The Worst Processed Foods List

The Worst Processed Foods List

Surely few people these days can claim to be unaware of how bad eating processed foods can be. A diet laden with large amounts of processed food is likely to reduce the chances of good health and increase the amount of body fat.

This article gives you the worst processed foods list so you know what to avoid.

Processed food is typified by the use of artificial ingredients, refined ingredients, and has been created using a chemical process. Here we list the worst processed foods that you may not be aware of…

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Sugary Drinks

Drinks high in sugar are one of the worst sources of sugar in most people’s diets.

When you consume large amounts of sugar it increases your cravings for more sugary foods, and eating large amounts of sugar can ultimately lead to many diseases not just obesity. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure are just a few of the associated illnesses.


Processed Meat

Meat, in general, can make up part of your healthy diet, processed meats, on the other hand, will not. Processed meats will often contain additives to make them last longer on the shelves, as you might have guessed these additives aren’t a great addition to your diet.


Cookies and Cakes

Cakes and cookies are delicious to eat, but we know full well they’re not a good dietary choice. They contain a little in the way of nutrients and are very calorific. Add to that a lot of refined sugar and trans fats, making these treats something to avoid.


White Bread

The nutrients that at one point were contained in the wheat flour has all but been removed in the refining process, leaving you with no nutritional benefits.

Whole grain bread is a better choice.


Low-fat Yogurt

Yogurt is a healthy choice, right? Not necessarily, many yogurts that make claim to be healthy are actually packed full of sugar.

Often extra sugar is added to make up for the reduced fat content, and if the yogurt has been pasteurized the good bacteria will have been removed.


Ice Cream

Ice cream is low in nutrition and high in sugar, so clearly a bad choice for a healthy diet. Larger portions also don’t help matters, but it’s just so tasty.

A healthy alternative would be to make your own with less sugar or adding sweetener instead.


French Fries and Potato Chips

Eating chips or fries has long been associated with increasing weight, and unfortunately, there isn’t a way to make them healthy. A better alternative is raw carrot or nuts.

The roasting or frying of potatoes causes a carcinogen to form and is best avoided, though boiling doesn’t cause this to happen.

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Fruit Juice

You would think that drinking fruit juice is a healthy option, but unfortunately, they contain high levels of sugar and therefore need to be reduced or removed from consumption.


Processed Cheese

Processed cheese is often made from un-fermented dairy by-products and may not contain any actual cheese. Other ingredients may include sugar, salt, and food coloring, which make it easy to see why this isn’t a good thing to add to your diet.


Agave Nectar

This sweetener may appear to be a healthy option, but in reality, it contains more fructose than you would expect. Fructose has been linked to an increase in the likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes.



Pizza is an obvious unhealthy food which is high in calories and made with ingredients which are frequently processed. If you want a healthy pizza make your own, using better ingredients than your local pizza parlor would.


Fast Food

Another obviously bad food, which is popular because it’s very tasty and very cheap. It is, however, a false economy, you will pay later with worse health and a higher chance of chronic disease.


Vegetable Oils

The rise in the use of refined vegetable oils has been linked to increases in cancer rates. Better to use olive, avocado or coconut oil.


Candy Bars

These sugary treats aside from being packed with sugar, contain refined wheat flour and other low nutritional value ingredients. Unfortunately, a high sugar food such as this doesn’t reduce hunger it just increases your body’s demand for more sugar.

Dark chocolate is a good alternative snack.



Margarine has been created to mimic butter as closely as possible without actually being butter and as a consequence is packed with lots of bad things. These include refined vegetable oils and trans fats which you’ll want to steer clear of, better just to buy butter.


Sweetened Coffee Drinks

Coffee by itself can actually have a beneficial effect on your health, containing antioxidants and can reduce your chances of getting diabetes. As long as you don’t add sugar and cream it’s not an unhealthy choice.


Low Carbohydrate Junk Food

There has been a recent increase in the sale of low carbohydrate junk foods, which unfortunately contain little in the way of nutrition, but contain a lot of bad refined ingredients instead. Best to avoid them.


What Makes Processed Foods No Good for Us?

