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People are always asking me “how do I lose weight and keep it off”. They want to know my “secret” Why do they ask me???… well because I lost a lot of weight (75lbs) and I have kept it off … It took time, trial and error, persistence, to get to a place where I am confident and can go places and not fear “blowing” my diet. Because it’s not about a diet, it’s about good nutrition, and life-style, free will, and choice. I still keep a food journal, and pay attention, but I’ve learned what I can and can’t do. It has become my lifestyle….I know how to lose weight and keep it off. I know how to keep it real. For the last few years I’ve been working on cleaning up my food. And let me tell you, it’s made a huge difference. I have very few cravings for crap, I feel better than ever, I have more energy, and I feel like I look good too! WOW… who doesn’t want that?? It’s never too late, you’re not to old, and you are worth taking great care of yourself.
The phrase “clean eating” is being used by everyone. It sounds good, right? So whats the problem, why are you totally confused by what that actually means? I’ll tell you why, because, just like in the diet industry, there is a lot of information, and misinformation out there.
Don’t worry, Clean Eating is not hard. Even if you’re just considering getting started, you can do it. What I offer you is my own experience, and personal opinion on the matter. I explain ways to easily clean up your diet, so you can improve your health and weight. Sound good? Cool, then keep reading.
Clean Eating Isn’t a Diet, It’s a way of life.
It’s not a diet with a bunch of strict rules. There is no food group that is eliminated. Keep in mind that processed, packaged, boxed, and fast foods are not food groups. Clean eating is the opposite of diets like the Paleo Diet, the Atkins Diet, The no carb diets, the Cabbage Soup diet, the Juice Fasting diet, etc.
This is what made sense to me, and for me, and I went from there. I was done with be stressing out, getting confused or frustrated, and I didn’t want to over think every little thing. I just wanted the lifestyle I chose to be simple…. So I set about changing one thing at a time. I really needed this to be simple, and delicious. For me, once I gave up on trying to will power my way to a healthy weight, and I set my self up for eating clean success. Thats when my body changed, my thought process changed, my cravings lessened. I really liked all the energy eating clean was creating in my life. It will become effortless, just not over night. Hang with me, I will help you make simple changes that get results. It’s a process, and it’s only as hard when you resist. I left the diet mentality and bingo…. Here I am, being asked all the time “how do I lose weight and keep it off. Are you ready, I’m going to keep it as simple as possible.
What Clean Eating Is
Clean eating is about eating foods in their most natural state. This means avoiding processed foods, foods with loads of preservatives, foods with lots of added sugar, and foods with high levels of bad fats (saturated fats/all trans fats). It also means avoiding foods that have been stripped of their nutritional value and then replaced with synthetic chemicals to enrich it back in.
My definition of clean eating is just that – this is my interpretation. These are some of the basic guidelines that work for me in my quest to eat as clean as possible.
Eat five mini meals a day. Decide the calorie goal for the day and divide by 5. For example. I eat 1500 calories a day.. 5 mini meals at 300 calories each, keeps my body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.
Have a plan for the days food and have that food available. Write it down, be prepared and be flexible. Life happens, and sometimes its not easy, just make the best possible choice.
Eat lots of fresh, local, in season fruits and veggies. Visit the farmers market.
Eat healthy fats with every meal (nuts, avocados, EVOO, etc.)
Drink at least 2 qts of water each day, more when it’s hot.
Eat whole grains, quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats
Bake, steam, saute
Eat things that don’t have a package or label, but if you do, learn to read the label. Check serving size.
Clean is just 2 or 3 ingredients. Not a long list of things you can’t pronounce.
Stay clear of anything boxed, processed, or microwavealbe.
Know about portion sizes.
Eat slowly, pay attention to the food, turn off all distractions, phone, tv, computer, games, etc….
Be prepared, make food for the week, pack a cooler, have grab and go food readily available.
Make 4 days meatless meal days.
