“Eating Clean” is the latest buzz in the world of Nutrition. What does it mean? How are you supposed to do this? The following are 7 tips to help you “clean-up” your diet (not that your food is dirty. I’m actually opposed to this term, I’m just here to help sort out what they’re really trying to mean by all this jargon!)
Choose whole, natural foods and eliminate or minimize processed foods. (Processed foods are anything in a box, bag, can, or package. There are few exceptions, but the majority of your foods should be fresh).
Choose unrefined versus refined foods (this might not be possible all the time) but when you can, cut back on white flour and increase your intake of brown rice, quinoa, oats…
Include some protein, carbohydrate, and fat at every meal. Making sure to have a balance when you eat helps you feel full longer. Instead of having a balance we often have too much carbohydrate at each meal. Carbohydrates are not “bad” but do need to be in proportion to the fat and protein in order for our bodies to be able to utilize them (and make them not have to work too hard).
Watch out for fat, salt, and sugar. I could write an article about each of these alone! As you start to eliminate processed foods limiting these will become easier.
Eat small meals, 5-6, throughout the day. This usually works out to 3 main meals with 2 snacks for the day. Eating this way helps you from skipping meals and overeating. It keeps your blood sugar steady, so your energy won’t lag. This goes along with making sure that you’re including & balancing the carbohydrate, protein, and fat in the right proportions.
Don’t drink your calories. High calorie drinks like specialty coffees and sodas on average can tack on an extra 400-500 calories a day. This is typically the first place I tell my clients to look at and see if there are changes that they need to make. We often forget to include these liquid calories in our total calories for the day. They can easily add up. Think your drink. Choose water first!
Get moving. Regular physical activity every day is a must for so many reasons. Not only does it decrease fat, strengthen and build muscle and help you burn more calories when you rest, it keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong. Studies show that even just fifteen minutes a day is the single best way for people to improve their health. Why stop there?
Follow a clean eating lifestyle to give your body a naturally healthy boost.