Clean Eating 101

The problem that most people face when they want to lose weight is treating it as a diet. Clean eating has to be a life long process. Diets are short lived and are easy to give up on. Incorporating healthy eating habits into the way you live your everyday life is the only way to lose weight and keep it off. Today we are going to examine some simple changes that you can make.

Think of Food as Fuel

Much like the car you drive, our bodies require fuel which it turns into energy. If you were filling up your gas tank, you wouldn’t put diesel fuel in your unleaded car. The same should go for your body. Many of our cultural celebrations center around enormous meals, so we think food is something it’s not.

Food is not a reward; it is just what your body needs to keep performing its tasks. Many people spend all week in the gym and practicing clean eating habits just to splurge on the weekends. Now we are no suggesting that you never treat yourself. However, constantly changing the fuel you put into your body, can cause unintended consequences.

When you think of food as fuel, you start to realize that it isn’t all about tasting great, and more about the energy the food provides. Carbs and sugars are delicious, but they offer little in the way of nutritional value.

Clean Eating is Not Deprivation

As previously mentioned clean eating is not dieting, it is also not deprivation. In fact, clean eating allows you to eat more throughout your day. Eating lean proteins, veggies, and the right fats allows you to eat more and feel fuller. Clean eating is also not about perfection. If you crave a sweet treat, have a small one. Making better choices doesn’t mean that you can’t let go once in a while. Rewarding yourself can be beneficial, just don’t make a habit out of it.

What Not to Eat

The first thing to avoid is processed foods. Although these items are convenient, you pay for that convenience with your health. These foods contain chemical additives to preserve them, trans-fats, too much salt, and tons of sugar. These foods are already broken down and therefore are quicker to digest therefore you will be hungry quicker.

Sugar is also a big no-no. Sugar can make your body hungrier. The boost of energy that sugar gives you tricks your brain into thinking it needs more fuel. You also want to avoid artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners may not contain sugar, but they affect your brain in the same ways that sugar does.

Clean eating also means not drinking calories. Calories found in drinks are usually from sugars. One soda a day could complete through off your clean eating habits.

Lastly, avoid refined foods. Most refined foods are white. White flour is the main ingredient in such foods. You want to eat as many complex foods as possible. These foods take longer to digest and therefore will leave you feeling fuller longer.

What to Eat

The first part of a clean eating diet is lean protein. Meats like chicken, turkey, and fish have high amounts of protein and low amounts of fat. If your budget allows, you may want to consider grass-fed meat. These animals are given fewer chemicals, and therefore they are healthier to consume.

Another tip for clean eating is consuming healthy fats. Things like fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, eggs, some oils, and grass-fed beef contain high-quality saturated fats. Your body needs fat to survive so don’t cut out all fat from your diet.

Veggies, veggies, veggies. Include as many veggies as possible with your meals. Veggies contain very few calories and fill your stomach. Some vegetables like dark leafy greens are harder for your body to break down and therefore keep you feeling fuller, longer.

Fruits in moderation can be a great addition to your diet. You have to remember that while they are natural sugars, too much of any sugar is a bad thing. So watch how much fruit you consume.

Lastly, drink lots of water. Water also fills your stomach and reduces your appetite. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is an excellent addition to your clean eating habits.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

There isn’t one approach to clean eating that works for everyone. Your genetics play a big part in which foods are best for you. Some companies even offer genetic testing to help you determine the best approach when it comes to your fitness routine and diet.

When you pair clean eating techniques with the proper workout, you can achieve all of your fitness goals. A Purlife Delray Beach personal trainer can help you figure out the best diet and workout routine for you.