Clean eating is the best described as removing all processed, artificial foods from your diet and focusing on healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. Your body is from nature, bring it back to nature and reap the rewards of eating clean, like living a longer, healthier life, have great glowing skin and hair, fast weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.
You wouldn’t feed your pet bird cardboard, would you? No, you would feed them nuts and seeds just like the natural food they have in the wild. It’s time to start thinking of yourself as the bird, feed yourself what humans found and grew in the wild hundreds and thousands of years ago, not “frankenfood” made in a laboratory.
How to Eat Clean
The best way to understand and implement Step 1 is to skip the boxed, pre-made foods, and shop the perimeter of the grocery store. By shopping just the perimeter of the grocery store you’ll pick uporganic fruits and veggies, lean proteinfrom the butcher and freshly baked bread from the store bakery. You’re only buying fresh food. Of course this is more metaphor than rule. Organic pasta, rice and beans are usually found in isles as well are organic whole wheat flour and spices. Be sure to choose these ingredients in the purest forms, pick up the organic brown rice, not the box of rice mixture with the spices. The only ingredient on the label should be “brown rice.”
You can have your chocolate, but instead of the “sugar free” chocolate candies that are full of artificial sweeteners, have a square of all natural dark chocolate (Chocolate Recipes). As for cheese, choose sharp cheese, you can use less and get the same cheesy goodness, thus saving calories (Cheese Recipes).
Eat More Fat Burning Foods
Fat burning foods are a staple in the weight loss plan. We make small swaps to recipes to turn them into metabolism boosting foods. For instance, swapping out buttermilk for almond milk in a pancake recipe can cut calories and add natural fat burners to your diet.
Little changes in recipes and your diet can make a big difference in your weight loss success.
Top Foods that Burn Fat:
Green Tea and Coffee
Whole Grains, Quinoa and Oats
Grapefruit and other Citrus Fruits
Lean Poultry and Fish
Beans and Lentils
Almonds, Almond milk and Almond butter
Spinach and Broccoli
Fat burning ingredients can be added to many recipes. Just keep in mind that organic food will have more nutrition and therefor more metabolism boosting nutrition.
Step #2: Plan your meals and log what you eat and drink.
I realize this sounds like homework, would it help if we called it studying instead?
By planning your meals and logging what you eat and drink, you will start memorizing how many calories are in your favorite meals and ingredients. Best of all you will learn your own eating habits and cravings, so over time you can better plan your meals to suit your cravings. After a couple weeks if you see you consistently have a 3:00 pm craving for carbs, you can head off that craving in advance with a skinny sandwich at lunch. Or, a sweet craving at 10:00 am can be managed with a sweet oatmeal breakfast.
So as tedious as this one step might seem, it is an important step for both weight loss and maintenance later on and it holds everything together. Having a meal plan helps you manage plateaus while keeping you motivated. In the long run you’ve studied for your new healthy lifestyle and for your new figure. It makes it easier to maintain your weight loss diet when you have done the studying. So don’t skip this step, you’re studying for the most important test of your life… your health.
By making a meal plan to lose weight, you are setting yourself up for weight loss success. Have you ever become extra motivated to exercise after a purchase of a new yoga mat, or running shoes? Making a meal plan is motivational in the same way.
If you sit down and take the time to plan out your meals you are more likely to stick to it, because you took the time to do it. You’ll find it’s easier to stay on plan knowing you have a yummy meal coming up later today, and you’ll be less likely to splurge knowing you have a plan to follow.
How Many Calories Should I Plan to Eat?
Since we are talking about setting a meal plan, we need to talk about how many calories you should plan to eat. If your goal is to lose weight, all you need to know is your goal weight. The equation is easy; add a zero to the end of your goal weight to find your daily calorie goal. Just be sure not to go under 1200 calories per day as this will send your metabolism into preservation mode, which may cause your body to hold onto weight instead of releasing it.
Say your goal weight is 135 pounds, your daily calorie intake should be 1350 calories.
Don’t fret if this seems difficult, below is an example of a super filling 1200 Calorie Diet Plan, just add on snacks to increase your calories.
Step #3: Move your body more.
Weight loss is 70% what you eat and 30% exercise. Many people often think exercise is more important in weight loss and they disregard the healthy diet part. That is why Step #3 is to move more.You don’t have to train for a marathon to lose weight, however exercise will speed up the process and, perhaps more importantly, tone your body.
Many people ask me what to do about extra skin, or loose skin, after weight loss and the answer is always “that’s what exercise is for.” If all you can do is a 20 minute yoga video after the kids go down for their nap, or a walk with the dog after work, find a way to make the most of it. And whenever possible increase the time you exercise, if even by 5 minutes.
How to Lose Weight Without Exercise
So what happens when you can’t exercise? There are many people with health and physical difficulties who can’t exercise in the traditional way. For those people, I assure you that you can still lose weight. Like I said above, weight loss is 70% what you eat and 30% exercise, so if you can’t exercise you have to be spot on with your diet plan to lose weight.
You also have to do your best to move your body more. That can mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator or even working extra hard at physical therapy. Do as much as you can, follow the other 3 steps and you will see the weight melt off.
Step #4: Drink a gallon of water a day.
Water is key to losing weight. Besides tasting great, studies have proven that drinking water naturally boosts your metabolism along with many additional water health benefits. It fills you up, flushes your system and naturally increases metabolism.
How Much Water Should I Drink to Lose Weight
At 1st N Weight Loss, we recommend you try to drink a gallon of water (3 ¾ liters) a day for weight loss. A gallon of water may seem like a lot, but it’s a good weight loss goal to strive for each day. By having 40 ounces of water in the morning, noon and night you will stay full and hydrated. The large amount of water helps increase your metabolism and flush your system, it’s a great aid to weight loss and an easy step that almost anyone can achieve.