Today, I’m going to talk about some of the major benefits of following a clean eating program. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, then I’d certainly think about clean eating as an option.
I’ve been following a clean eating diet for over a year now, and to be honest, it’s more of a lifestyle choice for me and my Fitness Professional friends, than a diet.
The main ingredients in a clean eating diet consist of fresh, non-processed foods and I try and eat Organic where possible. My diet consists of:
- Lean meat / protein – eg beef, pork, lamb, chicken, pork, turkey, fish and eggs
- Green vegetables – eg broccoli, green beans, peas, sugar snap peas, courgettes, cabbage, kale, spinach, rocket, watercress etc (the darker green the vegetable, the more nutrients and fibre it contains)
- Water / fruit teas – eg 3 litres of water a day, consisting of bottled water and fruit/herbal teas
What clean eating does is it helps detoxify your system and as a result, turns it into a fat-burning machine. By following a diet high in protein and green, leafy vegetables, it rids your body of lots of nasties found in food like preservatives, additives and those horrid E numbers, which I know you wouldn’t dream of feeding to your children, yet you’re quite happy to consume yourself.
You’ll notice I don’t eat:
- Bread / pasta / rice / starchy carbs – you’ll notice the more you eat of these, the more you crave, and they really clog up your system
- Caffeinated products – eg coke, coffee, green/black tea (I make my own “clean” chocolate, by the way, so it’s not all doom and gloom!)
- Sugary drinks / food / fruit – Although fruit is natural, it contains quite a high percentage of sugar, which can send your body into a roller-coaster ride of insulin peaks and troughs
- Dairy products – eg milk, yoghurt, ice-cream, cheese
Although it all sounds a bit extreme to begin with, I can’t tell you how much clean eating has helped regulate my eating habits. I used to constantly snack on dried fruit, nuts, yoghurt and toast, yet found myself still hungry 20 minutes later.
By eating lean protein, and filling your plate with green leafy veg at every meal, you get all the protein you need to help fill you up, AND all of the nutrients like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and plenty of vitamins like A, B, C and K. Green leafy veg has a very low sugar and calorie content, so instead of piling loads of mashed potato on your plate, opt for a stir fry of green vegetables instead to fill you up.
There are scheduled “treat” days within the clean eating program, and I know myself that whenever I treat myself to a slice of bread/cake or a biscuit at these times, I feel bloated, lethargic and really quite unwell for the next few hours. Foods such as bread and pasta for me I’ve found, no longer agree with me. My stomach bloats and swells up and I don’t feel well at all after eating them.
I’m not saying everyone will feel unwell as a result of eating wheat-based products, but, why not try eliminating them from your diet for a couple of days, and add some protein and green veg into your diet instead, and see if you have more energy, feel less bloated and less hungry.