Monday, February 25, 2013

Clean Eating and Weight Loss

OK folks, it’s Monday and that means a whole new week for you to work towards your fitness goals.  It’s kind of like a do-over if you feel like you haven’t been great over the past week or weekend.  By now we know that diet is a key to your weight loss, so let’s take a look at a buzzword in being healthy: clean eating.

I searched and searched for some sort of formal definition for clean eating and couldn’t find an official one.  So I’ll discuss what the general idea is and what it may or may not include.  Clean eating typically results in weight loss and you’ll see why once I explain some of the details.

First, let’s look at what it includes.  Clean eating is eating fresh or unrefined foods, typically in five or six small meals throughout the day.  These fresh foods include produce such as fruits and vegetables, in an unrefined state ie not fried or processed.  Your small meals should include a lean protein, complex carbohydrates such as brown rice or oats, and heart healthy fats like avocado or almonds.  People who eat clean drink a ton of water.  The fewer ingredients in a food item, the better.  Label reading is big in clean eating, to ensure that minimal preservatives and additives are included in each food eaten.

Now let’s take a peek at what wouldn’t be considered clean eating.  Clean eaters avoid refined and processed foods.  Examples are refined sugars like soda, sugar, baked goods, white flour, and white rice.  The stereotypical junk foods and other high calorie foods are left out.   By this list, I’m sure you can see why this approach works well to help with weight loss.

Clean eating isn’t without its own struggles.  It takes more time and preparation.  Food labels need to be read.  Meals must be prepared, and often planned ahead of time to allow for grocery shopping and preparation.  It can mean more trips to the grocery store, since fresh items spoil quicker than canned or frozen items.  Cost is a factor as well, clean eating can be pricier in the checkbook than prepared foods.  For me, it’s worth the cost, since I notice a huge difference in my body, from higher energy levels to more efficient workouts and, yes, fat loss.

Clean eating is good for anyone, even if you don’t need to drop a few pounds.  If you are scared, try doing it a couple days a week and gradually add days as you go along. You’ll feel better!