Eating to lose weight, maintain your weight, or gain weight by putting on lean muscle, all has different calorie requirements, but no matter your goal, you can attain all of these through clean eating.
Choose High Quality Meats
Meat eaters, aim to get your meat from grass-fed animals as much as possible. It is more expensive, but it’s also healthier because it is typically organic or free-range. One budget-friendly idea is to have fewer, but higher quality meat-eating days, then lower quality meat eating days, where you want to purchase leaner cuts, as chemicals can accumulate in the fatty tissues.
Include Healthy Fats
Healthy Fats don’t make you fat, they’re actually good for you, and this includes some healthy high-quality saturated fats. You can get these healthy fats from fish (white tuna, salmon, anchovies and sardines), nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, pecans as well as chia, flax & hemp seeds), avocados, eggs, oils (extra virgin, real butter, olive oil, virgin coconut oil), dairy products and grass-fed beef.
Veggies, Veggies Veggies
Get as many vegetables as you can into your meals. Choose cruciferous, dark leafy greens, even certain potatoes. The idea is to make sure you have a variety of veggies on your plate, and include as many colors of the rainbow as you can get, remembering to vary the veggies you eat as often as possible, yet consistently having certain items several times weekly.
Fruits In Moderation
Fruits are a sweet treat and nutritious alternative to candies and other refined sugars, but it is possible to eat too many. Eating too much fruit is that it can lead to problems with the hormones which regulate blood sugar which can mess up fat loss. Also, modern day fruits are generally much larger and higher in sugar due to hybridization.
Drinking and Fluid Intake
Drinking pure filtered Water is the best way to stay hydrated, so ditch the soda, and stick to water or Green Tea most of the time, and moderate use of Coffee (caffeine has a 6 hour half-life in the body, so it’s best to drink it earlier in the morning). But it also is very good to include Coconut Water & Aloe Vera Juice and I offer many recipes here on the website to teach you how to make what I consider the BEST POWERADES you can find.
Worried About Counting Macronutrients (Calories, Fat, Carbs & Protein)
Macronutrient ratios vary according to your genetic makeup, your body type, and your activities etc. The bottom line is that there is no magical macronutrient ratio for fat loss or muscle gain, but you want to make sure you’re including all your macronutrients in your meals. What I can provide for you is an estimate of how much of each of these items the average person by sex, size & activity level should have in a day.
What Will Clean Eating Get You?
Clean Eating is the best way to maintain a healthy weight, not by rigorous hours at the gym working out, but through a diet high in vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains. You can lose as much as 20 lbs after just a few weeks of eating clean, and along with putting to rest many, if not all of your health issues, clearing up your mental state and avoiding seasonal illnesses.
A Stronger Immune System
Nutrient Dense Foods help prevent disease by building a stronger immune system and gut. Building up your immune system through healthy foods allows it to fight off illness naturally and recover quickly. The digestive system is home to more than 500 different types of bacteria, and they keep the intestines healthy, also aiding in breaking down food. These bacteria (probiotics) are keep the immune system healthy, and ensures that your body and immune system run at optimal levels. Eating plenty of colorful servings of fruits and veggies, fermented foods, Lifeway Kefir and FAGE Greek Yogurt as well as plenty of water each day.
Processed, packaged, and junk food clouds the mind and causes the body to feel very sluggish and even sick. Eating healthy, whole foods high in healthy fats like Omega 3 fatty acids, will keep the brain functioning at top levels. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, adopting a ‘brain-healthy’ diet can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes and encourages good blood flow to the brain. The brain needs the proper balance of nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, and some sugars, to function properly. Foods such as dark, leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, beets, eggplant, bell pepper) have high levels of antioxidants and fruits such as prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and cherries all protect brain cells. Cold water fish such as wild salmon and white tuna contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and nuts offer high levels of Vitamin E, another antioxidant that is excellent for the brain.
Boost Energy levels
Many people tend to turn to sugar or caffeine for an instant “energy boost.” But this pseudo rush is actually a quick spike in blood sugar, followed by an intense insulin response, which then causes a crash. After the crash, you will likely feel worse than when you started. The more processed a food, the less nutrients it will have. Without nutrients, your body is unable to feel energized throughout the day. To boost energy levels naturally and effectively, eat foods that allow a slow and steady release of sugar, which are known as Low Glycemic Index Foods.
Get Better Sleep
Vitamins and Minerals found in whole foods will allow your body to regulate hormones throughout the day and promote deeper sleep at night. Nutrient dense foods will also calm your nervous system and trigger a sleep-inducing hormonal response which helps you rest better at night. There is a well-known connection between the rise in sleep deprivation and soaring obesity rates. Getting between 7-9 hours of sleep gives your body time to establish muscle memory from a workout or project, build and repair muscle, sharpens your focus, reduces reaction time, and greatly increases energy levels upon waking.
If you adhere to the above guidelines most of the time, you’ll be well on your way to a clean eating lifestyle, weight loss and optimal health.
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