Eating Clean – What Is It? How To Make It Simple.
Eating Clean has been a life changer for me. Have you ever struggled to understand what the hell the labels on the food box even means?!?! I didn’t have a clue either. I’m pretty sure they could make it a little less complicated.
Simple labels like, will bloat you, make you fat, good for you, or you’ll lose 5 pounds would be awesome!!! They’re as mysterious as what’s in the nuggets at McDonalds.
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Let me tell you how I learned about eating clean
My name is Brandy, I’m a mother of two gorgeous girls. I have some health issues that most women experience and affects their weight. PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, which causes most women with it to become obese, yay!!!!
The hormones get all kinds of crazy and awful things start happening to the body. Because if the obesity wasn’t bad enough, let’s throw in some hair growth where it shouldn’t be happening. UGH. It’s terrible getting old.
Now, here’s the kicker, the weight gain is in part to the polycystic and in order to control the polycystic I have to lose weight. See my frustrations?
My addiction to sugar and carbs doesn’t help either. Who else has a love affair with both Little Debbie snack cakes and fresh bread? The pain is real. I feel you. I do. Now I try to tell myself that’s a better addiction to have than drugs and alcohol but I’m starting to question that theory every time I bend over to tie my shoes.
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So what is clean eating?
Eating clean is good for us because we aren’t eating foods that haven’t been created in labs or manufactured by man. Sooooo McDonald’s is a no go. It’s got to be something from outside that comes right from nature. Like a vegetable garden, animals, or even plants.
I’ve learned that we aren’t supposed eat processed foods or at the very least, limited amounts. That’s pretty dang hard to do because processed foods are EVERYWHERE! It’s so easy to go through the drive-thru. Would you rather throw pizza rolls into the microwave or fry up chicken and chop lettuce and zzzzzzzzzzz?
I’m not trying to convince you eating clean is the easy route or the less boring route cause I’m not a liar. I’m trying to connect the dots for you.
A few hundred years ago people being fat or obese wasn’t even a thing. That’s because there was no fast food. There wasn’t even grocery stores to go pick up food. You had to get all the foods you needed by planting them or killing for it yourself.
Think of it this way, can you walk outside and just get chicken nuggets? No. You can get meat from the chicken but the batter comes from flour. Flour in batter is white flour which has chemicals mixed in.
What are people thinking?
I’ll never understand why we put chemicals in our bodies? Learning what ingredients are in some foods is just sickening. Do you know what’s in some of the cereals we put in our kids cereal?!?! Oh my!
So basically, is this something you’re putting in your mouth that you could get without going to a grocery store? Like living off the grid, frontier style.
It was hard for me at first too but as time goes by you don’t want the junk. Hand to God, you feel full all day and it gets to a point where you are forcing yourself to eat because you feel THAT full. So at some weird point, the chocolate cake in the fridge doesn’t look appealing at all.
The best thing you could do for yourself when starting a new diet or lifestyle change with eating is keep a food diary. You can see changes and when changes stop, you can see what you’ve done differently.
Listen, we all fall off the weight loss wagon. You know when you fall off, which I do often, figuring out what works or what doesn’t makes it easier and easier to stay on it.
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Here’s some boring info for you but it’s important to understand what you’re putting in your mouth, right?
Whole foods are what you’re really needing. They are foods without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats.
Did you know that eating whole foods have so many more benefits than just weight loss?
- reduce blood pressure
- reduce cholesterol
- help regulate blood sugar
- aids in digestion
- best way to get essential micronutrients
- helps keep your hunger satisfied longer
There’s actually more than that, but I’m not trying to bore you with every little detail.
The Evil of White Foods
White foods are the DEVIL!!!!
If there is one thing you should avoid during the eating clean process, it’s white foods. Foods that are white in color and that have been processed and refined are like flour, rice, pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, and simple sugars like table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
Luckily for you (insert sarcasm here) natural, unprocessed white foods, such as onions, cauliflower, turnips, white beans, and white potatoes don’t fall into the same category. Just as long as they aren’t dropped in the deep fryer.
These white foods make up simple carbs. I’ll jump into carbohydrates further down. Keep going, it’s just getting interesting!!!
When to eat:
In order to lose weight, which is what we are after here, we need to get our metabolism maxed out.
In order to keep your metabolism burning at max capacity, you need to eat every two or three hours! Think of it this way, our metabolism is your fat burning furnace. You have to keep the fire stoked. It starts to drop off and die out after about three hours.
