Eating Clean for Weight Loss
Eating Clean for Weight Loss
These days, it is next to impossible to walk past a magazine rack in the grocery store without reading headlines promoting articles about Clean Eating and Clean Living. Caloric intake should still be watched, even when eating clean. However, this nutrition option is a helpful path toward achieving healthy weight loss and for avoiding harmful additives often found in the foods we eat. The overall term “Clean Living” is about acquiring a more holistic, mindful lifestyle. But what exactly is clean eating? And, how does it correlate with embracing clean living as a lifestyle?
To optimize health and overall wellness, clean living revolves around diet, sleep, good exercise habits and improved mentality. Takeaways to remember which are important to the practice of clean living clean are:
- Quality, restful sleep that restores both physically and mentally – without sleep aids or distractions from technology
- Dealing with stress in a healthy, positive manner
- Eliminating negativity in one’s attitude and replacing it with mindfulness
- Introducing healthy habits like exercise and meditation as part of a daily routine
- Eating a nutrient rich-diet, free of processed foods
How to Eat Clean
To some people, how to eat clean involves simply sticking to a list of “approved” foods, but there is a much deeper reasoning behind the clean eating concept. It’s not just about counting calories, increasing protein intake, or eliminating carbs from the menu. It’s really more about careful consideration as to where the food came from and how it made its way into your grocery cart, then your plate. Eating minimally processed, whole foods which are as close to their natural, unrefined origin as possible is the fundamental basis to eating clean for weight loss.
Eliminating “processed” foods from your diet may sound challenging, but processing simply boils down to the presence of a few key ingredients to remember (clever puns intended):
- Additives of every type. Some additives are fat, sugar, salt, preservatives and even vitamins.
- Altering the form of the food. For instance, a potato found in the organic produce aisle is the clean version when compared to instant potato flakes found in a box on the shelf. Even cooking the food changes its form, so attention should be taken when preparing recipes to qualify the finished meal as “clean”.
- GMOs, any man-made components, and supposedly safe chemicals with names we can’t even pronounce.
The hazards of ultra-processed foods are endless. GMOs are linked to cancer and inflammation which often leads to other diseases. Altered foods can be completely devoid of any nutritional value. One of the most insidious diet sabotagers is the addition of certain additives like fat or sugar which stimulate dopamine in the brain’s pleasure center, leading to cravings for unhealthy things like junk food.
Why Eating Clean is Good!
While clean diets are not strictly vegetarian, they are plant-based, meaning they are full of healthy fruits and vegetables. There are many positive benefits of plant-based diets, including:
- Prevention of diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease
- Help in maintaining a healthy weight
- Vitamin rich to benefit organs, eyes, skin, and hair
How to Eat and Cook Clean
Don’t let the concept of eating clean for clean living become overwhelming. Start with the basics, then grow from there. Eliminate processed foods and purchase items that are as close to their natural state as possible. A good grocery list contains unprocessed fresh organic fruits and vegetables, dried legumes, nuts, farm fresh eggs. Using unprocessed meat means choosing wild over pastured, but if this is too cost-prohibitive, stick with pasture-raised over caged and pasture-fed over grain-fed. Examples of minimally processed foods are unrefined grains like whole wheat bread, pasta, quinoa, steel cut oatmeal and brown rice. Hormones in dairy products are a no-no, and pesticides in food should be avoided whenever possible. Good oils like avocado, coconut, and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) are given the green light, but bad oils like Canola and soybean oils should never reside in your pantry.
Raw food diets are nutrient dense but it’s okay to cook foods, as long as the integrity of the food is maintained without using methods like deep-frying or cooking it in animal fat. Quickly stir-frying and steaming are two of the best ways to prepare food, “clean eating” style.
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To learn more about clean eating and for help developing meal plans which are calorie appropriate for optimal weight loss, schedule an appointment with our nutritionist at The Bariatric Experts, where our doctors have been rated the Best Bariatric Surgeons in Dallas.