Clean eating is the health industry’s favorite buzz phrase right now. You may hear about it in your gym, from celebrities, and health professionals. What is clean eating exactly? It is a diet that stresses eating real, unprocessed foods. Sounds simple right? In this day and age it can get quite complicated. Luckily, we have made a handy guide to help you out
Remove Highly Processed Foods
When you hear “processed foods” your mind might immediately go to packaged junk foods like chips and cookies. Cutting those out is a good place to start. Basically, if you read the label and find something you cannot pronounce, it is processed and not natural. Not all processing is bad however, it can remove toxins and bacteria from food. It would be incredibly unrealistic to get rid of all processed foods. So you should focus on nixing highly processed foods, like those with genetically modified organisms and are devoid of nutrients. Junk food can be addictive, so this is a hard habit to break. Try changing your perception of temptation foods.
Make a Few Key Swaps
Once you remove the very processed foods, you are left with unprocessed foods – like produce, legumes, nuts, and eggs – as well as minimally processed foods. Making the switch from highly processed foods to minimally processed foods can make a big difference. This means choosing unrefined grains such as whole wheat bread over white bread. With meat, choose wild over pastured and grain-fed. And with dairy, opt for hormone-free.
Cook Your Meals As Much As Possible
It can be hard to cook when you are busy with work and/or school. But if you are trying to avoid highly processed foods, it is a must to decrease consumption of takeout and microwave meals. For example, pack a lunch instead of going out. And if you must go out, choose a restaurant with healthy options.
Drink Lots of Water
Get rid of liquid calories. Say goodbye to soda and unnaturally flavored juices. Say hello to lots and lots of water. Not only does it help clean eating, it has a ton of other perks.
Eat Several Small Meals
Having large gaps between meals can tempt you to snack on something highly processed. Eating small meals throughout the day will make sure you do not feel deprived.
Don’t Forget About Calories
A mistake some people make when eating clean is forgetting about portion sizes and calories. Just because the food is clean does not mean you can eat an unlimited amount.