We hear about clean eating, cleanses, detox diets everywhere—in magazines, on TV, entire books are devoted to the topic. But eating clean is really just about picking real and wholesome foods that are as close to their natural source as possible.
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
It’s about making the best possible choices you can about what to put into your body. It’s about quality versus calories. It’s not about starving ourselves and chugging green juices all day long.
Sound good to you? Here are 10 tips that will help you move towards a cleaner way of eating, and also help you slim down effortlessly.
1. Eat Only Whole Foods
The easiest, cleanest, and most pleasurable way to lose weight is to eat reasonable portions of real foods—ones made from fresh, whole, minimally processed ingredients.
That means eating a bowl of home-made steel cut oats and fresh blueberries rather than sugar-laden pre-packaged version.
2. Ditch The Diet Junk
Beware of anything labeled “fat-free” or “sugar-free”—eg. diet soda, sugar-free Jell-O, fat-free string cheese, and “lite” frozen entrées.
These aren’t clean foods, and they certainly are not real foods. While they are marketed as “healthy choices”, they contain a ton of addictive chemicals and preservatives engineered to make us eat more and buy more.
3. Buy Organic Fruits & Vegetables
You definitely do not need to buy all organic produce. Just focus on the these 14 most contaminated foods: apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, potatoes, hot peppers, kale/collard greens.
Check out the Environmental Working Group for updates on this list and for a list of “The Clean 15”.
4. Get Naturally-Raised Meats And Fish
Look for organic, hormone and antibiotic free, wild (for fish), grass fed (for beef), pasture raised and free range (for poultry and eggs).
5. Consume Sugar In Moderation
It’s important to indulge every once in a while. But keep in mind that sugar creates an addictive cycle of hunger, fatigue and moodiness. It also causes excess storage of fat by triggering the body to produce insulin, which tells fat cells to store more.
And finally, sugar causes inflammation which can lead to a myriad of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. So just have your cake, and eat it too, but only as an occasional treat.
6. Focus On The Good Carbs
The bottom line about carbs is that not all carbs are created equal. Some are healthy, while others are not so healthy… One thing is for sure though, our bodies and brains need them to function properly.
So, just focus on eating more of the good for you complex carbs from fruits and vegetables and less of the not so good for you sugary, highly-processed carbs from bread and pasta.
7. Hydrate Healthfully
Favor water and tea throughout the day, and allow yourself an occasional glass of wine with dinner. Research has shown that drinking a couple glasses of water before each meal or snack is an effective weight loss tool.
8. Get Cooking
Cooking is the only way to take back control of your diet from the mad food scientists and make sure you’re eating real food, not edible food-like substances chock-full of unhealthy oils, sugar and salt.
9. Keep Meals Simple
Delicious, healthy food doesn’t have to contain a lot of ingredients. Keep your ingredients to a minimum—just be sure to include a source of plants, lean protein, and healthy fat at each meal.
10. Join A CSA
Start looking into joining a Community Supported Agriculture to receive monthly, local, organic fruit and vegetable bounty during the warmer months. You can find a participating farm near you by checking out www.localharvest.org