This is a question I get asked a lot, and hopefully, this will clear up some things on how to eat clean and exactly what clean eating means, so that you can finally start seeing the results you want AND feel more energized every day!
Clean eating isn’t some strict diet that you follow for a quick fix and then you are back to your old ways (and let’s be honest, your old body…). Clean eating is a LIFESTYLE choice that takes time to perfect and sometimes can take time to see results.
There is no secret to eating clean, it simply means to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible.
All of us want to lose weight or fat, build muscle, or look better…am I right? Eating clean is the key to having the body that you’ve always wanted. Eating clean not only helps you lose and maintain weight but it also makes you feel better.
Your body will not be filled with chemicals and toxins that weigh you down and make you feel like garbage. A clean diet gives you energy and mental clarity. It may even make you sleep better. All of this can tie in to a more active lifestyle, which helps the weight loss and muscle building and we have our snowball effect! No more yoyo dieting!
Think about it…you just spent and hour killing yourself at the gym, like most days, yet, you haven’t seen any change in your body in months. Why do you think this is?
An hour workout, during your 24 hour day, is only 4% of your day. What are you doing with the other 96%?
If you aren’t changing your diet, you will NEVER see the results you want. Make that 96% count and give your body the proper fuel it needs to really meet your goals.
Clean Eating Guidelines:
- Eat Whole Foods – Whole foods means food that are in their most natural state. This means that they haven’t been processed in a lab or factory. It’s best to choose organic as much as possible because added chemicals and pesticides have been shown to cause all sorts of issues including weight gain.
- Choose Unrefined Whole Grains – Unrefined grains are ones that contain all the natural and essential parts of the grain. Examples of unrefined grains are oats, brown rice, corn, quinoa, and millet. You can also find some flours that are ground using the entire grain. My favorite is Whole Grain Oat Flour! Just be sure it contains the words “whole grain” in the ingredient. These are also some other grains I’m always sure to have on hand.
- Eat More Produce – Fresh fruits and vegetables are low in calories and HIGH in nutrients and fiber keeping you feeling fuller for longer. Nutrient rich diets that are high in fiber can help you lose and maintain a healthy weight.
- Pack on the Protein – Protein also helps keep you feeling full and helps build lean muscles keeping your metabolism up, helping you on your weight loss goals. Always choose free-range, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free meats and dairy and wild caught fish when possible.
- DRINK UP!! – A clean diet includes LOTS of water. But how much? Most people have no clue what is enough – you MUST drink AT LEAST half of your body weight in ounces per day! Water helps prevent bloating and also will help curb hunger and cravings, headaches, and much more!
Things to Keep in Mind:
- Avoid Processed Foods – Foods that come in a box, can, or bag – many times these are more processed than not, be careful when shopping and always check labels!
- Read the Labels – Try to only buy foods that have no more than 5 ingredients on the label – or better yet, no label! The more ingredients, the more it tends to be processed (HINT: If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it!)
- Be Aware of “Fat Free” or “Low Carb” – For example, do not buy “low carb bread” or “fat free Half & Half coffee creamer”. Bread is SUPPOSE to have carbs, and if it’s made from unrefined whole grains then those carbs are GOOD carbs! When these “low-whatever” foods are created they will always have some mix of chemicals, sugars, or unhealthy additives to make them taste better.
- Say NO! to Artificial Sweeteners – These are a nightmare! Most are cancer causing AND many mess with you bodies natural metabolism and they actually make you crave MORE sugar. It’s actually better to have a small amount of natural sugar than fake sugars.
- Skip the Added Sugars and Salt – When cooking spice things up with plenty of fresh herbs and spices and try using a small amount of natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup when you need to.
Download your FREE Printable Clean Eating Grocery List HERE!
The most important thing to remember about eating clean is to prepare and cook most of what you are eating yourself, this way you KNOW what is going into your body.
Need inspiration on where to start?
Check out all these clean eating recipes to get you started!