What Makes Processed Foods No Good for Us?

They are designed to taste great first and foremost, which means chemicals are used to create a nicer eating experience.

As you can imagine, these chemicals are unlikely to be nutritionally good for you. A cocktail of chemicals which is used to create an unnatural flavor isn’t really likely to also be a healthy choice too.

Not only are processed foods low in nutrients, but they’re unlikely to contain any natural source of fiber either, with many vitamins and minerals being removed during the refining processes also.

Refined carbohydrates tend to be a common feature of processed foods, and high levels of carbohydrates from an unnatural source do clearly not make for a healthy diet.

Processed foods normally also contain high levels of sugar, trans fats, and refined vegetable oils. None of these ingredients are something you should be indulging in for a healthy lifestyle.

Overall it seems clear, that eating large quantities of processed foods will lead to a much less healthy and likely shorter life.

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Eating Chips Everyday – Are French Fries Bad?

Eating Chips Everyday - Are French Fries Bad?

Running a health blog that remains interesting to the public, month after month, is a pretty hard job (believe me!). When I first launched this site I was determined to stay away from the ‘health fluff’ most of my predecessors had relied upon.

Let’s be honest here – how many times have you read a rehashed article on low carbohydrate dieting or the benefits of a Paleo lifestyle?

It sometimes seems as though one person publishes an excellent health article…only for the rest of the crowd to completely plagiarise it…time and time again.

So a lot of my time is spent searching out new and INTERESTING health topics – I try and think outside the box to keep this site as fresh (and popular) as possible.

A recent visit to a reasonably popular forum highlighted a really interesting post on eating chips everyday, and this post led me to an even more interesting article in The Independent newspaper…

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So, Are French Fries Bad For You?

Okay, before we go any further I should point out that ‘chips’ in the UK are what the Americans refer to as ‘french fries’ – we are not talking about the crispy bags of potato chips here – we are talking about the deep fried babies that go with your burger from McDonald’s.

Now that we’ve managed to clear that up…

The article of interest from The Independent carried the shocking news that ‘Eating chips (or ‘french fries’ if you are in the US) more than twice a week can double your risk of dying’.

With a headline like that I just had to dive in deeper….

The Fried Potato Problem

We all know that the good old fried potato can hurt our waistline but the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s latest report goes one step further.

Their studies highlighted the fact that over a period of eight years – people who regularly ate fried potatoes were twice as likely to die.

The tests were carried out on a group of individuals aged between 45 and 79, there were 4,440 of them in all. When the eight year period was up, 236 of the participants had died.

Now I don’t want to cause a panic here – this test was only taken out on the FRIED POTATO choices available – I’m not saying potatoes as a whole are bad for you. Think of french fries, hash browns, crisps (chips in the US), and wedges.

Various Forms of Chips or French Fries

The group of scientists involved in this eight year study claim that the age and sex of the participants had nothing to do with outcome of the fatalities.

They also pointed out that other factors including obesity, avoiding exercise and high salt consumption may also have contributed to the deaths.

Why Are French Fries So Bad For You?

Well the most obvious answer to this question is the bad fats that chips/french fries contain.

There’s no getting away from the fact that frying your foods is super-tasty – way more tasty than every other form of cooking (come on – be honest with yourself here!).

Unfortunately, bad fat or saturated fat is what turns a potato into a time bomb for cancer, heart disease and diabetes… and how many take away joints do you know that fry their chips in healthy olive oil???


Chips (or french fries) are also full of the worst kind of carbohydrates for your body. Now, as I pointed out above in the previous section – potatoes in their natural form are not necessarily bad for you…it’s the way we choose to cook them that turns them into a health nightmare.

Are French Fries really That Bad?

And how many of you reading this like your fries plain and boring?

The cooking process is bad enough…but we then pile on a load of salt for taste purposes – fries without salt are just not fries in my book!

Most of the ‘big boy’ fast food joints, like McDonald’s or Burger King etc, actually add the salt before handing the carton of fries over – you have no choice in the matter!

Diets that are high in salt increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, which can lead to heart and kidney disease and stroke.

