Thursday, August 21, 2014

Clean Eating 101

The concept of clean eating is something that has been around forever. It is simply eating foods in their most pure, natural states, or as close to it as we can. In our super-sized world it is hard to always live by this rule. Clean eating, though, is not a diet or a fad. It is a lifestyle, and it is one that is 100% doable. Achieving your weight loss goals is dependent upon the food that you consume. About 80% of your results will come from the kitchen. You can work out for hours at a time, but if you aren't eating the right foods, your results will not come.  Your results not only come from the time and energy you put into your workouts, but also from the same attention you put on your eating!

Why Eat Clean?

  • Feel GOOD about yourself
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as MANY other diseases
  • Have more energy
  • Live a longer life for your family, your children, your spouse, for YOU
  • Save money on fad diets that do not keep the weight off
You are what you eat. Plain and simple. If you eat poorly, you will feel poorly and look poorly. If you eat healthy, you will feel healthy and look GOOD!

How to Eat Clean

  • Drink at least two liters of water every day (8 cups) - If this is hard, try to get at least half of your body weight in ounces per day. Water is VITAL!
  • Limit your alcohol consumption to one glass of red wine
  • Eat every 2-3 hours, so about 5-6 small meals per day (3 meals and 2-3 small snacks)
  • Include a lean protein, lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal -- this keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently, all day long!
  • NEVER miss a meal...especially breakfast!
  • Carry a cooler with clean-eating foods to get you through the day. (you're less likely to stop at that drive through if you have food handy!)
  • Get label savvy - clean foods contain 1-2 ingredients. Any products with labels of ingredients you can't pronounce are a no no!
  • Avoid processed and refined foods (white flour, sugar, bread, pasta) Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains instead.
  • Know the enemies - steer clear of anything high in saturated and trans fats, anything fried, and anything high in sugar.
  • Avoid calorie dense food that has no nutritional value
  • Depend on fresh veggies and fruit for fiber, vitamins, and enzymes.
  • Consume healthy fats, try to have one per day.
  • Learn about portion size, and stick to it!
  • Shop on the perimeter of the grocery store, that's where the cleanest foods usually are!
  • Slow down. Enjoy your meal. No one will take it from you!
  • Make it a family affair -- get your kids/spouse involved!


Portion control (and sticking to it) will be the thing that sets yourself up for success.
  • Proteins: Always have a protein with each meal. Serving size is about the size of the palm of your hand.
  • Carbohydrates: Have between 2-4 servings of complex carbohydrates from grains, bread, and starches per day. Serving size is about the size of 1 cupped hand.
  • Fruits/Vegetables: One serving with each meal, so about 6 servings per day. Serving size is about the size of 2 cupped hands.
  • Fats: Your diet should be about 20-30% of fats from your daily intake. Serving size is about the size of a golf ball.

Your water consumption will contribute immensely to your weight loss. It will help to suppress your appetite, help your digestion, relieve the "bloating" feeling, flush toxins from your body, and will help with cravings.

If you take your weight and divide it by two, that is the number  of ounces you should be drinking! Coffee and pop do NOT count in that water intake, and these should be kept to a minimum. Caffeine and artificial sweeteners are toxins and do not do ANYTHING for your body. Intaking artificial sweeteners only makes you crave it more, so kick the habit and get rid of it altogether! 

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