Clean eating is one of the most popular trends in fitness and wellness. More Americans want to be healthy and more people want to think carefully about what they are putting inside their body. Americans eat less than the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, according to a study by the US Department of Health & Human Services. We need more healthy nutrition in our bodies because we clearly are not getting enough of it. If you want to step into the world of clean eating, this guide is ideal for you. Feel free to save this link or print it out so that you can stay laser-focused on losing
What is clean eating?
Clean eating is simple – you eat healthy food such as fruits and vegetables that are cooked in a way that is fresh and you completely avoid processed packaged foods. You also avoid refined and added sugar in all of your meals and snacks. This means when you go to your local grocery store, no more packaged foods that you have come to love such as cereal, canned soup or chips. By eating clean, you are going to avoid the pitfalls of eating in general such as relying on processed food. You should also cut down on eating out because you don’t know if all of the food in restaurants you are going to is made fresh or if it is processed.
What foods can I eat when I am doing clean eating?
The following list isn’t exhaustive but it is meant to guide you and give you an idea of the types of foods that you can expect to eat. You have to look at food as a way to nourish your body, not overload it. Popular foods that you can have when doing clean eating include:
- Oats (remember, no added sugar, not even brown!)
- Fruit Juice (it’s absolutely fine as long as you don’t add sugar)
- Green Tea
- Chicken (prepared yourself)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Bell Peppers
- Lean Turkey
- Low-Fat Greek Yoghurt
- Whole-Wheat Flour
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Nut Butters
- Chia Seeds (to put on top of smoothies and drinks)
- Unsweetened black tea (yeah guys we told you, it isn’t going to be easy!)
The key thing to remember is the foods need to be cooked naturally and no added sugar is allowed. Even if you are desperate for a sugar fix, you cannot add sugar to any of your meals and you should also be decreasing salt intake as well. The
How does it work week by week?
On the weekend before the next week, you should create a meal plan for each day. You should know what you are eating every single day so that you avoid the temptation to reach for packaged food. Be strong from Monday to Friday, and allow yourself some leeway on Saturday and Sunday so that your body doesn’t feel deprived of any type of food that it may want. You should have a goal when it comes to clean eating. Are you focused on losing weight? Do you want to get in shape for a fitness competition? Do you want a complete lifestyle change? Once you can answer these questions, you will understand how to make clean eating work for you.
How can I become good at meal prep?
The critical element of clean eating is you need to prepare your meals as part of having a successful meal plan. Different people prepare in different ways. Some people like to prepare ahead of time every 3-7 days. Other people like to prepare two days in advance. The first thing that you need to do is think about the key meals of the day such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner and create small meals that you can spread out throughout the day. As you become a clean eating pro, you will find that eating smaller meals throughout the day gives you more energy and allows you to reach your fitness goals. You can get good at meal prep by looking at social media accounts such as Instagram and by searching for tips online. We also have a dedicated meal prep article that you can read here to get even more help.
Can I have a ‘cheat day’?
Everything in moderation is a solid mantra to follow when you are doing clean eating. You shouldn’t be too military in your approach to clean eating without giving yourself a break every now and then. Some people love cheat days, others love cheat meals while some people enjoy cheat weekends. Find the one that works for you and integrate a ‘cheat’ day once per week, this seems to be the approach that works for everyone.
How much will it cost?
Clean eating isn’t cheap. You need to buy fruits and vegetable that are fresh, you need to buy containers to store food ahead of time and you need to get into the habit of cooking meals at home with different ingredients. Over time as you learn how to do clean eating properly, you will see how you can save money. For example, instead of buying plastic containers that look coop because of influencers from Instagram, you should choose food containers where you can buy 2 and get 1 free for example, depending on the offer that the retailer is offering. Another way you can save money with clean eating is by making a budget that you stick to every week or month so that you can achieve your goals.
Clean eating can help you on your fitness journey by inspiring you to nourish and treat your body to the best food the Earth has to offer. Take care of your body from the inside in order to see results on the outside.
Clean eating checklist
Use this checklist to get the best results when you are doing clean eating.
- Block out Sunday late afternoons to do meal prep
- Regularly change your food containers to keep hygiene levels high
- Look for deals online to buy the most affordable food containers for meal prep
- Write your clean eating grocery list before you go shopping
- Always have soups and broths during your meal prep to give yourself a break from fruit and vegetable plates
- Drink water regularly between small meals
- Snack on pre-cut vegetables to avoid getting processed snacks