The first rule of your metabolism is to eat first thing in the morning. Within about 30 minutes of waking. You’ve been rested all night and your metabolism is slowed way down.
Most people, myself included, HATE eating when we wake up. Once you’re out of the habit it is hard to get back at it. Just like that habit, once you start eating breakfast it doesn’t take long to make it a habit. My stomach starts to growl if I go too long without eating now.
Here’s the kicker, don’t eat tons of food each meal. Eating every two to three hours enables you to have 5 to 6 small meals every day.
Schedule it according to your work day. Which most likely means you’ll have to pack a lunch.
I try not to eat late in the evening, I’ve always heard it’s bad to eat that close to bed time. I’m sure that’s been debunked at this point but I guess I’m an 80’s baby and some lessons never go away. Here’s a schedule I try to stick with.
9:30 small snack
2:30 small snack
7:30 small snack
You don’t have to have that last snack of the day, if you have one make sure it isn’t sugar! You’ll start sleeping better and you won’t be starving by morning.
Throw food in the crockpot and make it easy on yourself. Check out Clean Eating for the Slow Cooker.
The next best tip to maximize fat burning with your metabolism is to eat a portion of protein and a portion of complex carbs with EVERY meal. So let’s dive into that.
What to eat
As previously stated you need to eat protein and complex carbs, as in vegetables, with every meal. Every other meal you add a good fat and the opposite meals you add a starchy grain. Keeping in mind the correct portion sizes. Keep reading that’s coming too!
Here’s some tips for you.
Proteins are mostly meats. Try to stay away from the unprocessed meats. There’s protein in other things as well. Here’s a list of foods with protein for you.
- Peanut Butter
Complex Carbs (vegetables)
Green is good. Sadly. I cannot stand lettuce. I don’t know why but I pick everything out of salads besides the lettuce. My fiance laughs at me for that all the time.
Complex Carbs (Starchy Grains)
I’m not saying you can’t have breads, pancakes, or spaghetti. I’m just saying it’s gotta be whole wheat. Keeping in the line of honesty that I’ve been trying to provide you, it takes some getting used to.
- Brown Rice
- Cream of Wheat
- Wheat Germ
- Whole-grain Pasta and Breads
Complex Carbs (Starchy from Veg.)
I like about three things on this list. I’m kind of a pain in the ass.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Split Peas
Try cooking finding everything from butters and mayonnaise to cooking sprays and oils that say made with olive oil.
- Cold-water fish
- Hazelnut oil
- Nut butters
- Olive Oil
- Sunflower Seeds
Another important thing to remember is portion control. You can’t over load your plate or go back for seconds. That’s not gonna help in any way shape or form. Unless the shape you are going for is round. Then by all means, keep it up.
There’s a formula to use your body weight to find out how many proteins, carbs and fats you should have in a day. One of my favorites that measures from your calorie intake is here. However, click here to find a more detailed calculator.
A quick and easy way is the hand method. On the go, or at home, the hand method is easiest.
Learn How to Read the Labels
Do you feel lost when you walk through the grocery store? I used too.
When you’re grocery shopping rule #1 is to stay on the outer parameter of the aisles. Picture your grocery store. Along the outter aisle are things like meat, cheese, dairy, fruits and veggies. As you work your way in towards the center, it gets more unhealthy and more unhealthy. Kind of like walking towards the pits of Hell. The baking aisle is usually smack dab in the center. There’s where it stays on us, smack dab in the center!
Rule #2 is learn how to read the labels. You will see your calories, portion size, and percentages of macronutrients. Under the macronutrients, are the lists of other ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s bad!!!!
As I’ve stated in my previous blog http://fattofabmom.com/water-weight-loss you need to drink a lot of water throughout the day.
The feeling of dehydration can sneak up on you. Also, it causes people to feel like they’re hungry and they rush to the food. That’s why they recommend drinking a glass of water before meals to fill you up.
How much water do you drink throughout the day? Do you have any tricks to making it taste better or to switch it up? Comment below any helpful ideas.
Here’s some bonuses for you. Drinking water also helps make your hair and skin look great and it helps to flush out toxins from your body. Shiny hair and whiter teeth! We can lose weight and look gorgeous! BONUS!!!!
The best book I have ever read which taught me most of this and made it all so simple to me was Tosca Reno’s Eating Clean Diet Recharged!
Finally, comment below on any good clean eating recipes or recommendations.