Easy tips for eating clean

Over the years, I've been into many fad diets or quick weight loss plans and there's a little secret I'd like to share with you: they don't work! Sure, you'll drop five or ten pounds when you cut out most of your food consumption, but the weight loss never lasts. Instead of doing the yo-yo weight loss, I decided to just change my lifestyle - I needed something that I could integrate slowly and keep on doing for the rest of my life.

While I have turned to eating better and just watching portions, there are still a few foods in my daily meals I'd like to eliminate. By eliminate, I don't mean cutting out carbohydrates or entire food groups - I mean processed, "dirty" foods. I've come across the term "eat clean" and it has so many great ideas to implement into daily life for improved health! Here are a few easy tips to begin eating clean:

Simply eat at home - If you're someone that eats out most meals each week (and I was one of those) you have a better chance of eating clean if you just prepare your own meals. Go back to the basics of food - try to use as little processed foods that don't offer much in the way of nutrition.

This is easier said than done, I know! Start slow - try to eliminate one or two junk items each week until you start to eat fresher foods. Always add fresh fruits and vegetables to your dishes - it adds volume to your food, in addition to boosting nutritional content of the meals.

Forget about refined carbs - Eating clean isn't about eliminating an entire food group - your body needs protein, carbs and fat to maintain health. That being said, try to eliminate refined carbs from your diet - the nutritional content has been stripped down and doesn't offer many vitamins or minerals. Avoid white rice and white bread in favor of brown rice, quinoa and whole grain breads.

Limit sugar intake - High sugar content is usually found in unhealthy foods, so keep your eye on sugar levels and stay away from excess sugar as much as possible. Avoid high fructose corn syrup! If you like to sweeten your tea or add a sprinkle of sugar to certain foods, use a low calorie sugar substitute, like Splenda, instead.

These are just a few tips to eating clean. Basically, this eating plan is about going back to the basics and keeping food as simple and fresh as possible! Start out slow and change a couple things at a time so you are more apt to sticking to the new way of eating.

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