Clean eating – It’s a diet that’s not a diet
It’s nothing to do with eating less food. It’s not about about self-denial. It’s nothing to do with avoiding certain kinds of foods. On the contrary, it include a lil’ sugar, and spice and all things nice. But evidence suggests that it can help you lose weight, boost your health, and even your looks into the bargain.
Well, it’s called ‘clean eating’; a concept based on the simple fact of exhorting adherents to avoid processed foods and only eat ‘real’ foods. True, this may involve a bit more cooking from scratch, but as long as you follow it, pretty much anything; from steak to cake. Dieters are advised to avoid low-fat and sugar-free processed ‘fake’ foods that often contain ingredients you don’t recognise, and could cause stress to the body.
Following a balanced diet, and cooking and eating meals that are so delicious, they’ll lead you forget you’re eating healthy food. Fresh, natural foods tend to be more satisfying and rich in nutrients such as protein and fibre than processed ones.
Simplifying and demystifying the whole argument, reduces the do’s and don’ts to five clean food rules.
#1 Eat only real food: This means buying recognisable a.k.a traditional ingredients to cook at home and avoid processed and packaged foods. A great example would be to use whole oats and blueberries to make porridge topped with berries or similar fruit, and avoid the store-ready blueberry muffin. Eat packaged food brands that contain real food ingredients with names that are recognisable.
#2 Keep things simple: Eating delicious, healthy food doesn’t have to mean you have to spend hours cooking. Keep ingredients to a minimum. Be sure to include whole grains, lean protein and healthy fat at each meal.
#3 Eat slowly: Research indicates that the faster we eat, the more calories we consume. Chewing slowly and resting cutlery on the plate between bites, reduce your pace of eating and allows you to savour the flavour of food.
#4 Eat regular meals: Don’t let more than four hours go by between meals or snacks. This will help regulate blood sugar, which will keep you energised and help curb your appetite.
#5 Listen, your body speaks: Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full, a.k.a. satisfied, not over-stuffed.
While clean eating doesn’t include precise amounts, it trains your sense to get accustomed to relying on your natural hunger and fullness indicators to signal when you should and shouldn’t eat.