Making the decision to improve your health by dropping a few pounds is a big deal. But the laundry list of foods you should and should not eat can be confusing. Here are some tips to remember when you are eating healthy to lose weight.

Eat Organic Meats, Poultry, Eggs and Produce

The guidelines for foods that are grown and raised organically are far more stringent than the requirements for industrial meats and produce. Industrial farmers use growth hormones in their animals so they grow bigger and produce more milk.

Antibiotics are regularly used to combat diseases and infections in industrially raised livestock. As a precautionary measure, these antibiotics are used even when the livestock are healthy. Farmers also add dead animal parts to their animal feed because it is an inexpensive means for protein.

When you eat the meat, poultry and eggs from industrial farms, the toxins go right into your body. You don’t have to worry about this with natural meats because organic farmers are not allowed to use hormones in their animals, nor are they allowed to add dead animal parts to their feed.

Antibiotics are only used during organic farming when illness is present. Most of the illnesses and disease in livestock happen as a result of crowded and unsanitary conditions. Since organic farmers are prohibited from keeping their animals in these types of conditions, the use of antibiotics is rarely necessary.

Fruits and vegetables are supposed to be healthy for you. However, produce grown on industrial farms are slathered with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to help prevent diseases, and keep pests at bay.

Pesticides can penetrate produce like bell peppers, peaches, potatoes, strawberries, grapes and celery because they have thin or soft skins. So even when you wash and peel fruits and veggies, the chemicals can still enter your body when you eat them.

When you opt for organic meat, poultry, eggs and produce, you minimize the risk of ingesting hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and other toxins that can endanger your health. 

Avoid Eating Low-Calorie Sweeteners

When you are trying to lose weight, low-calorie sweeteners may seem like a good way to liven up some of your favorite goodies, but these sweeteners can increase your appetite and contribute to weight gain. Low-calorie sweeteners can also contribute to a number of physical and mental health problems including:

• diabetes
• cancer
• mood swings
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Parkinson’s disease
• panic attacks
• migraines
• headaches
• brain tumors
• vertigo
• sensory neuropathy

If you are in the mood for something sweet grab a piece of fruit or use honey or agave syrup in your organic coffee or tea. These foods can satisfy your sugar cravings without the negative impact on your health.

Stay Away From Processed Foods

When you walk down the aisle of any grocery store, you find rows of frozen, dried and boxed foods. These are considered processed foods because they have been altered from their natural state to improve their shelf life and make them more palatable. Some examples of these foods include:

• frozen fish sticks
• chicken nuggets
• bologna and lunch meats
• pastries and cookies
• whole-milk
• cheese
• canned meats
• store-bought juice
• hot dogs
• white bread
• pasta
• cake mix
• frozen pizzas and entrees
• margarine

Processed foods are full of additives that can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, strokes and cancer. Some of the additives you might find in processed foods include ethyl nitrate, hydroxphrenyl-2butanone, ethyl valerbate, methyl anthranilate, dipropyl ketone and amyl valerate.

Making the decision to lose weight is the first step to a healthier you. Make the most of your nutritious meal plan by eating organic foods, staying away from artificial sweeteners, and avoiding processed foods.

Healthy meal plans to lose weight should be realistic and sustainable. Learn how to lose weight and keep it off at