THE BASICS OF A CLEAN DIET
Eating “clean” is not hard. It’s actually very simple. It’s all about eating the right type and quantity of food. Once you’ve got the basics down, that’s when you’ll be ready to truly focus on eg. weight loss or muscle gains. You need to be making the right food choices BEFORE you even start any type of plan. You want to be making PERMANENT changes! Adjusting your “diet” so that you’re absolutely sure that you can stick to it for life rather than just a few weeks or months!
Below i’ve listed a few simple guidelines you can follow :)
What NOT to eat!
1. Cut out all regular soft drinks and processed juice - I recommend curbing any fizzy drink addictions by switching to sparkling water and lemon and try juicing too!
2. Get rid of the processed carbohydrates and processed foods - This means cutting out most breakfast cereals, white bread, crisps, candy, pastries, cookies, ready meals etc.
3. Cut out foods high in saturated fat, your body just doesn’t need it!
What should I eat then?
1. Eat the freshest food possible and cook it yourself so you know exactly what is going in your food.
2. Eat some lean protein, fat, and unprocessed fibrous carbohydrate with every meal
3. Eat fruits or vegetables with each meal (as fresh as possible).
4. The bulk (size wise) of your food intake should come from vegetables and protein.
5. Ensure that 20-30% of your energy intake comes from “liquid fat,” with your fat intake primarily coming from unsaturated (ie. flax oil, fish oil, olive oil, raw nuts).
6. Drink more water! You don’t need to cut out the tea, coffee, juice or soft drinks, but trying not adding sugar and milk, and drink sparkling water if you still want something fizzy :D
7. Alcohol in moderation - Don’t go on crazy weekend benders! A couple glasses of wine a week is plenty!
What about calories, amounts of fat, protein, carbohydrates, nutrient timing? For the majority of people, if you follow these guidelines at least 80%-90% of the time…that will be all you will need. If you’re not quite at 80%, start working your way towards it steadily. It will take time, like most things! But once you’ve a routine and stay consistent, it will all come together.
IF YOU WANT IT, HAVE IT. Never say “No, I can’t have it” to foods you love but that are not in your best interest to eat. There is nothing worse for your health or diet than a built up urge to splurge/binge! Have it! Just in moderation! To help curb binge eating you could try having a little bit everyday. For example my biggest sweet tooth is chocolate, so I always have a small amount of high quality chocolate in my freezer and allow myself one small piece a day. I find that works very well for me! Cut the chocolate up into squares, wrap it in foil, put it in the freezer and then you will have individual pieces that you can have everyday!
Another is to allow yourself one meal a week where you can enjoy whatever you want. You can even invite your friends/family over, see if you can persuade them to eat better too! This “ritual” will become something you look forward to and your friends/family will too, plus for the rest of the week everyone can keep each other on track. The trick is to find which one of these two works for you.
DON’T LET MISHAPS GET YOU DOWN. Everyone’s healthy eating gets sidetracked from time to time. The trick is to keep a positive attitude and curb the unhealthy eating as quickly as possible. Don’t beat yourself about it after, stay positive and continue! If you can consistently deal with mishaps in a positive way, and quickly curb it, you’re already on the road to a successfully healthy lifestyle!
EXERCISE. Don’t forget to exercise regularly too! Being healthy isn’t just about what you put into your body, but how well you take care of it physically too! Find something you will enjoy and you know you will be able to stick to consistently.
The key to a healthy lifestyle is consistency and forming healthy habits :)
That is it! Keep it simple, eat well, exercise hard, and live life to its fullest.
NOTE: The guidelines to healthy eating may vary! Not everyone eats meat, or gluten etc It is very important that you adjust these guidelines to suit you and your lifestyle.
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