Learning how to eat clean can be a difficult process if you don’t know where to begin. Being that you do want to change your life around and feed your body by practicing a balanced diet, it’s already a great start. Fortunately, when you start to eat better you will see a lot of changes in your body and behavior. You will benefit from an increased amount of energy, clear complexion, mood consistency, a calm state of mind and prominent sleeping habits. Before we go over how to eat clean, let’s talk about what foods to avoid and why!
As you may already know, processed foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar and trans fat can do a lot of damage to your body. If you aren’t active and you consume processed foods often it can clog up your arteries, make you feel irritable, tired and even cause behavioral problems such as anxiety. What you feed your body has a lot to do with how you’re able to focus and react on a daily basis. If you have too much sugar it can cause major mood swings and have a damaging effect on your stomach. Too much unhealthy fat can cause an immediate weight gain, make you feel lazy and unable to concentrate.
Know what not to Eat
The best way to begin eating clean is by eliminating fast foods and processed foods from your diet altogether. By simply making sure that the food that you are eating is all natural, you will begin to see a change in your body. By consuming healthy fat instead of saturated fat you will provide yourself with the energy that you need to maintain your blood sugar throughout the day. The body tends to use good fat for fuel which is why you will experience a healthy amount of energy. If you are an active person and you workout regularly, it’s highly recommended that you incorporate protein and healthy fats into your diet (almonds, avocado, yogurt etc.)
Also, consider the types of beverages you are drinking because many of them can amount to a meal. It’s highly recommended that you cut soda out of your diet completely. Soda contains unhealthy ingredients and tons of sugar that can have a negative impact on your blood sugar and make it difficult for you to concentrate. Replace soda with something a bit more natural such as coffee or tea. Fruit juices are also extremely high in sugar and you should avoid them if you are having a hard time balancing your blood sugar level.
Get Used to Buying Products with Natural Ingredients
Even if the items that you purchase at the grocery store contain processed ingredients, opt out for a product that is completely natural. If you have a hard time reading product labels, go to whole grocery food stores where everything that you purchase will be free of processed ingredients. Trans fat is twice as dangerous for your heart than if you were to consume saturated fat. It boosts the amount of LDL or bad cholesterol in your body. It eliminates the HDL or good protein and raises the amount of lipoproteins which can cause clogged arteries. While you’re shopping for groceries look for labels that say hydrogenated or fractionated and avoid purchasing them as they contain trans fat.
You will also want to avoid refined grains being that they can increase your chance of suffering from a heart attack by 30%. Even if a product claims that it is made with wheat flour, it can raise your risk of developing high blood pressure, increased body fat or diabetes. Studies show that when men and women eat more whole grains they are less likely to suffer from heart disease when compared to those who consume refined grains (causing insulin resistance/high blood pressure).
Learn to Eat Smaller Meals
Part of clean eating is being able to control your portion size to avoid overindulgence which can be equally as bad for your health. If you consume too many calories it can build nervous energy and make it difficult for you to concentrate. Eating fewer meals a day, greater in portion size can also have an unhealthy effect on your metabolism, allowing you to gain weight easily. By eating 6 small meals a day, every two hours you can increase your metabolism and manage your moods adequately. This will have a great impact on your health because it will direct your body to continue releasing fat instead of clinging to it. Take note that after approximately two hours the body will start holding onto the excess calories in your body as a natural survival response. By preventing this from happening you can improve the way you feel and lose weight at the same time.
Stock up on Fruits and Veggies
By adding fruits and vegetables into each meal, you can completely change your health. Fresh fruit that are unprocessed is vital. We could potentially survive on fruits and vegetables as long as they are not reduced in nutritional value. Note that frozen nutrition is always better than canned because the fiber content has not been reduced. Incorporating fruits and vegetables with protein and complex carbohydrates is extremely valuable to your health. Eat brown rice, whole grains and lean meats. Make sure that you are always eating organic meat instead of grass fed products to avoid possible additives and injected hormones. If you are going to have meat it’s best if you boil or steam it.
By eating whole foods you can prevent and control your weight successfully and reduce the risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s. There is a wide variety of legumes and whole grains that reduce the risk of diabetes as well. By adding fresh food to your plate you will eliminate sugar and salt from your diet or delay the onset of hypertension. The majority of trans fats also comes from processed foods– avoid them to increase the amount of HDL (good cholesterol) in your body.