Leading up to the holidays it’s always a good idea to have your diet in check. Understanding what foods you should focus on and in what proportion makes it easier to recognize oversized, non-nurtirious meals. Below I’ve included some clean eating basics. Basing your meals around the concepts/foods here will make a big difference in your waistline. Who out there is down for a holiday challenge? Anyone want to join me in some clean eating and weight loss? If you’re in for a challenge, write me:
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Some basic clean eating concepts and foods:
- Focus on lean protein, complex carbs and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (suggestions below).
- Try to eat 5-6 meals a day (eating every 2.5-3 hours).
- It’s a great idea to use a food scale until you get an idea of portion size.
- Each meal should be approximately the same size consisting of lean protein and complex carbs - both starchy and fibrous, plus some healthy fats (minimize saturated fats and trans fat).
- If you don’t have a food scale, use measuring cups! For example, a serving of oatmeal is 1/2 cup dry (plain, unsweetened oats by the way).
- The first 2 meals of your day should be heavier in the starchy carbs, while the last 2 should be heavier in the fibrous carbs. The middle two can go either way.
- Too much food at once, especially if followed by a long break before your next meal, is counter productive - so keep the meals small and frequent! Think of your digestive system as a funnel. If you pour too much in a funnel at once it clogs or overflows. If you pour content into a funnel slowly and steadily, the funnel works fine!
- Keep sodium, sugar and alcohol levels low.
- Water, water, water! Drink up! Never wait until you’re thirsty to drink, at that point you’re already dehydrated. The more water you drink the less water you’ll retain, which will make you look leaner.
- Eat food as close to its natural form as possible (i.e., eat a peach, not canned peaches).
- You should never feel hungry and you should always enjoy the food. Add water-based foods to your meal (like cucumber and apples) to help you feel full and to add some extra water to your day. Generally, I munch on any fibrous carb when I get an urge to eat for eating’s sake!
- Get creative with herbs, lemons/limes, garlic, spices, etc. for flavor.
The following list is not exhaustive. These are a few suggestions to get you started.
Sample Starchy Complex Carbs:
Sample Fibrous Complex Carbs:
Sample Lean Protein:
Protein Powder (Whey, Soy, Egg White)
Lean Ground Beef
Sample Fats (Mono and Polyunsaturated):
Crushed Red Peppers