The holidays make it hard to follow a clean eating diet. Seasonal treats temp you down the road of regret. The foods you eat need to remain a priority. Sticking to healthy habits can prevent you from gaining excess weight, feeling sluggish, and getting sick. Eating clean is a good way to refresh your diet by consuming the best and healthiest foods. Many people don’t know how to follow a clean eating diet. Follow these clean eating tips to stay fit this holiday season.
Embrace Whole Foods
Anything that has been grown from the earth is a whole food. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are all natural whole foods that embody clean eating. Try to eat whole foods that haven’t been altered in anyway. Make healthy choices like swapping french fries for a sweet potato. If you have to buy processed products, buy from organic brands. For example, buy Justin’s peanut butter instead of Jif. Peanut butter is loaded with protein and healthy fats.
Shop the Perimeter
Did you know that the middle isles of the grocery store harbor all the junk food? Pasta, cookies, and prepackaged snacks are processed foods located in the middle of the store. If you’re confused on what to buy at the store, just shop the perimeter. This is where the fresh produce, fruits, meats, nuts, and grains will be found. If you happen to wander down the cookie isle, read the labels. Many packaged snacks out there labeled “natural” or “organic” are loaded with white sugar.
Cut Back on Unnatural
There’s no doubt we all love fast food and junk food. Eating clean doesn’t mean you must sacrifice flavor and satisfaction. You do have to cut back on refined grains, added sugars, salt, and unhealthy fats. We advise finding healthy alternatives to your favorite junk foods. If you love brownies, try a recipe using sweet potatoes or chickpeas. Swap out your store-bought, sugary coffee creamer with unsweetened almond milk and stevia. It’s all about making small changes for a big impact.
Fill Your Plate
Restricting calories is not always the answer. A diet rich is whole foods allows you to do the opposite. Don’t be afraid to fill your plate to the maximum. We suggest filling half your plate with color. Choose green veggies like spinach or broccoli. Add colorful fruits like blueberries and peaches to your diet. Fill the rest of your plate with lean protein (salmon, chicken) and whole grains (brown rice or quinoa). Whole foods are less calorie dense, meaning you can eat more of them for less calories, but this doesn’t mean you can go crazy either. Calories in and calories out remains the same, but by eating healthy foods this will keep you fuller and healthy.
The Pronunciation Test
Inspect the ingredient lists to learn what you’re consuming. If you can’t pronounce it, stay away from it. Processed foods are full of excess sodium, sugar, and fat. The longer the ingredient list, the more unnecessary junk is in it. Eating clean is about staying away from chemicals in your foods like high fructose corn syrup and aspartame. Not everything that comes out of a box, bag, or can is bad for you. Minimally processed foods such as whole-wheat pasta and chickpeas contain a short list of common ingredients. These items are full of fiber and vitamins.