8 Tips To Get Started With a Clean Eating Lifestyle
Below are additional strategies that can help you be successful with a clean eating lifestyle.
1. Eat Whole Food
• Keep food preparation simple and use few ingredients per dish (less is more).
• When eating out, pick simple choices, like a salad, plain meats etc.
• Shop at your local farmers market, for seasonal, fresh and delicious produce.
• Don’t go into the aisles of the grocery store – the simple, healthy foods are at the perimeter.
• Processed salamis, meats and sausages, fish sticks, chicken fingers
• Juices, fruit concentrates, jams with sugars and additives and canned fruits in syrup
• Salted and roasted nuts, potato chips and similar snacks
• Sweets, candies, chocolate and gum
• Bought sauces and marinades etc.
• All store-bought energy dense foods, are processed!
3. Gradual Steps
When you are ready to begin your clean eating lifestyle you should start small and take gradual steps. Throwing all your food away at once and changing all aspects of your diet at once is a recipe for failure. Instead, identify a few areas of your diet to improve, and make those first steps.
Focusing on just a few things each day you can change means your transformation will be gradual and also something you can live with. Your goal is to create a lasting lifestyle change, which takes time and buy-in from you. Once you start to change the way you eat, your tastes will adjust, too, and you’ll notice you are craving your old foods less and less.
Making healthy, clean swaps for some of your favorite foods is easy, and just making a few at a time means you won’t feel deprived or wind up thinking constantly about your food. Each one of the changes is positive and will add up to a clean lifestyle before you know it.
4. Cook For Yourself
When you cook all your own food, you know exactly what is going into it. You control the sugar, salt, and fat in your meals and snacks, and you’ll know precisely how processed and refined your food really is. When cooking isn’t possible, go for the dish that contains the most whole-food items and ask for no additional butter or oil to be used in preparing your food. Better yet, opt for raw options.
5. Choose Whole Foods Over Processed Versions
This may seem like a no-brainer when following a clean eating lifestyle but it bears repeating. When you buy foods that come in a box or have a package, you aren’t just getting food, in most cases. You are also likely getting chemicals or additives. Stick to whole foods whenever possible, and you will avoid eating the fats, sugars, salt, and preservatives that are making modern society sick and fat.
6. Clear Your Kitchen of Processed Foods
Go through your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer and identify anything that is highly-processed. If there are foods you just can’t live without, seek out less-processed versions or find ways to make them yourself using whole ingredients.
Look carefully at everything in your kitchen that has a box, wrapper, or other packaging. If it isn’t a whole food or contains these unhealthy, added ingredients, consider donating it and getting it out of your house over time.
7. Focus Each Meal On Balance
When you include healthy fat, protein, and carbohydrates at every meal, along with lots of vegetables, you will be giving your body the complete nutrition it needs to thrive. Finding foods that include more than one of the macro-nutrients is even better.
For example, quinoa is an excellent whole grain that also has protein, so it makes an excellent choice for eating clean.
Your fats should come from a variety of natural sources and include different unsaturated fats as well as some saturated ones, being sure to get sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. If you keep this focus in mind every time you eat, you’ll feel less hungry and have a more rounded diet with better variety.
8. Watch What You Drink
Just as being aware of what is in your food is important, so is watching what you drink. Water will always be your best choice when it comes to beverages, and you need plenty of it on a clean-eating meal plan. Water keeps hunger at bay, aids in digestion, and provides all your organs and muscles the necessary hydration for proper function.
Avoid sweetened beverages, caffeinated drinks and alcohol while on a clean eating lifestyle. Soda and fruit juice contain high amounts of empty calories from sugar with little or no nutritional benefits. Alcohol turns to glucose in your system, raising your blood sugar levels and providing no nutrients.
If you drink sugary soda every day, start by cutting back on the number you drink. When you are down to one a day, start mixing your soda with sparkling water until you are just drinking water. Or, switch to sparkling water mixed with a bit of fresh fruit. If you love a specific dish that you used to make with lots of convenience foods, find a recipe that uses only whole ingredients and practice making it at home until you are happy with the results.