One of the buzz words around health and> fitness at the moment is “Clean Eating”. Everyone seems to be talking about it and> you should definitely be taking note. There are no rules as such when it comes to clean eating but in basic terms it is about avoiding processed and> refined foods. It is not a fad diet or quick fix; it is a lifestyle and> something that should be sustainable over the long term.
Cleaning up your eating should be the first step you take when thinking about changing to a healthier more active lifestyle. Don’t worry so much about calories or macronutrients (carbohydrates/fats and> protein) but focus more on the foods you are eating. Once you get the hang of clean eating you can focus on calorie intake and> then even more on your macronutrient split. This reminds me do not cut out any food groups! Your body needs Protein, Fats and> Carbohydrates so make sure you eat each food group. Your body needs fat, it is a macronutrient and> we need it to function. The trick is to choose the right fats! Same goes for carbohydrates; it is not true that you need to cut these out to lose weight. Fruits and> vegetables contain carbohydrates, and> we definitely need to include these in our diets. Again it is about making the right choices.
As mentioned above clean eating focuses on eating fresh ingredients rather than packaged foods, take a look at some basic tips below:
1. Check the ingredients lists on foods, if there is a long list or anything you can’t pronounce – Leave it behind!
2. Avoid Low Fat Foods – these are usually laden with added sugar to make up for the missing fat, if weight loss is an issue clean eating will help anyway but if you are worried go for a smaller amount of the full fat version!
3. Eat six small meals a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and> 3 snacks.
4. Go for lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs and> Greek yoghurt (Full Fat) as Protein Sources.
5. Swap potatoes for sweet potatoes as a good carbohydrate source, other good sources include brown rice, vegetables and> fruit.
6. Eat as much fruit and> veg as you like, at least one portion at each meal.
7. Do not avoid fats –Go for nuts, seeds, eggs, avocado or olive oil as clean eating sources.
8. Try to have Protein as the main focus at all meals, with a small amount of carbohydrates and> then a smaller accompaniment of fats.
9. Search the internet for clean eating recipes and> versions of your favourite meals, there are some great sites out there – I will be talking about some and> sharing some recipes with you soon, so look out for those!
10. Allow yourself the odd treat or “cheat” meal as some people call it, but decide on what this will be and> how often, I try to stick to the 80/20 rule with 42 small meals in a week I can technically relax for 8 of them, however I tend to have one day off from tracking/clean eating a week but this may vary depending on your goals.
Hopefully this covers the basics of clean eating. I will admit I try my best to follow these rules but don’t obsess over every little thing. I truly believe in everything in moderation but think trying to clean up your eating is the best way to achieve almost any health goal.