A regular portion of fast food fries usually contains about 600 milligrams of sodium – nearly 1/3 of the recommended daily intake.

Eating Chips Everyday

So what are your views on this new study and it’s results – do you really think that eating fries/chips twice a week ‘doubles your chance of death’?

I would be really interested to hear your views on this subject, please leave them in the comment section below.

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MSG Food Side Effects

MSG Food Side Effects

In the following article, we will deal with MSG food side effects. In order to do that we will answer the questions…

What is MSG, how does it get into our food and finally what are the effects of MSG on the human body?

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What is MSG?

MSG is the compound with the chemical name monosodium glutamate. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is safe.

How and Why is MSG Found in Food?

MSG is used widely as a food additive because it enhances the flavor of food. Common users of this method include restaurants and food packagers.

MSG In Food

What Are The Effects of MSG on The Human Body?

Finally, we will look at a brief historical perspective and summary of reported scientific evidence on the interactions of MSG with the functions and wholeness of the human body.

Some people have reported their experiences of negative repercussions from the consumption of foods with this food additive. This is all in spite of the “safe labeling” by the FDA.

The earliest such negative experiences, brought into the light in an official context, date back all the way to 1968.

The main ones recorded were heart palpitations, loss of physical strength as well numbness of the arms and the back of the neck.

Almost three decades later, in 1995, a compilation of negative effects from the food addictive monosodium glutamate was released.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology was behind this work under the instruction of the FDA.

The content of the compilation was a list of suspected negative effects from eating foods enhanced with the food additive MSG. These listed symptoms were very extensive.

They included everything from headaches and nausea to drowsiness and weakness as well as issues like burning sensations in the upper body, numbness in the back and shoulder areas, discomfort of the face and other discomfort and pain of the upper body including the heart and chest specifically.

The combined group of negative effects from MSG consumption was termed by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, or FASEB, the MSG symptom complex.

The consumption of foods with the additive MSG has been linked to the occurrence of asthma attacks. The above referenced report by FASEB in 1995 inferred that MSG may induce asthmatic attacks in a small portion of asthma sufferers.

MSG and asthma

This stemmed from two research efforts previously conducted which looked at the MSG intake of individuals with asthma.

It should be noted that the FASEB writers cited some shortcomings in the study methods.

Studies that have followed have not provided conclusive evidence for this link.

A May 2009 review in “Clinical and Experimental Allergy” used evidence to judge that the reality of MSG-activated asthma is yet to be confirmed beyond doubt and further study is needed to ascertain a possible connection between MSG and asthma.

We will now look at the issues of swelling and nasal complications…

Additional reported negative effects of MSG are, among others, external rashes and swelling, blockage of the nose, itching and sneezing.

The writers of the May 2009 study in “Clinical and Experimental Allergy” assented with previous results and reached a deduction that MSG may infrequently cause hives and epidermal swelling in individuals responsive to the food enhancer.

Additionally, the writers observed that a fraction of the occurrences of nasal manifestations perhaps connected to MSG intake have been detailed.

For the small group of people concerned, nasal manifestations vanished when they observed a dietary regime that did not include additives.

Finally, we will discuss the start time and overall time period that people have been known to experience the negative effects of MSG consumption.

The potential negative effects within MSG symptom complex reportedly come into effect from 15 to 30 minutes of ingesting MSG, eventually dissipating naturally before 2 hours has passed.

For the infrequent occurrences when asthma attacks could have been associated with ingesting meals that carry MSG, symptoms were observed within an hour to 12 of ingesting the food.

In a small number of studies conducted with individuals suffering from chronic hives, the ingestion of MSG activated epidermal responses within an hour to 24 in a fractional group of individuals with noticeable responsiveness to the MSG additive.

And so, we now have a summary of the historical background and scientific research behind MSG food side effects.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.

Curb Late Night Snacking

Curb Late Night Snacking

How to curb late night snacking? That seems to be the question of many a mind. Just stop eating they say! The answer to this dilemma may not be as simple though.

Reasons Why We Eat at Night: The scientific explanation states that our hunger is controlled via the secretion of hormones in a pattern known as the Circadian Rhythm.

