Contributed by – Preksha Buttan
Every day we hear of a new trending diet that can help you lose the inches in a matter of weeks, Atkins, GM, South Beach, the current favourite Keto diet and thousands of others. Do they work? Yes, if followed rigorously, they do work, however, when it comes to sustaining them for a lifetime, not so much. While we are not saying that people can’t live on Keto, a lot of them can and do. But for a majority, it is a challenge, a challenge which may prove too much and push them back on the path of unhealthy eating. For those looking for an easier alternative that can be made into a lifestyle, clean eating may be the answer. In this blog, we try to give you some tips for clean eating that can help you be healthy and fit.
What is clean eating?
Clean eating has nothing to do with your food being clean or germ-free. We, certainly, aren’t saying that it’s OK for you to eat dirty food. But here, clean eating refers to avoiding processed food and engaging more in real foods that provide maximum nourishment. Since you get a lot of variety, you will never get bored with your diet. It also involves having a healthy lifestyle. Few modifications here and there will help you lose weight and at the same time will make you overall fit and fine.
Here are 7 tips for clean eating that will help you in achieving your health goals.
Eat loads of fruits and vegetables
One of the first tips for clean eating is adding a variety of fruits and vegetables that provide you with a wide range of nutrients in your diet. Fibre, vitamins, minerals and all their goodness that you will get will help fight the diseases and your body will be protected from any kind of damage. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are highly beneficial and you can add them to any recipe easily. Along with them, make sure you add at least three more vegetables. You can always prepare them in advance and store in your refrigerator for easy availability.
Cut out artificial sweeteners
Cutting out sugar is essential when switching to healthy eating habits as it can cause a wide array of health issues. Excess consumption of sugar can cause lifestyle diseases like. If you think that foods which aren’t sweet are sugar-free, then you are absolutely wrong. You need to find substitutes of your sugary foods. For example, you can easily swap your ice cream bowl to a bowl of Greek yoghurt topped with berries. This will help you satisfy your cravings in a healthy manner. Another important point here is that “diet” food may sound tempting but they too contain a high amount of artificial sweeteners, added sugar and preservatives. You need to stay clear of them as well.
Buy organic products
We all know that farmers use herbicides and pesticides extensively for better produce. These chemicals stay on the food and enter our system when consumed causing a lot of health concerns in the long run. But if you make it a point to only buy organic products then you are avoiding such issues. You can also get in touch with local farmers and buy food directly from them. This way you will be sure about the quality of the food you will be consuming. Additionally, you will also be contributing to the local economy.
Stay clear of refined carbs
Many foods with high carbs are incredibly healthy. However, most of the nutrients and fibre are removed from refined carbs or simple carbs. And thus, they are linked with cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes. Foods like bread, pasta and rice will harm you. So, you need to immediately remove them from your meals. Instead of them, you can load on brown rice, oats or barley. These carbs are loaded with nutrients and you will only benefit from them.
Plan your meals
It is common and acceptable that one cannot always prepare a fresh meal each time. This is the time when most people go for easy options which most of the time are not healthy. And here go all your efforts in vain. Thus, as a resolution, you can start planning your meals. Similar to planning your day in advance for time management, you can start planning a week’s meal plan. This way you will know what all ingredients are required so that you can arrange for them in advance. And you will always have an option ready which will stop you from having a quick bite at a fast-food restaurant.
Mind your drinks
Smoothies or shakes may sound healthy but they are loaded with sugar and can cause you to gain weight over time. Similarly, your cup of coffee may be healthy but if you add whipped cream or extra sugar in it, you are converting it into an unhealthy drink. So, you need to start minding what you are drinking. The best alternative is water. Make sure you drink minimum 8 glasses of water in a day. To add flavour, you can infuse it with fresh fruits like apple or strawberry. Unsweetened green tea can also be a good option for you.
Check the labels
When we say check the labels, we mean check the ingredients and not the calories. Counting calories of each food you consume can be overwhelming. But when eating clean, all you need to do is check what all ingredients are there in that food which you have picked. If it contains added sugar or unhealthy fat, then you need to keep it back. But if the ingredients are clean, then you have found yourself a treat.
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