I talk to people all the time who tell me, I just have NO idea where to start with my nutrition. I get it. That used to be me too! Until I found a little program that helped me learn some basic principles for clean eating and completely TRANSFORMED my health and my life! When I mention the term clean eating, though, I often get more confused stares or worried glances than anything. So, I thought I’d share a little about how simple and effective clean eating can be!
If you’re not familiar with it, the term may make you think that you’re going to have to completely overhaul your eating habits. While starting to eat clean will require a few changes, I want you to understand how it’s more about just making simple swaps than anything. Take these principles for example. If you just apply these basic principles and reword some of your food choices, you’ll be effectively eating clean and probably drop a few pounds in the process!
1. Keep processed foods to a minimum.
For me, this is the biggest one. Processed foods have additives that we sometimes don’t even know about, so cutting those out of our diets alone makes a huge difference. And, all that means is avoiding foods in a box, bag, can, or package. Go for fresh, whole foods instead.
2. Minimize refined foods.
Refined foods are again ones that have been processed or altered to a degree that changes their original composition. Think white rice versus brown rice. Keep refined foods to a minimum and choose more unrefined options. Examples of unrefined foods include brown rice, millet, quinoa, and clean sugars like honey and maple syrup.
3. Limit fat, salt, and sugar.
While I would never say to opt for low fat versus full fat, watching where your fat comes from and what type it is is important when you’re trying to eat clean. Likewise, you’ll want to minimize salt, sugar, and other additives in your diet.
4. Watch your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake.
To achieve the most balance in your diet, you should be incorporating a protein, carbohydrate, and fat at every meal. Doing so not only allows your body to function at an optimal level, it also helps keep you fuller longer. Pay close attention at breakfast and lunch because that’s when most people tend to leave out a protein in their meal.
5. Drink water.
Or tea. Another goal with clean eating is to eliminate unnecessary and even “hidden” calories. High calorie drinks, such as specialty coffee, soft drinks, and even sports drinks, can add an extra 400 to 500 calories to your diet. Avoid these added calories by opting for water or unsweetened tea over other options.
So, you see, clean eating isn’t about trying to achieve some crazy level of dieting. It’s about choosing whole, natural, unprocessed foods so that you get the most benefit from what you are eating each day.
Once I started applying these principles and paying attention to the portion sizes of what I was eating, I was able to lose over 40 pounds. Want more info on how I did it? Fill out the form below, and I’ll send you all the details!