A very big reason for dedicating yourself to a clean eating diet is that it puts you on track for reaching and sustaining a healthy weight. There is a direct correlation between clean eating and weight loss.
When you eat real food that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains – you not only feel better, you will begin to lose weight if you are carrying extra pounds.
There are a few things you can do to speed things up, as well. This is particularly important if you need to lose a lot of weight or if you are pre-diabetic.
Eliminate Artificial Sweeteners
A clean eating diet requires that you eliminate all refined (white) sugar products including artificial sweeteners from your diet. Instead . . . you can use natural sweeteners like honey, agave syrup and maple syrup (in moderation).
Be careful not to get carried away with the natural sweeteners. Replacing your empty-calorie sweet treats with “clean” versions that contain a caloric equivalent of natural sugars will NOT help you lose the weight – plus, it is NOT good for your blood sugar.
Go Easy on the Carbs
Curbing your carbohydrate intake is one of the best ways to lose excess weight. Fill your plate with low carb, non-starchy vegetables – go easy on the potatoes. Add a few berries and you are set.
If you are unsure about what is classified as a carbohydrate, go online to educate yourself. Track your carbohydrate consumption for a few days to help you get a feel for what clean foods are high in carbs and how lowering your carbohydrate intake makes you feel better.
Eat Protein and Healthy Fat to Stay Full
So – what should you eat? Even though big salads when prepared properly with “clean dressings” are healthy, they will only satisfy the hunger for so long. You can remedy this by eating plenty of clean protein and healthy fats. Both take longer to digest and will help you stay full.
You can eat chicken, low fat cottage cheese, Greek Yogurt, ground turkey etc. with each or snack – in fact all of those can be added to your salads.
Nuts are another great option because they are full of healthy fats, but – watch your portions. The same holds true for healthy fats like cold-pressed olive oil or avocados.
Drink Lots of Water
It is easy to mistake thirst for hunger. When you feel the need to eat, try drinking a big glass of fresh water first. It not only contains “0” calories, it also keeps you body hydrated, which is critical for good health. Staying hydrated makes it easier for your body to process body fat into energy. In other words, drinking plenty of water helps melt fat right off your body.
Move Your Body
Eating real food in appropriate portions makes a huge difference when it comes to controlling your weight. When you add movement into the mix, controlling your weight becomes even easier.
I am not talking about going to the gym every day for an hour workout, or going for a 5-mile run. If those fit your lifestyle – great! If not, just get in the habit of moving your body every day for at least 15-20 minutes. Maybe it’s climbing stairs instead of using the elevator – or taking a walk at lunch. Every bit of exercise you can work into your day will have a positive impact.
Take your kids to the park and race around with them for a little while, park your car at the back of the parking lot at the mall or the parking lot at work – or dance around the kitchen to your favorite music. Not only does exercise burn extra calories, it also puts you in a better mood and kicks your metabolism into high gear.