Eating clean may seem like a simple notion but adopting the lifestyle itself can prove challenging for most. Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, plant-based proteins, and whole grains become the staple of your diet. Meanwhile, you reduce your intake of large amounts of sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, refined grains, additives, and preservatives.
Making such a change can be daunting. Upon transitioning into clean eating, it is highly likely you will encounter a few bumps in the road. The good news is that clean eating doesn’t have to be a difficult task. After all, this way of life is all about eating the healthiest of food groups. With proper tips and a clean eating playbook in hand, you can successfully navigate the bumps to reach the other side.
Start with a Single Meal
Avoid making sweeping changes to your diet right away. Consider this; it may require a full year for you to make the transition. Instead, make gradual changes to your eating habits by starting with a single meal. According to Prevention Magazine, breakfast is an excellent choice for initiating your move to cleaner eating. Begin by removing processed meat like sausages and replacing it with two eggs or ditching those sweet cereals for whole-wheat toast and unsweetened peanut butter.
Plan Your Meals and Cook Your Own Food
Consistently planning your meals is the best first step you can take. This plan becomes the basis for your shopping list and what it is you will consume for the week. It also helps you to stay on track. Use the plan to introduce new foods into your meals slowly and as a method to gradually remove the bad stuff. Remember, try to avoid cutting everything out at once. Your body will not be able to adjust. Instead, plan each week out methodically. Keep a few of your favorites but make small changes.
Next, cook your food as much as possible. The only way to know what’s in your food and about to go into your body is to prepare it yourself. This action will enable you to feel confident in the fact that you are keeping with your new standards for clean eating. Research meals that fit the clean eating lifestyle. Sites like eatingwell.com and cleaneatmag.com are fantastic sources of information. YouTube university also offers a wealth of videos with clean eating recipes.
If planning to eat out with your friends, do all that you can in advance to prepare for the experience so that you can stay on track.
Keep Your Produce in Stock
One of the most significant components of clean eating is fruits and veggies. Make sure you stock up on your fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables will provide you with much-needed fiber which plays a critical role in reducing inflammation in the body, lowering cholesterol, and managing heart disease.
Eat Five to Six Meals Per Day
Eating clean will require you to eat frequent meals. This effort will help to ensure you are taking in adequate nutrients and keep your belly satisfied. Also, it will ensure that you avoid regular, unhealthy snacking.
Give Yourself Permission
Permit yourself to eat a little junk food from time to time without feeling guilty (Prevention Magazine). A taste of the bad stuff from time to time will not sabotage your clean eating lifestyle. If you deny yourself a few guilty pleasures all the time, it can set you up for failure down the road.
These are just five tips to help you start eating clean today. Every step you take towards clean eating will bring you closer to a healthier way of living. Make your experience a positive one. Your body will thank you.