“Clean Eating” is one of the latest trends in fitness nutrition, and for good reason…IT WORKS! The Clean Eating theory is simple: Eat poorly and you become sick and overweight. Eat well and you become a glowing example of health and vibrancy.
For a list of Do’s & Don’ts when it comes to getting started, I turned to the queen of Clean Eating herself, Tosca Reno. Eating clean is a lifestyle, so start by making the changes you know you can stick with right now. If you’re the type to jump right in to a new plan, go for it! If you have to make one small change at a time, that’s fine too. Do what works for you!
What to Do:
1. Eat six small meals each day. Increasing the frequency of your meals causes your metabolism to be stimulated while preventing you from getting too hungry.
2. Eat breakfast every day, within an hour of rising. Eating breakfast helps keep the body nourished and satisfied while providing abundant energy.
3. Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal. According to Lee Labrada, fitness guru and author of The Lean Body Promise, “By eating protein with your complex carbohydrates, you’ll slow down the carb-to-fat conversion process.” This is why complex carbs should always be eaten with protein.
4. Eat sufficient healthy fats every day. In order to lose weight and keep the body looking fit, you must eat some fat! Many physicians recommend omega-3 fats, which the brain depends on to fight depression. Healthy fats can be found in fish, nuts, seeds, and some oils such as sunflowers, avocados, olives, and peanuts.
5. Drink two or three liters of water each day. Water is the very basis of life! Both losing and maintaining weight depend on adequate hydration.
6. Carry a cooler packed with clean foods each day. It’s easy enough to eat clean at home, but as soon as you step out your front door it can become more difficult. If you want to be sure that each meal you’re eating is clean, get in the habit of taking your food with you!
7. Depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins, nutrients and enzymes. These complex carbohydrates take their time being processed in the belly. The longer things take to break down, the slower the insulin response, and the fuller, thinner and happier you are!
8. Adhere to proper portion sizes. Use your hands as a guide for portion sizes to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of food for your body. For example, a proper portion of protein is measured by what can fit in the palm of your hand. A serving of fruits or vegetables should be measured by what can fit into two cupped hands, while whole grains and starchy carbs should fit in one cupped hand.
What to Avoid:
- All over-processed foods, particularly white flour and sugar.
- Chemically charged foods.
- Foods containing preservatives.
- Artificial sugars.
- Artificial foods (such as processed cheese slices)
- Saturated and trans fats.
- Sugar-loaded beverages, including colas and juices.
- Excessive amount of alcohol.
- All calorie-dense foods containing little or no nutritional value (anti-foods).
- Super-sizing your meals!!
For more info on eating clean, check out Tosca’s book The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged!