredients to make things as opposed to snacks that come in boxes.

But, sometimes the budget or convenience wins and I buy things like a bag of tortilla chips for the homemade salsa. Or, crackers to put in the homemade soups and chili. Low carb tortillas are another one we buy regularly. I can and have made chips, tortillas, bread and crackers before but my time is not endless. I really try to limit white carbs...so not much of this stuff makes it in my cart. You won't find me buying Cheez-its or Teddy Grahams too often because I would SOOOO eat the whole box, possibly even on the 30 minute trip home from the store.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:26 PM   #10  
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I do reduce the processed food but cutting them? No. Just because you are dieting doesn't mean you have to eat like a monk. I think what more important is to count the daily calorie consumption.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:30 PM   #11  
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Originally Posted by GotothegymOKAY View Post
I know there are tons of people who'd be horrified to hear this, because it's a classic lesson that you should stop eating those things regularly if you are trying to lose weight. But I don't know, it hasn't really stopped my weight loss.
Whatever is sustainable is the best eating plan, as far as I'm concerned. I've never liked overly processed foods like Cheezits or packaged dinners. Didn't eat them before, don't eat them now. While nothing is off limits to me, I actually prefer the taste of whole home-cooked foods. I do eat stuff like breakfast cereal and premade pasta sauce on occasion -- and movie popcorn, of course.

My challenge has always been quantity. I would love to be able to eat 4,000 cals per day without gaining and could easily do it! But for now, I would rather be slender and healthy.

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Old 10-24-2012, 11:46 PM   #12  
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Depends how processed we're talking. I love wheat thins and cereal but crap like hamburger helper and chef boyardee? *Gag*
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:47 PM   #13  
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I don't, no. Most of them are huge triggers for me and cause cravings for days after I eat them. The only real packaged food I've eaten in the past week, for example, is roasted seaweed, some pepperoni, and two pieces of candy (dark chocolate and a SF truffle, as a treat). That's really about as processed as I get, which isn't very. When I'm off plan it's a different story, and I crave the packaged junk so badly! But when I've detoxed off I'm happy with a 90-95% whole foods diet on a daily basis, with the occasional treat worked in. But the packaged food are all in controlled portions and foods I can do in moderation, with no big trigger for me.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:47 AM   #14  
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I definitely still eat processed food like canned tomatoes, baked beans, tuna, sardines, condiments (mayo, mustard, humus, soy sauce, vinegar etc), chocolate, white grains, sugar substitute etc. I wouldn't say that's ALL I eat but I get my processed calories in daily without a second thought to it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:08 AM   #15  
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Originally Posted by toastedsmoke View Post
I definitely still eat processed food like canned tomatoes, baked beans, tuna, sardines, condiments (mayo, mustard, humus, soy sauce, vinegar etc), chocolate, white grains, sugar substitute etc. I wouldn't say that's ALL I eat but I get my processed calories in daily without a second thought to it.
This reminds me that "processed" is very much in the mind of the beholder.

I don't consider canned tomatoes or canned fish or chicken "processed foods" even though they technically are (minimally processed I would argue, but still processed).

I don't stress at all over whole-processed foods. Frozen or canned veggies and meats... where the only added ingredients are herbs, spices, and salt (I tend to have very low blood sodium levels, so my doctor actually will encourage me to add salt if the blood levels get too low).

Condiments I also don't worry about because I use them in such small amounts, and I'm definitely not going to learn to make my own soy sauce (ketchup maybe... then again maybe not).

I do now make my own yogurt (though some folks considered all pasteurized dairy products from milk to cheese - processed foods).

I make my own jerky, but because of the high salt levels (despite what I said about salt earlier, jerky is an acception) I do consider even my own jerky highly "processed."

Some folks don't consider home-baked goods processed foods, but I do, because nothing like brownies grow on trees.

I consider most flours even whole grain flours highly processed - some people don't.

Processed really is in the eye of the beholder.

Last edited by kaplods; 10-25-2012 at 01:12 AM.
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