Eating healthy, dieting, and losing weight are trends that never go out of style. One trend that seems destined to stick around is clean eating, which involves ridding your diet of processed, fatty, and fried foods, and replacing them with healthy and fresh foods. Here are some tips for following a clean eating lifestyle.
Eat More and Smaller Meals
Clean eating begins with having several smaller meals a day instead of two or three large ones. With each small meal you eat, try to have a lean protein along with a fruit or vegetable. The goal is to achieve a balance of nutrients while consuming a smaller meal. With multiple meals scattered throughout the day, you remain fuller for longer and lessen the temptation of snacking between meals.
Choose Whole Fruits and Veggies
Whole fruits and vegetables are some of the most important elements of clean eating. While you can also eat frozen produce, choose fresh as often as possible. Select the produce carefully and look for a combination of colors in each meal you prepare. To make it more interesting, mix it up and try new things. Look for exotic fruits as well as the traditional fruits you already love. Combine different types of leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and arugula. Add fruits and vegetables to cooked meals, salads, and appetizers.
Go for Lean Protein
Choose lean protein, such as fish and fowl, over red meat with high fat content. While it is OK to have beef and pork, choose leaner cuts. Another option is to combine red meat with lighter meats, such as using half ground beef and half ground turkey when making tacos or stuffed bell peppers. Keep in mind that protein should account only for a small part of any meal; fill up the rest of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Avoid Processed Food
One of the more important rules to follow in clean eating is avoiding processed food. This includes prepared and packaged foods, from frozen dinners to chips. If you want cookies, consider baking them from scratch. A good rule is to stick with the perimeter of the grocery store for the majority of your foods. This is where you will find your fresh produce, lean protein, dairy, and bread. Minimize your trips down the middle aisles, where the frozen and processed foods usually are.
Get Rid of Sugary Drinks
Your beverages also make a difference in clean eating. Start drinking more water or tea, and get rid of the soft drinks and sugar-filled juice. If you are going to drink juice, make your own, or have a smoothie with lean dairy and fresh fruits.
Clean eating is not difficult once you get a hang of it. Remind yourself to fill up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and dairy. Cook and bake as much as possible at home, and you will be well on your way to following this healthy lifestyle.