What is Clean Eating?

Whenever I tell people I lost weight by eating clean, they always look a little confused and ask what that means.  I’m hoping this post will give a good description of what clean eating is to me.  I think everyone’s idea of clean eating is a little different and thats ok. We alter it to fit our lifestyles a bit.  Clean eating not only helped me to lose weight, but it is also great for maintenance once you goal weight is reached.  I try to stick to it as much as possible, but I do have some little cheats here and there!  This will give you a good idea of what to eat and when.

How to eat clean – Do this year round for steady, healthy weight loss.  But this plan can also be used for maintenance.  Here’s why:  when your body begins to approaching its set point (its genetically predetermined healthy weight) you will find that weight loss will stop or slow.

The occasional treat (glass of wine, piece of chocolate, ect) is permitted in limited amounts.  Unhealthy sugars and fats are not recommended.

What to do:

  • Eat more- eat six small meals each day.
  • Eat breakfast every day, within an hour of rising.
  • Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbs at each meal
  • Eat sufficient (two to three servings) healthy fats every day.
  • Depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins, nutrients and enzymes.
  • Use proper portion sizes.
  • Most importantly, PLAN!

What to Avoid:

  • Avoid all over-processed foods, particularly white flour and sugar.
  • Avoid all chemically charge foods.
  • Avoid foods containing preservatives.
  • Avoid artificial sugars.
  • Avoid artificial foods such as processed cheese slices.
  • Avoid saturated and trans fats.
  • Avoid sugar loaded beverages, including colas and juices.
  • Avoid or do your best to limit alcohol intake.
  • Avoid all calorie dense foods containing little or no nutritional value.
  • Avoid super sizing your meals.

What to Eat and How Much:

Complex Carbohydrates from Fruit and Vegetables:
6 portions each day.  A portion is:

  • 1 cupped handful or a piece of fruit such as berries, grapefruit, melon, apples and mangoes.
  • 2 cupped handfuls of vegetables including broth based/vegetable puree soups.

Complex Carbohydrates from whole grains and starchy carbohydrates: 
2-4 portions each day.  A portion is:

  • 1 handful of high-protein, sugar-free cold cereals, such as clean muesli or granola.
  • 1 handful of steel cut oats
  • 1 piece of whole grain bread or wrap (Ezekiel bread is a great, clean option)
  • 1 handful sized serving of sweet potato, yam, banana, corn, carrots or squash

Lean Protein
6 portions each day.  A portion is:

  • 1 cup or handful of dairy products such as low fat soy, almond, hemp, rice, or skim milk, cottage cheese, yogurt cheese or plain fat free sugar free yogurt.
  • 1 handful of raw, unsalted nuts (also a healthy fat)
  • 2 tablespoons of all natural nut butters such as almond or peanut butter (also a healthy fat).
  • 1 palm sized portion of lean meats
  • good quality, sugar and chemical free protein powder (hemp, soy or whey).

Beverages:

  • 2-3 liters per day of fresh water- Water is SOO Important!
  • Clear herbal tea (unsweetened)
  • Black coffee in moderation
  • Green/Black tea

Sweeteners:  Use in moderation.  Avoid Artificial Sweeteners.

  • Agave Nectar 
  • Maple Sugar Flakes
  • Rapadura Sugar

These are some clean eating guidelines.  It’s not to say you have to follow it exactly, but this gives you an idea of what clean eating is all about!

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