I have always and still continue to struggle with my weight. Especially after having a baby, the new pounds seem more stubborn than ever. Added weight is not only about how you look but how you feel as well. When you have excess weight you are more likely to suffer from injury, back pain, headaches and just generally being more tired. Today’s idea of weight loss seems to be a quick fix, either from a celebrity fad diet or some type of magic pill. But I have realized that your diet should be a lifestyle change. It is a slow but permanent change and not just something you do for a week and hope to lose 10 pounds before a big event. Food should provide you with nutrition and energy, and when you clean eating that is exactly what it does. When you eat clean it will provide you with slow but steady weight loss results.
The Demise of Fad Dieting
As a teenager whenever I was inspired to lose weight, it usually was not sustainable to keep going like that. It would be fad diets and quick fixes, where you would cut out a type of food completely from your diet and suffer the withdrawal symptoms. Such as the famous no carbohydrate diets, which left me even more tired than before. Or the diets where you would decrease your caloric intake so much that you were not getting all the daily nutrients you needed. These diets are not sustainable because you are not getting everything you need, and it is based on the premise that you need to cut something essential, such as carbs or fat, completely out of your diet to lose weight. These diets may help you lose 10 pounds very quickly for that big wedding you have coming up, but once you are off the diet, you can guarantee that you will gain all the weight that you lost and then some.
The Art of Clean Eating
Clean eating is not a diet, it is a lifestyle approach to eating and living well to maximize your energy and optimize your health. And unlike rigid diets, it is flexible and can be adapted to fit any routine.
Clean Eating Principles:
- Choose whole & natural foods. These foods haven’t been tampered with and are usually one ingredient, such as whole organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass fed and free range meats.
- Avoid Processed Foods. Processed foods are anything that comes in a box, can or package. If it has more than 5 ingredients or ingredients that you cannot pronounce, it is probably not clean.
- Choose unrefined over refined foods. Refined sugar and breads provide nothing but added calories. You should avoid sugary cereals, ice creams, cakes, and just anything that has a high sugar content. When it comes to carbs, you should always try to choose whole grain or whole wheat options, brown rice and quinoa are also great.
- Drink lots of water. Water is the best beverage, if you drink enough of it, it will keep you energized. You should drink at least 2 L of water a day, it will help flush out toxins, keep your skin clear and keep you hydrated.
- Eat 5-6 small meals a day. This usually means having 3 main meals and 2-3 healthy filling snacks. By eating this way, you will be eating throughout the day and help stimulate your metabolism. Eating this way prevents your from skipping meals and overeating. Because you are always satisfied it reduces the chances of you cheating.
- Combine Carbs, Protein & Fat. At each meal or snack you should make sure that the meal is balanced. When you combine carbs with protein & fats you get more satisfaction from your diet and you will be less likely to eat junk food. This way of eating also provides the fuel to keep going.
- Cook your own Meals. When you eat out, you don’t know what’s going into your foods. It is best to best to cook from scratch. They do not have to be gourmet meals, but a little chopping and sauteing and simple seasoning can make any meal delicious and satisfying.
Benefits of Clean Eating
Eating whole foods and avoiding junk food can keep you healthy or help regain your health. With clean eating you will be able to lose weight and maintain the weight loss. Eating clean also ensures that you get adequate amounts of the most essential minerals and nutrients. Whole foods also keeps you satisfied longer, and you are less likely to be tempted to eat a bag of chips. It helps to provide more energy and keep you energized throughout the day. Because you are not putting as many processed foods into your body, it will help improve your digestive system and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Breakfast Protein Bars
- 7 Scoops of Vanila Protein Powder
- 2 Cups quick Oats
- 5 Tbsp sliced almonds
- 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp organic honey
- 3 tbsp of natural Peanut/Almond Butter
Combine all ingredients in a bowl using a little water & Press into sprayed baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15 mins. Let cool and cut into squares that you can have on the go!
Warm Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad
- 2 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Red onion, sliced
- 2 Large Sweet Potatoes into 1 inch cubes
- 2 Big Handfuls of your favorite Leafy Greens
- 2 cups of Chickpeas
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp ginger powder
- 3/4 tsp corainder powder
- 1/4 tsp salt & pepper each
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 C tahini
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp of hot water to thin
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Take the onions, sweet potatoes and chickpeas in a mixing bowl and drizzle with oil and the spice mix and mix well. Arrange on baking sheet, you may need two! And pop in the oven for 20 mins and then flip over sweet potatoes and then put back in the oven for another 10-15 mins or until sweet potatoes are tender. In the meantime, in a mixing bowl add the tahini, lemon juice and maple syrup and whisk to combine. Thin it out with hot water until it can be poured.
Once the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are done roasting, set aside and let cool for a few minutes. To serve divide leafy greens between serving dishes and top with sweet potatoes, chickpeas and serve with dressing on the side.
Eating clean is about a mindset and lifestyle change. The slower the change, the longer it is likely to last. It is important to consider your lifestyle and realize that an occasional slice of cake is not the worst thing in the world. If results do not come fast, do not get discouraged. It takes your body some time to get used to changes, but if you keep at it, you can lose the weight and become more healthy and energized.
Comment below on any other clean eating tips and advice that you may have. Don’t forget to connect with use on social media!