How a Diet of Processed Foods Leads to Body Fat That Is Hard to Lose

How a Diet of Processed Foods Leads to Body Fat That Is Hard to Lose0The booming business of processed meals, snacks, and beverages has surged over the past 50 years. Convenience foods with chemical ingredients replace traditional home-cooked meals. Snack foods promote excess calorie consumption. Sweet beverages increase your appetite. These products are charged with flavor and entice you to eat more and more.

Processed Foods Increase Appetite

Processed foods and beverages are high in refined carbohydrates, industrialized fats, and/or sodium. Both human and animal studies show that these ingredients cause overeating, adding hundreds of unnecessary calories to the diet.

Companies invent flavors with the goal of producing a highly palatable taste that will make a strong impact and a quick exit. Texture, taste, smell, and appearance work together to increase the appetite and ensure your return for more. This creates an addiction.

Like drugs of abuse, these products stimulate reward centers in the brain. Properties that aren’t found in nature produce these heightened reward signals that promote binge eating.

Processed Foods Increase Body Fat

These factors interfere with your body’s leptin signals. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in body fat tissue. It regulates the balance between nutrient intake and appetite. When your body gets enough to eat, leptin sends messages to the brain to let you know that it’s time to stop eating.

The high palatability of processed foods interrupts leptin’s messaging system. When these messages are restricted, your body doesn’t feel satisfied, even after sufficient calories have been consumed. Caloric intake increases along with fat production. As fat mass increases, leptin’s signals need to be stronger in order to curb the appetite.

Fat is difficult to lose because the body wants to hold on to it. Working against your body is challenging. The most effective way is to eat high-quality foods that are found in nature.

Meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts in the diet help bring your body back into balance. Consuming refined carbohydrates and industrialized vegetable oils make it tougher to lose fat.

Processed foods and beverages are created to make you go back for more. They stimulate reward centers in the brain and interrupt leptin’s signals that end your appetite. These factors create an addiction that makes it difficult to stop eating. The only way to stop this chain of events is to eat a high-quality diet of real foods.



Safer, Morley. “Tweaking Tastes and Creating Cravings.” 60 Minutes. CBS News, 27 Nov. 2011. Web. 20 Apr. 2012.

Sørensen, L. B., P. Møller, A. Flint, M. Martens, and A. Raben. “Effect of Sensory Perception of Foods on Appetite and Food Intake: A Review of Studies on Humans.” International Journal of Obesity 27.10 (2003): 1152-166. Print.

Le Merrer, J. “Food-Induced Behavioral Sensitization, Its Cross-Sensitization to Cocaine and Morphine, Pharmacological Blockade, and Effect on Food Intake.” Journal of Neuroscience 26.27 (2006): 7163-171. Print.

Sclafani, A. “The Relationship between Food Reward and Satiation Revisited.” Physiology & Behavior 82.1 (2004): 84-95. Print.


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