Clean Eating Explained

Maybe a new ‘Healthy Kitchen’ or ‘Raw food Supermarket’ has opened in your Town or you’ve read about the new Madonna Super Food diet, either way the Clean Eating train is gaining traction, but what does it really mean and is it as good at what everyone says?

Eating clean is a deceptively easy concept to follow really. Its basically eating real whole foods, how they’ve come into the world, no nothing added in to them. Raw foods such as fruit and vegetables and meats (preferably organic).

We’ve put together something for you to read and digest (no pun intended) so you can understand the basics on clean eating.

Clean eating explained

Sugar

While most of us on a weight loss mission concentrate on lowering fat intake, many of us fail to consider the role that refined sugar plays in our diets and in contributing to our growing waistlines. Although we are concentrating on eating healthier and purposely avoiding foods high in sugar, most processed sugars are often hidden under different terms on packaging. Sugar can be identified as maltose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, molasses & even honey. With no value to us nutritionally, sugar is basically an empty calorie.

As sugar contains no essential vitamins or minerals to help break down the substance in our body, we are simply stealing from our bodies’ other sources to break this down, instead of burning fat and building muscle. Hence, we are taking away from our fat burning ability, just to counteract the useless calories we have just ingested. Not only does sugar contain no nutritional value for us, it also causes our blood sugar levels to rise drastically followed by a sudden drop in insulin, which then leaves us feeling low & lethargic. We also feel hungry (often for something more sweet) to accommodate for the loss in energy, which then drives us to eat more than what we need but without the energy or motivation to burn it o”.

So avoid sugar like the plague, it is NOT good for you! In fact, processed sugars are completely void of any bene!t to our body. Instead, look for food that is high in the nutrients that your body craves. The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.

Clean eating explained

Good Fats Vs Bad Fats

Education on nutrition has become so much more in depth over the last few decades, and the information and knowledge we have about fats is clearer than ever. Many of the diets that we may have tried as individuals in the past have focused on eliminating fat altogether. But now we are aware that there are essential ‘good fats’ that our bodies need to operate properly, and provide us with the necessary nutrients that help us lose weight. Good fats are great sources of Vitamin E and Omega-3s, promoting great skin, assisting in lowering cholesterol levels, improving memory and concentration, & reducing the risk of heart disease. These types of fats are unsaturated and can be found in Fish such as salmon and tuna, nuts such as “flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and Brazil nuts, as well as avocado and olives.

The fats that should be completely avoided on any eating plan, are saturated and often labeled as ‘trans fats’ and are known to contribute to clogged arteries & high cholesterol levels. Not only this, they are detrimental to any form of weight loss. These types of fats can be found in abundance in things such as packaged chips, icings, fried food, buttery popcorn, and even some margarine.

Clean eating explained

Carbohydrates and protein.

A Clean Eating Plan is based on the principles of providing our bodies with essential nutrients found in clean, whole foods, to operate at its fat burning best. Each one of your should combine a balanced serve of vital carbohydrates, protein, and good fats. Complex carbohydrates are an important source of energy and we couldn’t operate properly without them. They hold vitamins and minerals, and can be found in yoghurt, fruit, vegetables, and beans for example. However, if we eat too many carbohydrates, more specifically, if we eat them at times when our body is less likely to convert them to energy (ie. with dinner) this is when they are stored as fat.

The carbohydrates that I stay away from are simple sugars. With little nutritional value, these can be found in biscuits, chocolates, soft drinks, and lollies etc. You will not find these kinds of carbohydrates on a Clean Eating Diet Plan. Protein on the other hand plays an important role in all its forms. It is needed by our body to repair, rebuild, replenish and maintain healthy muscles and organs. Every single one of our cells requires protein to operate, and it is particularly important in kick starting our liver functions and controlling our metabolism.

Eating a protein rich breakfast has been proven to increase metabolism by up to 30% over 12 hours, and also helps in reducing “fluid retention. Not only does it help us feel fuller for longer, it ensures that our body is using energy from our food to build muscle, and therefore encourages the body to seek energy from our fat storage center. Therefore, we continue to build our muscle whilst burning our fat. Eat more protein & be very selective with choosing carbohydrates.

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