You probably hear the term clean eating thrown around a lot, but do you know what it even means? I think we all have some idea, but I’m going to clear up any confusion you might have.
Many people are suffering from malnutrition, not because they are starving to death, but because they are eating themselves to death. They are malnourished because very little of what they eat contains any real nutrients.
Food is THE key to good health. It’s also the key to weight loss, and even the key to fitness. Weight loss is based at least 80% on what you eat. It’s even possible to lose weight without exercising if you’re eating clean.
Simply put, eating clean is eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. For example, it’s much better to eat a potato than a french fry or potato chip. It’s important to focus on eating only foods that have not been processed.
The term “clean eating” was coined by health and fitness guru Tosca Reno in her book Eat-Clean Diet.
I’ve also read her more condensed book, Just the Rules. It includes 51 short and simple rules for clean eating. I highly recommend it if you want to learn more or have specific questions.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Choose fruit instead of fruit juice and fresh or frozen vegetables over canned. To get a variety of nutrients, eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors.
- Eat complex carbohydrates. Pick unrefined whole grains like brown rice, millet, and steel-cut oats.
- Eat lean meats and other forms of protein. Eggs, fish, low-fat dairy, quinoa, nuts and seeds are all good options.
- Stay away from added sugars. This includes soda and sugary drinks. Drink lots of water instead.
- Eat healthy sources of fats. Get your fat from things like avocados, nuts, and fish. Use olive and coconut oil for cooking.
- Eat several small meals a day to fuel your metabolism. Eat every 3 hours whether you are hungry or not. This will help your body reset and jumpstart your fat burning ability.
The 80/20 Rule
Eat healthy 80% of the time. This leaves some wiggle room for an occasional treat or splurging on your favorite meal once in a while. Don’t stress about it. You’ll make progress and lose weight If you’re making good choices more often than not. Relax and remind yourself it’s all about consistency, not perfection.