This causes us to crave starches and sugars around the hour of eight pm.

This may have been useful for our ancestors back in the day enabling them to store fat at times when food was not so abundant but isn’t applicable today.

So how can we stop?

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1) Routines (Make Them or Break Them!)

Many of us work the basic nine to five which means evenings to us represent a time in which to relax or catch up on chores and errands.

Evening hours tend to be less structured than at work and so it leaves room for our hands to wander into the random potato chip bag.

Try multitasking.

Instead of ravaging around in a bowl of popcorn while enjoying your favorite TV sitcom, try folding laundry, or organizing your mail.

Take time to set the table and have sit down dinner. This aids in increased satisfaction and reduced intake while fostering bonds between family members.

Ensure that you have a post dinner routine. After dinner doesn’t always have to come dessert. Try some other pleasurable option to reward yourself for a day of hard work, such as taking the dog for a walk, playing with kids or meeting up with family.

2) Control Your Surroundings

Purge that pantry and those cupboards from all unhealthy options and restock with foods which have good nutritious value. That’s one way to keep your hand out of the cookie jar.

The latest fad in the fitness world seems to be that of ‘meal prep’. Instead of reaching for Chinese takeout on the way home, preparing balanced meals ahead of time is an ideal way to ensure a proper dinner which is only a microwave away.

We live in a world which is dominated by social media. How many of us spend our last waking hours scrolling through our Instagram and Facebook feeds which are inundated everyday with images of food?

Take time to remove some of those temptations so the last thing you see at night isn’t a cheeseburger.

3) Self Love

Take time for yourselves. The most important person is you.

Get enough sleep ensuring that you are well rested on mornings and have time to prepare the most important meal, breakfast.

By having a breakfast packed with proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats, one can keep fuller throughout the day due to the combination of fast and slow release sugars.

Don’t starve.

Yes you may have that next meeting to get to but skipping lunch isn’t the best way to do it. That just puts your hunger into overdrive and before you know it you will be that person scarfing nachos on the interstate on your drive home.

4) Mind Over Matter

Look at food for what it is, not how it makes you feel. Food is meant as a source of fuel for our bodies, helping them to regenerate and work at maximum capacity.

Serious interventions are required for serious problems.

Make yourself accountable to others. Involve friends and family members in your decisions so that your cravings are controlled not only by yourself but by others who want the best for you.

5) Tips And Tricks

Its a long road to recovery so here are some tips to help you get from day to day. When feeling hungry try brushing your teeth or having something minty to reduce your appetite.

Have a glass of water instead of food, since sometimes thirst signals can be mistaken for that of hunger. Set a timer and only allow yourself to snack ten minutes after your craving hits. Chances are you will forget about that sudden urge after only two.

Try to supplement with multivitamins so that your body is well supplied with nutrients and doesn’t crave salt and sweet.

These are just a few ways in which you can curb late night snacking. Its up to you to find out which trick works for you!

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Healthy Eating Plans For Teenagers

Healthy Eating Plans For Teenagers

There are some ‘helpful’ medical web pages on healthy eating plans for teenagers that try and tailor their diet advice to their younger audience but end up being rather simplistic, offering advice that pretty much relates to anyone and that you will have heard hundreds of times before:

If so-called responsible adults find these standard pieces of advice difficult to stick to then there is little point in robotically relaying them to teens, especially when you have your own specific dietary issues to consider.

While it is true that there are many teenagers that are dangerously overweight and in need of guidance on nutrition and healthy eating, it can be just as dangerous to start endorsing specific diets. Dieting and any deliberate attempt to lose weight places a lot of stress on teenagers which is completely unnecessary, especially if you are already dealing with body confidence issues or peer pressure.

This is where eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia can rear their ugly heads. Dietary substitutions for better health, energy levels and general well-being are a much more beneficial approach.

anorexia or bulimia in teenagers

Here we will try and teach you about some of the more helpful healthy eating habits for teens, such as key vitamins and minerals that you may have deficiencies in and meal planning, to give you some more practical advice.

