The Truth About Clean Eating

in Sportsfuel Articles and Blog
The Truth About Clean Eating
You’ve probably heard of the words “eat clean, train mean, get lean” a thousand times from gym goers, trainers, and some of your friends, and you’ve also been wondering what “eating clean” means. If you think eating clean is just another diet, you are dead wrong!

Clean eating is basically about focusing on WHAT you eat and WHERE your food comes from instead of HOW MUCH you eat. It’s always picking a healthy diet, avoiding processed and refined foods, and choosing whole and real foods.
Take note, clean eating is not a diet. Diet is restricting yourself to small amounts or certain types of foods for a period of time in order to shed a few pounds.

It is a given fact that most low calorie diets help you lose weight, but sometimes they do more harm than good as they prevent you from getting enough nutrients from the food you eat. And with clean eating, you do not just count the carbohydrates or calories in what you eat, or deprive yourself of enjoying food, and rather, you focus on what you put on your plate.

As mentioned above, clean eating is about changing your lifestyle by mostly eating healthy foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and those foods rich in protein and healthy fats. It is something permanent, and not just merely something you can give up and start again when you want to.

You can still eat your favorite foods while you are eating clean, and no, it does not mean you can eat that bag of chips or drink that sugary drink all the time. It just means you are going to find a healthier alternative to those crappy foods.

It’s important to note that forcing yourself to clean eating may make you have something they call “cheat meal” or when you eat processed foods again just a few times. But it does not normally go that way as “just a few times” is hard to stop once you’ve started.

The secret here is to eat clean MOST of the time but still have a few bites of your favorite foods. You will be surprised at how these favorite foods of yours have a different effect to your taste buds after a while.


Your guide to clean eating

Clean eating does not require a specific food plan, so you are free to choose according to your personal preferences and food sensitivities.

To start with clean eating, the number one recommended step is to eat more plant foods – a rainbow of fruits and vegetables! With a great amount of vitamins and micronutrients, you can eat as much leafy and cruciferous vegetables as you want. They will aid in weight loss and improve your general wellbeing. Make sure that you include those that have good amounts of protein like legumes and pulses. On the other hand, you may have to limit yourself when it comes to fruits as they contain sugar, even though it’s natural, that can cause spikes in your blood glucose levels.

Another step is to consider your source of meat when clean eating. Get your meat straight from the butcher, mostly high quality lean meats and high quality red meat from grass fed animals. Grass fed meats may cost more but at least you are confident that they are way healthier. Grind them yourself so you know there are no added chemicals.

If you’ve been trying to avoid fats in general, then it’s time to erase that misconception. Healthy mono unsaturated fats, typically found in salmon and nuts, can burn the bad fats, as well as reduce your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Keeping yourself hydrated is also an important factor in clean eating, so you should always drink plenty of water. Aim for at least eight glasses of pure water per day. Water intake also aids in digestion and boosts your power.

Sometimes, supplements may be necessary to take in order to increase and get enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals from your diet. Just make sure that they are the best quality supplements, and that you take them at the right times of the day!

Again, clean eating does not require you to deprive yourself of your favorite foods. But of course, you still have a long list of foods to avoid.

Processed foods are on top of the list as they contain high amounts of calories, saturated fats, preservatives, sugar and trans fats that are all bad for your health! These foods only stop you from achieving your fitness goals, even increase your risk of several diseases including heart disease and cancer. To avoid processed foods, prepare your meals in advance so that you cannot purchase crappy foods from food stores or fast foods.

Refined foods, like refined flour and sugar, should also be avoided as they highly contribute to fats in your body. Sugary drinks like fruit juices and soda contain added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Even those that say diet or sugar-free! You can focus on whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat grains instead.

If you are used to drinking alcohol, you may want to limit your intake. Alcohol is a toxin, and it is also jam-packed with sugar and calories, especially beers, so drink it moderately.

So just a recap – clean eating means eating right 80% to 90% of the time. It is essential to still have a room for flexibility, like thinking of healthier food swaps instead of just cutting out most of the foods you are comfortable with.

Do not forget to check the labels! Some food companies hide harmful chemicals in other names. For instance, a label with mono and diglycerides actually contain trans fats. Just be careful and be informed of the terms in the labels. Do not get tricked as some companies only aim to increase their profits and hide the truth behind those unhealthy additives from you.

When you maintain your clean eating habits, you are able to lose weight without even trying , avoid chronic diseases, and reduce free radicals in your body. Start eating clean today and feel a lot better than you do now!

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