For many of us, it seems that exercising is a pretty easy task to accomplish. The hard part is focusing on nutrition – how much to eat and exactly what to eat. The key to a balanced diet is exactly that – balance. Making sure we eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein and complex carbohydrates. Your lifestyle is 80% nutrition, 10% exercise, and 10% genetics which means focusing on eating healthy and clean is more important than how hard you work in the gym.
Surprised? I was at first too. But I would spend hours working out to not see the scale move at all. Once I dialed in my nutrition, focused on my portions, and tracked my intake of food, I quickly saw the scale move in the right direction. Honestly it was really eye-opening.
While it takes a bit of planning, eating clean is extremely beneficial for our body. We tend to over complicate the nutrition aspect in our minds, but honesty it is very easy. In fact, the basic principles of clean eating are rather simple:
- Eat a variety of at a wide-variety of whole, unrefined and unprocessed foods in a form that’s as close as possible to
how the foods appear in nature. Jillian Michaels says, “If it comes from the ground and/or has a mother it’s good to eat.”
- Avoid processed sugars/sweeteners.
- Avoid saturated & trans fats. Instead, consume healthy fats (EVOO, avocado, all-natural almond or peanut butters, unsalted nuts)
- Combine complex carbohydrates with lean protein and a healthy fat at every meal.
- Consume your daily intake over 5-6 smaller meals, generally eating about every 2-3 hours.
- Aim to eat nutrient dense foods. Avoiding fast foods, soda, snacks, cookies, etc.
- Portion control. Using the Portion Fix containers takes the guess work out of nutrition.
- Drink water & stay hydrated. Divide your body weight in half – that’s how many ounces you should aim to drink daily.
- Limit alcohol.
- Do not skip breakfast. NEVER! It establishes your metabolism for the rest of the day. If you skip breakfast, you are likely to binge later.
- Plan. Meal planning is essential to proper nutrition.
So those are the basics of clean eating? Simple, right? For some reason it can seem daunting and overwhelming. But with a bit of planning and changing our thought process. Know that you are changing habits to change your body. Even if this is not about weight loss, eating more nutrients will give you beautiful skin, help you cope with stress better, give you more energy, and improve your immune system. Convinced yet?
Here are a few ways to make eating clean a little simpler:
- Pack your foods every day. Whether you are out the door first thing in the morning, or are out running errands, pack for your day. Bring your snacks and water with you so you are less likely to hit the drive thru in a weak, “hangry” moment.
- Carry a water bottle everywhere. Staying hydrated is a MUST. Drinking water keeps your metabolism boosted and helps you lose weight.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it. I meal plan each week. I sit down with my meal planner, recipes and shopping list and plan out our meals for the week and only buy what is on my list. I plan meals that coordinate with after-school activities and obligations to keep making dinner simple.
- Stock your pantry with staples. Almond butter, peanut butter, olive oil, beans, and nuts are always in our pantry!
Food is fuel, not therapy from your problems. Rather than living to eat, eat to live and you will experience a more fulfilling, healthy life!
Want more information on how you can transform your lifestyle with eating clean please email me or visit my TeamBeachBody page and create a free account. Together we can reach your health and fitness goals one step at a time.