CLEAN EATING FOR BEGINNERS
Fascination with fad diets seems to be ramping up, whether you’re talking about low-carb Atkins®† devotees, your Keto-loving friends who talk about their bacon-and-egg breakfasts, or your Paleo colleagues who are taking their diet back to the Stone Age.
There are plenty of diets and gimmicks that may work in the short-term, but eating clean whole foods may be the best way to get healthier. The first step can be as simple as making a list of all the nutritious foods you want to incorporate into your diet. From there, you can create meals that can help you sustain that healthier lifestyle for years to come.
In the most basic sense, clean foods are whole foods like lean cuts of protein, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and whole grains, all in their natural form. Eating clean means you are making decisions to limit highly-processed snacks and packaged foods. You’re also avoiding foods with a lot of added sugar, salt and fat. One example of clean eating might be preparing a boneless chicken breast for dinner rather than driving through the nearest fast-food restaurant for a box of chicken nuggets.
Learning how to eat cleaner doesn’t have to be daunting. It is something you can easily achieve by taking small steps to make changes in your everyday meals. Follow our simple guide to start incorporating clean eating foods into your diet for a healthier lifestyle.
Introduce more whole foods to your diet
Focusing on getting more whole foods into your daily diet is a great place to begin. Remember, you’re looking for food items that occur in nature and are not processed and churned out at a factory. For example, enjoy a whole apple instead of pouring a glass of apple juice. Whole foods to focus on include grass-fed meats, fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts, whole grains and seeds.
But consuming a cross section of nutritious foods on a consistent basis can be challenging, research shows. Nine out of 10 people aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control. If you are not getting the nutrients you need from your diet, Nutrilite™ Double X™ supplement can help fill in the gaps with a formula containing natural plant ingredients from every color on the phytonutrient spectrum.
Start cooking your own meals
You don’t need to be a chef to whip up your own good-for-you meals. If you’re not already packing your own lunch and cooking dinner at home, it’s a great way to eat cleaner and limit the amount of highly-processed ingredients that could wind up on your plate. Pair lean, broiled fish or other meats with a salad and a side of whole grains. The more you practice creating whole food meal combinations, the easier clean eating will be for you. Even your cookware can play a role in creating healthier culinary dishes. Amway’s iCook®cookware set, for example, lets you cook without using high-calorie oils and butters while locking in one-third more nutrients.
Start paying attention to nutrition labels
This is where you get to play detective. The next time you reach for something to eat that’s in a box or package, check the nutrition label and see if it contains preservatives, a helping of unhealthy fats or added sugars. These extras can derail your clean eating and won’t do your body any favors.
Eat well-balanced meals
Ensuring the foods you choose and the meals you make have the right mix of protein, fats and carbs is important. It might be easier to just grab a couple pieces of fruit, or dine on a big baked potato, but balance is also vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One way to track what you are eating is with a smartphone app like BodyKey™ SmartLoss™. Developed by Amway in partnership with Pennington Biomedical Research Center, this free app is an easy way to monitor to what you are eating.
Eat 5-6 meals each day
While you are eating clean, aim for three small meals each day, supplemented by two or three snacks. Your meals should be well-balanced and contain protein, carbs and healthy fats. Your snacks can be smaller. A whole piece of fruit, a side salad or cup of skyr or yogurt are all good ways to keep hunger at bay in between meals.
Avoid processed foods
As you switch to including more whole foods into your clean eating lifestyle, you’ll want to avoid processed foods, which are any foods that have been modified from their natural state. Think potato chips, packaged snack cakes and cookies, convenience store foods and soft drinks. This is where your label-reading comes back into play. If you don’t recognize the ingredients on the package, put it down and walk away.
Cut out refined carbs
It’s time to break up with refined carbohydrates. These highly processed foods are easy to overeat, but they are low in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and have little nutritional value. Refined carbs include things like white bread, pastries, pizza dough and breakfast cereals.
Making these changes doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following these simple steps, you’ll find it easy to begin eating clean and start making healthy diet changes. The payoff will be a healthier you.
†Atkins® is a registered trademark of Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
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