Potential deficiencies that could affect a teenage diet…

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D

Iron is a mineral that is especially important for teenage girls. Your teenage lethargy is not always a case of attitude, despite what some adults say, because many girls can feel run down due to a lack of iron. These levels can alter significantly during your menstrual cycle and this may be something that you are still getting used to.

Red meat is the traditional approach to increased iron levels but this isn’t always the ideal source if you are more drawn to processed meat and fast food than a prime cut of beef. There are breakfast cereals that are now forcibly fortified with iron, along with some other minerals and vitamins, but it might be worth simply supplementing a diet with iron tablets. As for that calcium for those growing bones, this is easily fixed with milk, yogurt and other dairy goods.

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Important Meal Planning For Teenagers

When you are a teenager you are at a tricky age; old enough to go out and buy all the unhealthy snacks and fast food you might want on a weekend or lunch break but young enough to still be at school and need some supervision with meals. If you have the focus and drive to enjoy the following healthy eating habits for teens, you can then enjoy a much healthier, more beneficial diet and hopefully see the rewards.

  • A strong, energy rich breakfast
  • A healthy lunch
  • A balanced dinner

Breakfast can be tricky because many teens, yourself probably included, feel the urge to rush out the door without sitting down with their siblings but if you can start the day with a good breakfast you could not only take in many of those key nutrients mentioned above but also stop yourself from feeling tired and uninspired in the classroom.

It is important to be able to focus in your morning lessons to pass those upcoming exams and a simple bowl of fortified cereal or some yogurt and berries can make a surprising difference. Lunchtime is when you really have to be committed to this new regime because the school cafeteria is not always a haven of healthy eating.


Where possible, take a packed lunch so you can be sure of healthier options in your sandwiches and maybe some fruit. Also, try and get involved in that aspect of the food shopping so your parents can understand which foods are best for you and which you would actually enjoy eating – the more enjoyable a healthy eating diet is the easier it is to stick to.

This approach also applies to dinner and if you can try new vegetables and recipes with non-processed meats you can have a meal that is delicious, unusual and beneficial for your health.


Does This Mean no Junk Food?

Junk food and fast food are bad for you but if your goal is simply to eat healthier and ensure that you have a more balanced diet, a little bit is OK as long as you balance it with the good stuff.

Some chocolate or crisps as a treat at the end of the school week is a nice little reward but on a daily basis they can mess up your energy levels and increase the chances of weight gain if you rely on them everyday.

Junk food and teenagers

Also, you don’t want to have to keep saying no if your friends all want to meet up and eat at a fast food joint. If they are keen to join you in your new healthy eating regime it could be fun to try out a different sandwich or salad bar but if they are set on the usual burgers and chips you could be slightly healthier by saying yes to the salad and gherkins, no to the cheese and swapping the sugary soda for juice or water.

A healthy teenage diet takes focus but it doesn’t have to be a punishment…

A successful healthy eating regime always comes down to discipline and a drive to see the benefits so it is best to focus on making changes where they are most practical, to try to make the new diet a bit more fun and not to be too hard on yourself.

If you work at this approach to energy-rich meal planning, get more involved in food choices and cooking and make small changes with the nutrients you take in and the fast food you eat, you should find that healthy eating plans for teenagers are both manageable and beneficial.

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Losing Weight Eating Junk Food

Losing Weight Eating Junk Food

On the surface, the theory that one can lose weight by eating junk food is quite absurd. For many individuals who are overweight, obese, or simply not in their preferred shape, many of their problems stem from the overconsumption of junk food.

If this is the case, then how could continuing to eat junk food solve any of these problems?

First off, we need to identify what constitutes “junk food” in the first place. We know, of course, that food items like candy, chips, and soda are primary examples of junk food. Simply put, junk food is essentially a pejorative term for food that contains little or no vitamins, minerals or protein, while simultaneously containing excessive amounts of calories from either the sugar or fat in the food product that you are consuming.

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If you plan on consuming junk food, make sure to read the nutritional label on the side; it really does serve a good purpose. With all of these negatives surrounding junk food and its unhealthy nature, it seems impossible to fathom someone potentially losing weight by consuming junk food.

Has anyone ever done it before?

