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There comes a time when you have to start eating clean, whether young or old. While it is hard to know exactly what it entails until you try it, clean eating can have life-changing effects.
If you are looking for control over your food choices, clean eating helps you eliminate unnecessary sugars, fats, and salts. Nothing is as satisfying as having the power to choose what you eat. The hardest part of the clean eating journey is starting out. In this write-up, we shall discuss clean eating for beginners.
What Is Clean Eating?
Did you know that clean eating is not a diet but a lifestyle? It is not something you do to lose weight quickly. Instead, it is an approach to how and what you eat. Clean eating is more about including more whole foods and less processed foods in your diet.
It aims to eat healthy foods and not those containing lots of salt, carbohydrates, sugars, and fats. When you choose to eat clean, you are making food choices for the benefit of your body. No more junk. Clean eating means saying no to refined foods, saturated fats, processed foods, sugars, and artificial flavors.
You have to replace harmful foods with healthy fats, lean proteins, unrefined grains, whole foods, and vegetables. Clean eating means focusing on the quality and health benefits of the foods you eat. However, you have to embrace an active lifestyle to benefit from clean eating.
What Are The Benefits Of Clean Eating?
A number of studies have shown that the foods that make part of clean eating can help individuals live longer. Recently, a study established that adding 28 grams of whole grains to your diet per day can lower your risk of dying from whichever cause by 5 percent. If you increase it to 569 grams a day, your risk of death will decrease by 10 percent.
Foods containing high fiber are energy boosters due to them taking longer to digest. Therefore, if you take more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and eggs, you are likely to feel more energetic. That is not true for junk food, which only drains your little energy.
Burning Fat and Building Muscles
Eating clean involves including lean protein, which boosts metabolism and helps build lean muscle mass. With lean muscles, you are not just stronger but continue burning fat all day long.
The food you eat can determine whether you lose weight or not. However, you have to combine clean eating with an active lifestyle.
Clean Eating For Beginners: The Guidelines
The fact that it is called lean eating’ doesn’t necessarily mean there is such a thing as dirty eating. How you approach the program largely depends on your own individual needs. With the following general guidelines for clean eating for beginners, you should be able to start out on a journey to good health.
Prepare Your Own Food
It is hard to control what you eat if you are not cooking it yourself. You need to know how much fat, flavors, sugar, and salt you are adding to your food.No matter how busy you are, take charge and start preparing your own food.
Don’t be afraid when you feel like eating out in a restaurant. You are not perfect, after all. Only ensure that you eat more of your own food.
Eat Whole Foods
Clean eating for beginners should include foods that have undergone no modification in a laboratory or factory. Whole foods do not have additional fats, colors, sugar, salt, and preservatives.
Choose fruits, vegetables, unsalted seeds/nuts, lean proteins, whole grains, dried legumes, and full-fat dairy to complete your whole foods menu.
Eating these foods will help you avoid junk foods and also provide more fiber and nutrients.
Read the Labels
Before you eat anything, first go through the nutritional label. No matter the number of ingredients on the label, check out each one of them to know how beneficial it is. If you find anything that has no benefits, avoid that food.
Anything that reads modified or hydrolyzed is a no-no. The food is most likely highly processed. Also, words like fructose mean the addition of refined sugar. Don’t go for that, either.
You are safe when the ingredient list contains whole wheat and whole grain’.
High-calorie foods should, of necessity, be more fiber oriented and contained as little sugar and saturated fat as possible.
Say No to Processed Foods
Anything you find in a can, jar, or box is processed food. Processed foods are unhealthy since they contain high amounts of salt, fat, and sugar. In addition, they have low whole grain and fiber content.
Things to avoid include flavored nuts, instant ramen, granola bars, bacon, canned soups, breakfast cereal, canned salad dressing, frozen dinners, cookies, candy, and snack foods. Why don’t you use whole ingredients to make your own at home?
Remember to replace soda with more water. Just like other processed foods, soda contains a lot of sugar and chemicals. Avoid it and instead include as much water in your diet as possible to remain hydrated.
Balance Your Meals
Include the right amount of fats, carbs, and proteins in all your meals. You need all these classes of nutrients to function properly. Some carbohydrates, like broccoli, are known to contain large amounts of antioxidants, fiber, and other key ingredients. Take in a lot of unsaturated fats and proteins for increased levels of body metabolism.
Avoid Added Sugar, Salt, and Fat
Clean eating for beginners involves eating natural, whole foods. So why should you want additives like sugar, fat, and salt? Get all the sugar you need from fresh fruits instead of processed foods. You only need to start. After a while, your body will be used to healthy food to the extent of finding sugary options, a total turn-off.
If you must add sugar to your food, try raw cane sugar, honey, and maple syrup. Make these part of your oatmeal, cakes, and yummy yogurt. Apart from avoiding unhealthy sugar, you can also add flavor to your meals.
Clean eating for beginners is not something you can achieve in a single day. Do it gradually. The trick is to start slowly. Gradually replace refined and processed foods with whole foods. With time, clean eating will become a way of life.