If you want to lose weight naturally then eating clean and cutting out processed foods is going to be a great start, but what does eating clean mean?
Well, basically eating clean means that you should choose to eat whole foods or those that have been minimally processed; for instance fresh fruit instead of juice, or whole grains instead of bread.
Why should you eat a clean diet?
Whole foods tend to contain more nutrients than its processed alternatives so can help provide numerous health benefits including:
- Increased energy levels
- Reduced risk of illness
- Improved hair, skin and nail health
These whole foods often contain a higher percentage of fibre too, which can help you to control your appetite. High fibre foods can also improve digestion, while lowering cholesterol levels too.
Eating clean can also benefit your brain too, with an increase in concentration among its benefits, this is because of the lack of preservatives and other harmful chemicals present in these kinds of food.
These chemicals can mess with your hormones and can have a negative effect on your weight so it makes sense to remove them from your diet if you wish to lose a few pounds.
How to start clean eating?
While we have already suggested eating more whole foods, and reducing the amount of processed foods you consume these are not the only clean eating rules you should follow.
Below you will find a few more ideas that can help you to reach your weight loss goals:
#1: Buy ethically raised meat
Many animals are pumped with antibiotics and hormones to promote size, while some are also fed a diet that is not designed for their (or our) health.
When choosing meat it is best to choose those that has been sourced from grass-fed animals.
Not only will this be the ‘cleanest’ option, but will also be more nutritionally beneficial to you.
Grass-fed animals tend to have higher percentages of omega-3 and other macronutrients.
#2: Watch seafood too
While it can be difficult to know which seafood is best. You should try to avoid those that are farm-raised as they are often full of contaminants that could potentially cause you harm.
If given the choice then wild seafood will always be the better option.
#3: Use ancient grains
Ancient grains are recommended rather than the refined variety as they have not lost their nutrients, their natural oils and fibre during the refining process.
This makes them nutrient-dense and easier for your body to digest.
Grains you should consider include:
#4: Avoid artificial colouring in your drinks
Artificial colourings unsurprisingly will contain dyes and preservatives that are not good for your body.
#5: Watch your caffeine intake
As caffeine is a stimulant it can cause numerous side effects if consumed in excess.
These side effects include headaches, insomnia and the jitters amongst others, and while they are relatively mild they can be avoided if you drink coffee in moderation (less than 300 mg per day).
When drinking coffee you should watch your sugar intake too, use a natural sweetener like honey instead.
#6: Be careful with dairy
Cows milk can cause bloating to occur, which is why non-dairy milk like cashew milk is a great alternative.
You should also look out for unsweetened organic dairy products too, remember healthier animals produce healthier foods so again look for those produced by grass-fed animals.
#7: Avoid processed protein powder
Certain types of protein powders are highly processed and will contain ingredients that are best left out of your body.
Of course if you are looking to build lean muscle then protein powder is a great way to increase your protein intake. So make sure you look at the ingredients to see if there is anything you recognise that you should avoid.
My suggestion to you would be to make your own using greek yoghurt, nuts, seeds fruit and vegetables.
You could also try looking for grass-fed milk protein or pea protein rather than your usual isolated protein powder.