What if you could help your body get a clean slate every time you cleaned your plate? People are discovering how to feel healthier and look better through something called clean eating. What’s more, people are feeling full while enjoying fresh, delicious options! You may be interested in clean eating because you’ve heard celebrities talking about it or seen influencers on Instagram showing off some pretty fab results. Of course, you may just be curious to know what people mean when they say they’ve switched to clean eating. The fact of the matter is that clean eating really isn’t anything new at all. It’s actually a reversion back to the way humans used to eat before processed foods became the norm.
People do many things to stay healthy and keep weight under control. Factors like your genetics and how much you exercise can certainly impact the way your body looks and operates. However, the driving philosophy behind clean eating is really that nutrition is the most important factor that shapes our health and appearance. There’s not a ton we can do about genetics. However, the good news is that we have a lot of control over what we eat! Are you curious to find out if clean eating is for you? Don’t let intimidation or fear of change cause you to dismiss this as just another trend that the Hollywood types are peddling. Dive in to learn more about how clean eating can become a way of life.
What Does Clean Eating Look Like?
The big thing to know about clean eating is that it essentially just means eating more “real” foods as often as possible! That means cutting out processed or refined foods and snacks. Additives, dyes, sugar, salt, leavening agents, preservation agents, and unnatural flavorings should be avoided whenever possible.
The other big thing to keep in mind when pursuing a lifestyle of clean eating is the idea of eating for nourishment. Is what you’re about to put in your mouth going to provide you with sustained energy or surge-and-crash energy? Clean eating means eating foods that provide today’s energy and tomorrow’s long-term health!
Clean eating offers an opportunity to connect with the goodness of plants on an entirely new level. Forget about just adding a side salad to the main course. A lifestyle of clean eating invites you to try all of the power-packed plant options that are out there. Plant-based proteins can provide really delicious, filling meal options. Many people who do clean eating rely heavily on peas, lentils, and beans to get protein. In addition, there’s room at the table for protein-packed whole grains. Buckwheat, quinoa, and barley can all be used as part of a clean diet. In fact, these grains can make it easier to avoid some of the refined flours that are commonly used in the bread and pasta that people eat every day.
Big Foods to Embrace and Avoid When Doing a Clean Diet
What you don’t eat on a clean diet can actually be just as important as what you do eat. Nobody is saying that you can’t indulge in some of your favorite foods once in a while. However, the goal is to stay with a clean menu most of the time. Here are the big food categories to skip on a clean diet:
- Pasta, rice, bread, and other grain-based foods.
- All dairy.
- All refined sugars.
- All refined oils.
- All preservatives, dyes, and additives.
- All alcohol.
- Calorie-dense foods that offer little nutritional value.
- Saturated fats.
- Sugary beverages, sodas, and juices.
- Artificial sweeteners.
It can be difficult to look at that list if you’ve grown dependent on processed foods to get you through your busy schedule. However, you just might be caught in a cycle of sacrificing your health for convenience. A clean diet can actually be full of very yummy foods! In fact, many people find that they rediscover the actual taste of food after eating real food for a while. A clean diet often uses things like organic eggs, sustainable seafood, vegetables, fruits, olive oil, avocado oil, raw honey, and fermented foods to deliver flavor and satisfaction!
Skipping processed foods doesn’t mean skipping meals. In fact, you’re going to need to be eating pretty regularly on a clean diet. Most experts who follow this plan recommend eating six small meals per day. Breakfast plays a big role in a clean diet. You should strive to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up each day.
The Importance of Custom Meal Plans When Doing Clean Eating
Getting caught by surprise when hunger strikes is a guaranteed way to sabotage your plan for clean eating. That’s why most people who are successful with clean eating use custom meal plans to cover them at every meal. Having a custom meal plan when starting this type of diet can help to ensure that you’re doing portions and ratios properly. Staying full and having enough energy on a clean diet typically requires at least two servings of healthy fats every day. In addition, you’re going to want to fit in some complex carbs and lean protein at every meal. Don’t forget to drink between 10 and 13 cups of water each day as part of your clean lifestyle!
How to Do a Clean Diet When You’re Eating Out
Many restaurants offer fresh options for those who know how to really dissect a menu. You will probably become familiar enough with what fits into a clean diet after a few weeks of having a custom meal plan to be able to spot menu items that are approved. Of course, eating at a restaurant will never give you the same level of control that you’d have at home with your custom meal plan. The beauty of clean eating is that the practice of eating up to six small, balanced meals per day means that you’re never starving. That means that you can show up at a restaurant feeling satisfied enough to avoid overindulging with processed foods.
Sticking to raw foods whenever possible at restaurants is a good way to ensure you don’t eat anything that will leave you feeling tired at the end of the day. Salads, gently steamed vegetables, and grilled fish can all be great options at restaurants. Of course, you may want to ask restaurant staff members about the types of oils they use when cooking foods. Ask for your food to be prepared in a “naked” style whenever possible to avoid refined oils or additives.
Ready to Go Clean?
A desire and plan can help you go a long way when it comes to embracing clean eating! This type of change can seem intimidating. However, many people who experience the results never dream of going back to living any other way! Start making a plan to make a clean break from the processed foods that are leaving you tired, sick and overweight!