Clean Eating: The Do’s & Don’ts

In Health, Nutrition by Wendy ChristienLeave a Comment

A Beginners Guide to the Do’s and Don’ts of Clean Eating.

Countless people around the world have the desire to change their diets, with the hopes of achieving a healthier and happier lifestyle. With an overwhelming amount of information at their fingertips, it can become difficult to find the best place to start.

It's not a diet or a passing phase. It's a permanent lifestyle change.

The first thing you need to know about following a clean eating diet is that it won’t completely transform your life in under 4 weeks. (as most crash diets suggest)

Clean eating is not a quick fix, but rather a long-term solution. When you start thinking about your health in the long-term, it enables you to break it up into achievable steps that will ensure that you achieve more success in changing your habits in the short and long-term.

This guide to the Do’s and Don’ts of Clean Eating will help you get started:

The Do’s:

8 tips for clean eating you should embrace

  • Adjust your meal plan to include six small meals each day.

    The longer you wait between meals, the hungrier you get, and the more likely you are to overeat.

  • Eat breakfast every day, within an hour of waking up.

    Your metabolism slows during sleep to conserve energy and needs fuel to restart the engine. The sooner you feed your body for the day ahead, the better.

  • Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbs at each meal.

    Finding ways to include protein, carbs and fats in your diet in the proper forms and amounts is the key to optimum health.

  • Eat healthy fats everyday.

    Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E, and they are vital for your nervous system.

  • Drink 1.5 - 2 liters of water each day.

    Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight.

  • Carry a cooler or lunchbox that is packed with clean foods for healthy snacking each day.

    By stocking your pantry, desk, or handbag with unprocessed snacks, you’ll quickly eliminate refined sugar, sodium, and unnecessary chemicals from your diet.

  • Depend on fresh fruits & vegetables for fiber, vitamins, nutrients & enzymes.

    People who eat fruit as part of an overall healthy diet generally have a reduced risk of chronic diseases.

  • Adhere to proper portion sizes, and listen to your body.

    In today’s society, portion sizes are getting larger and larger. Even on a strict clean food diet, too much of a good thing can still count as bad.

The Don’ts:

8 tips for clean eating should avoid

  • Avoid over-processed foods.

    Particularly white flour & sugar. Processed foods are usually loaded with added sugar or its evil twin, High Fructose Corn Syrup.

  • Chemically charged foods.

    Certain foods that are are considered “healthy” and labeled as “natural” contain many harmful chemicals used as food preservatives and flavor enhancers – often disguised under unrecognizable names.

  • Foods containing preservatives.

    Preservatives in foods prevent bacteria and spoilage, but sometimes they can also prevent you from enjoying good health or the nutritional benefits of clean foods.

  • Artificial foods & sugars. (such as processed cheese slices or “diet” goods)

    Diet foods and drinks are promoted to help you lose weight, but an artificial sweetener like aspartame cause weight gain rather than weight loss, and negatively affects your blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. Watch out especially for “lite” or “sugar-free” options.

  • Saturated & Trans Fats.

    Not only do these “bad fats “ negatively affect the way you look and feel everyday, but Trans fat has been shown to raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, causing heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes.

  • Sugar-loaded beverages including colas & juices.

    The fruit juice at the supermarket may not be what you think it is. Even if it’s labeled as “100% pure” and “not from concentrate”, it could contain just as much (if not more) sugar than soft drinks.

  • Excessive amount of alcohol.

    Alcohol and weight loss are enemies, but an occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle.

  • All calorie-dense foods containing little or no nutritional value (anti-foods).

    Fatty foods typically taste good, so do sweet and salty ones, which means a lot of the foods you love are likely not the best things you can have.

Now that you know the do’s and don’ts, start by eliminating the unhealthy foods from your pantry and fridge. Make shopping lists and stick to buying what’s on the list. Do not go shopping while hungry or emotionally challenged as this will sabotage your best efforts.

Set health goals that can be broken down into small, manageable steps and paste it on your fridge or in a place that you often see. This will help to keep you on track when you are tempted to cheat.

Remember that habits take time to break or form. Starting with clean eating is a process – you can choose every day to stick with the plan or deviate. If you do deviate it’s not the end of the world, as long as you get back on track the very next day.

Clean eating starts with one choice at a time. You can do it and you will feel so much better for it.

If you need help let me know and I will be happy to help define your goals and coach and encourage you to stick with them.

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