If you’ve been following the news closely for the past several months or years, chances are you’ve heard of John Cisna. For those of you who haven’t, or need a refresher on what was significant about that name, Cisna is a science teacher in the Colo-Nesco Community School District in Iowa.

Back in January, Cisna announced that he dropped nearly 40 pounds in 90 days by only eating at McDonalds. The experiment was actually quite simple: he had his students design a daily diet plan at McDonald’s that stayed under the 2,000 calorie daily limit (as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration dictates as a “healthy daily caloric intake”).

losing weight eating fast food

Cisna then proceeded to follow these guidelines for 90 days, adding in 45 minutes of daily walking. He noted that his typical daily meals consisted of two breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal for breakfast; for lunch: a salad and fruit parfait, and some sort of value meal for dinner (typically a cheeseburger or chicken sandwich), and french fries. He also noted, however, that he would interchange some items, and would go for an ice cream cone or sundae at times.

This was the most intriguing part of the experiment; he didn’t side more towards McDonald’s “healthier options”; he didn’t shy away from the burgers, chicken sandwiches or desserts, generally considered the most “unhealthy” of McDonald’s menu items, and yet he still obtained considerable success in his experiment.

His results were so good that he elongated his experiment, and he ended up losing 61 pounds in 6 months, and his cholesterol level dropped significantly! This, of course, landed him national attention, including a position as an ambassador for McDonald’s, and he wrote a novel, entitled “My McDonald’s Diet”.

Cisna also noted that the point of this experiment was about learning portion control, and that it doesn’t matter what you eat, so long as you balance it out and stay within a reasonable caloric intake level.

This is a good and hopeful story, of course, but it’s simply one out of millions of people who struggled with weight and hoped to fix it through such means. On the opposite side of the scale was the story of Morgan Spurlock, the author of the book and documentary “Supersize Me”.

Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock

Spurlock gained almost 25 pounds and his cholesterol skyrocketed in only 30 days of conducting the experiment, and he also noted a severe draining of energy, multiple bouts with nausea and overall sickness, and a loss of sexual energy, as both he and his girlfriend note in the documentary.

It took him 14 months to lose all that weight and lower his cholesterol. Spurlock’s experiment proved to be part of a rapidly growing movement to help prompt fast food companies everywhere shift the focus off of “super sizing” and more towards providing healthier options. This experiment, for many, is more accurate of one’s experiences with both fast food and junk food in general that Cisna’s experiment is.

Ultimately, it appears that this “debate” boils down to one’s will power and strength. Junk food in and of itself is not necessarily a very bad thing. If you work out and generally eat healthy, a Snickers bar or a Mountain Dew isn’t going to make any sizable impact on your overall health.

The big issue is convenience. For today’s “on-the-go” individual, which is more convenient to travel with: a cheeseburger or homemade salad? Maybe for some people, it isn’t a problem to bring a salad with them, but most people have neither the time, patience, or in some cases, money to make that decision.

That 99 cent cheeseburger and bottle of Coke won’t ruin your health, but what if you travel a lot and stay dormant, unable to get exercise? All those trips and cheeseburger-Coke combos add up, causing an increase in weight and an increase in health issues.

Burgers And Fries

Given these preexisting issues – and I’m fairly certain that we have all had encounters with them at some point – Cisna’s success certainly gives everyone hope. The notion that maintaining or attaining a state of good health comes down to control has its merit, and has been proven before.

It seems that exercise plays a pivotal role in good health as well; even Cisna walked 45 minutes per day in addition to his food consumption. Also, some protein bars have a chocolate coating, which adds to the caloric content of the protein bar, but adds taste. That doesn’t necessarily make the protein bar unhealthy for you.

Overall, the debate on whether one can potentially lose weight by consuming junk food is intriguing. No one is arguing that tearing into a bag of Doritos with reckless abandon and sitting around all day is good for you; finding a key balance is essential to losing weight.

As mentioned earlier, will power and strength are key. How badly do you want to lose the weight? It is amazing what the human mind is capable of when it is set on something, and if you dedicate yourself to finding that perfect balance, eating a cheeseburger or two shouldn’t prevent you from shedding away those pounds!

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