Include your family, healthy nutrition is for everyone. Lead by example. Don’t make a big deal of it, just offer it without saying anything…. You know what I mean, “this is healthy and I want to start eating like this, and bla, bla, bla….. Just prepare the food and serve it 🙂
In a nut shell, eat foods as close to there natural state as possible. Cheese sauce, or 1/2 stick of butter over overcooked broccoli or any veggie, is no longer clean. Lightly steamed broccoli tossed with olive oil fresh minced garlic and lemon is a better option.
A good rule: keep it simple keep it healthy.
I like to stress this point; clean eating is a process and when done right is healthy, fun, and not depriving at all. Follow the 80/20 rule.
You see most diets have you obsessing about food. The very thing you are trying to stay away from becomes your obsession. Been there, done that, and we know. all to well, that that doesn’t work.
Clean eating is a way of life. Keep it simple, be consistent with your choices, have a plan, and become a food experimentor. Life needs some wiggle room. It’s ok to enjoy a hot dog on Memorial day if you really want it and plan for it. A few bites of cake at your daughters birthday party won’t hurt you either. Thats what keeps it real, and keeps me going. Eating clean is about making the right choices most of the time, and letting it go when and if you choose to have that little indulgence. No stress, no guilt!
The bottom line is, seek progress not perfection.You will make progress, have success, lose weight and improve your overall health as long as you stay consistent more often than not. Trying to be perfect on a lifestyle journey will only set you up for failure, disappointment, and stress.
How to Begin?
Begin by actually acknowledging the way you are currently eating. Realize that getting away from nutrient poor, chemical filled, packaged convenience foods will both improve your health and will save you money! Start by adding more local fresh foods and eliminating the other. Fueling your body with healthier options will actually cost less in the long run. Not only on food, but on time spent in the doctors office and on medications too.
Become a label reader. Lots of so called healthy, all natural, low fat or low sugar items are bad for you. Check the ingredient list, and know exactly whats in there. A long list of things you can’t pronounce, hydrogenated fats, trans fats, and corn syrup (which goes by about 50 different names) should be avoided. If it’s labeled low sugar, it most likely has a lot of fat, and vice versa. The food manufactures have lots of liberty. Do your homework.
When you shop, shop the out side perimeter of the store where you find the produce, and meat sections. The isles are where food/fake food is found. Know which isle has the whole grains like quinoa, rice and oats are down, or shop in a store that has bulk bins for a greater selection.
Make a point to try something new each month. I had temph for the first time about a year and a half ago. I never even heard of it before then. It turns out to be one of my all time favorite foods. And how many times have you looked at a Kabocha squash and wondered what in the world would I do with that? Remember I said “become an experimentor” Commit to trying a new item more than once. Being open to this new lifestyle goes a long way in trying new things.
You can find many cleaned up recipes for old favorites. Just google it. You will be amazed.
Lastly, try different cooking methods. Nutrition in certain food like spinach for example is more easily absorbed by the body if it’s been wilted, not raw or cooked to death. Steaming, broiling, baking, sauteing will reduce the amount of oil and will keep your foods nutritional integrity in tact.
Whats your reason for going clean?
Whats your reason for deciding to eat clean? Many people want to improve their health or reduce their chances of getting certain avoidable health conditions, and diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Or they want to reduce joint pain, and be able to move and have more energy.
The number one reason people decide to eat clean is because they want to lose weight. I personally believe weight loss happens in the kitchen. Improving the amount of food, and also the quality of food will have the greatest impact on your weight, over all health and level of fitness. Ridding your body of the chemicals found in a lot of the prepackage foods on the store shelf will do wonders to heal you body and support your life. Eliminate poisonous levels of sugar and sugar substitutes. It’s that simple.
The decision to start eating clean is a personal one. I found it to be life changing. You have to do what is best for you. Like I said this is a process. I’ve been learning as I go. There is a lot of info available. Take what you like and leave the rest. Clean eating has changed me. My husband also lost 37 pounds and feels wonderful. He is at about 70% clean right now. Do what works for you. And feel free to contact me with any questions. I am happy to talk Clean eating and exercise with you.