Switching to a clean diet that consists of real food, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and lean meat and whole grains will put you on the right track to a healthy weight. But there are a few things you can do to speed things up. This is particularly important if you have a lot of weight to lose or are pre-diabetic.
Watch the Sweeteners
Clean eating cuts out all white sugar and artificial sweeteners. Natural sweeteners like honey, agave syrup and maple syrup are usually allowed though. While they are fine to use in moderation, be careful about not going overboard. Replacing your sugary treats with “clean” versions that contain just as many natural sugars won’t help you lose the weight, and it won’t be good for your blood sugar.
Careful With Carbs
One of the best ways to lose excess weight is to curb carbohydrate consumption. Fill your plate with low carb, non-starchy vegetables, add a few berries and go easy on the potatoes.
Tracking carbohydrate consumption for a few days can help you get a feel for what clean foods are high in carbs and how lowering your carbohydrate intake makes you feel.
Plenty of Protein and Healthy Fat to Stay Full
With sugars and carbs out of the way, what should you eat? After all, a big salad will only satisfy you for so long. Make it up with plenty of lean protein and healthy fats. Both take a longer time to digest and will help you stay full.
Include things like chicken, low-fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, ground turkey, etc. with each meal or snack. Nuts are another great option full of healthy fats. Be careful of portion sizes, though. The same holds true for healthy fats like cold-pressed olive oil or avocados.
Don’t Forget the Water
Often we think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water first. Not only will it fill you up with zero calories, staying well hydrated also makes it easier for your body to process fat into energy your body can use. In other words, drink your water and melt that fat right off your body.
Move Around More
Eating the right type of food in appropriate portions will make a huge difference when it comes to your weight. But so will moving around. We’re not talking about heading to the gym each day or going for a 5-mile run. While those are great options, even moving around just a little more can have a positive impact.
Go for a short walk after dinner, park a little further away at the mall or dance around the kitchen to your favorite music. Not only will this burn extra calories, it will also put you in a better mood and kick your metabolism into high gear.
It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.
That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.
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