WHAT IS CLEAN EATING?!?!?!
Ok – so maybe that’s a little simplified – but clean eating doesn’t have to be difficult or boring!!!
Eating clean is a lifestyle, not a diet. Diets require you to restrict yourself. I know from personal experience too much restriction sets you up for failure. Tell me I can’t have something and I will have twice as much just for spite! Here is my 80/20 formula I follow regularly. Eat clean and healthy 80% of the time and allow indulgence 20% (or less). One suggestion I can give you is to eat healthy 100% spot on during the week and allow yourself a cheat meal on the weekend. Your cheat should be in moderation, you don’t want to go overboard, but enjoy a favorite food so you don’t feel deprived.
So what is clean eating? It is eating fresh, non-processed foods that have the least ingredients possible. So your fresh fruits/veggies- are clean because they have no preservatives in them. Fresh meat, the leaner, the better, frozen is fine also. You’ll want to avoid processed foods, particularly white flour, sugar, artificial sweeteners, foods with preservatives, colas, avoid or limit alcohol intake.
The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time. Remember, 80 % of your weight loss is dependent upon the food you eat. If you workout every day and eat unhealthy, you cannot expect to get great results. Your results come from the time, energy, and dedication you put into exercise and eating!
Why Eat Clean?
There are numerous reasons why I can suggest you may want to try clean eating:
- Feel good about yourself
- Reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and many other diseases
- Have more energy
- Reduce the large percentage of obesity
- Save money on fad diets that do not keep your weight off
- Live a longer life for your husband, children, significant other, and family
You may have heard the saying “you are what you eat” well I suggest you take that literally!!! It is really something to think about. If you eat cheeseburgers every day, your body is going to look and feel like one. If you fill your body with vegetables, your going to most likely feel good, have energy, and the scale will likely reflect that!
How to Eat Clean:
Easier said than done right?!?! While some people may benefit most from going “cold turkey” and totally ridding their bodies of the processed junk its used to…others have success doing things on a more gradual level. Whatever suits YOU is best but just remember – this is not temporary!!!
- Drink your body weight/2 in ounces – EVERY DAY. So if you weight 150 pounds you should drink AT LEAST 75 ounces of water daily.
- Limit your alcohol intake to one glass of antioxidant-rich red wine a day.
- Eat five to six times a day- Eat every 2-3 hours. Three meals and two to three small snacks. Include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.
- NEVER miss a meal, ESPECIALLY breakfast!! Eating breakfast keeps the body nourished while providing energy. The body does not run well on poor fuel!
Tip: enjoy a cup of warm to hot lemon water first thing in the morning, combine the juice of ½ a fresh lemon with warm water. This will help you lose weight, keep you hydrated, improve your digestion, flush toxins and up your vitamin C! Further rev your metabolism by adding a pinch of ground cinnamon and ginger.
- Carry a cooler loaded with clean-eating foods to get you through the day (if you have the food handy, no excuse for stopping at fast food, pop machine/candy machine or eating other unhealthy food). One of my biggest tips is to always pack veggies when you’re out running errands. If that’s all you have you have to eat them – or – starve 🙂
- Get label savvy- Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients. Any product with a long ingredient list is human-made and not considered clean.
- Know thy enemies- Steer clear of anything high in saturated and trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar.
- Avoid processed and refined foods- This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy complex carbohydrates such as whole grains instead.
- Avoid calorie-dense food that has no nutritional value
- Reduce your carbon footprint- Eat produce that is seasonal and local. It is less taxing on your wallet and our environment.Consume healthy fats- Try to have essential fatty acids, or EFAs, every day.
- Depend on fresh fruits and veggies for fiber, vitamins, and enzymes
- Fats– Your diet should include 20-30% of fats from your daily food intake. Avoid trans fats completely. Saturated fats is not completely bad for you and should have 30 grams or less per day.
Monounsaturated fat Polyunsaturated fat
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
- Peanut butter
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
- Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
- Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
- Stick margarine
- Vegetable shortening
- Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
- Candy bars
- Slow down and savor- Never rush through a meal. Food tastes best when savored. Enjoy every bite!
- Make it a family affair- Food is a social glue that should be shared with loved ones. Improve the quality of your family’s life along with your own.
- Proteins– You should have a protein in each meal. Your body can handle 25 grams of protein with each meal.
- Carbohydrates– You should have between 2-4 servings of complex carbs from grains, bread, and starches per day. When it comes to complex carbs such as fruits and veges, you should have one serving with each meal, which comes out to 6 servings per day
Going grocery shopping can be a challenge.
My biggest advice:
It is important to make a list so you know what your looking for and only get what is one your list. You save money this way. Also, there is nothing wrong with buying the off brand food- it is still the same thing!! Frozen is also fine to use, just do not go for canned food! High is sodium and other additives!! Sometimes, it may seem difficult to eat clean, but having cookbooks handy, such as “The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook” by Tosca Reno or “The Best of Clean Eating” from the Clean Eating Magazine, are some great books with amazing recipes for you and the family!! Water is another big factor that plays a part of your weight loss. Water helps with suppressing your appetite, helps with digestion and relieving the “bloating” feeling people get quite often, flushes the toxins out of your body, and also helps with those cravings! If you take your weight and divide by 2, you should be drinking that in ounces each day. Now that does not count if you are pop or coffee drinkers, then you will need additional!! But why bother putting all that caffeine and artificial flavors/sweeteners when you are trying to flush the toxins out of your body? Try to stick to just water… it helps tremendously.. and if you are use to caffeine intake and need more energy, try using lemon water, especially first thing in the morning and can be drank through out the day. Also, using green tea is awesome to help with your cravings (especially at night) and is made of all natural ingredients! I promise you, if you get rid of the coffee and pop, or even cut down at least in half, you will notice a big difference with your feelings of bloat and cravings for more caffeine and junk!! In taking artificial sweeteners only makes you crave more, so get rid of it all together!!